Xilinx extends DSP portfolio with Spartan-6 FPGA, Virtex-6 FPGA DSP development kits

Posted by Courtney E. Howard

SAN JOSE, 6 Dec. 2010. Xilinx Inc. has unveiled three new development kits designed to aid digital signal processing (DSP) developers in adopting FPGAs to achieve high-level signal processing performance, optimize for cost and power, and relieve system bottlenecks through co-processing. The Xilinx DSP portfolio provides developers the hardware, tools, and reference designs to ensure a productive design flow across a diverse range of DSP applications.


“We recognize that the market demands for DSP requirements and design approaches are broad and have thus worked with industry leaders Texas Instruments, Avnet Electronics Marketing, MathWorks, and 4DSP to provide complete development platforms that deliver design methodologies aligned to the way developers work,” says Tim Erjavec, senior director, Platform Solutions and Services Marketing at Xilinx. “Working together, we are delivering kits that provide developers with the ideal balance of FPGA, processor, and DSP resources for a wide range of DSP applications in the areas of aerospace and defense, video, medical imaging, wireless, and many other segments.”

Xilinx Targeted Design Platforms for DSP can scale for adding new capabilities, standards, features, and support. Xilinx, customers, partners, or other third parties can deliver enhanced capabilities to an existing platform, which increases value for end users and reduces development and investment schedules. The DSP Targeted Design Platforms address application requirements across the performance spectrum, including specific focus on peak performance, price-optimized performance, and co-processing acceleration, says a company representative.

The new DSP development kits include a high-performance Virtex-6 FPGA DSP kit with integrated ADC/DAC capability, an enhanced low-cost Spartan-6 FPGA DSP Kit, and a Spartan-6 FPGA Co-Processing DSP kit. All three kits have integrated AMBA4 AXI4 interconnect and IP support.

The Virtex-6 FPGA DSP Development Kit targets peak signal processing performance applications and features Texas Instruments’ analog-to-digital converters (ADC) and digital-to-analog converters (DAC) on an FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card) designed by 4DSP that enables customers to tune performance in both the analog and digital domains. The kit includes a targeted reference design that allows for full configuration and control of the ADC/DAC from the Virtex-6 FPGA, enabling users to optimize for signal-to-noise ratio loss points, as well as quantization, analog filtering and gain. The kit features AXI4 support to enable integration of Xilinx and third-party IP with a high-performance, point-to-point interconnect optimized to reduce resource utilization with no impact on performance. The integration of ADC/DAC technology with Virtex-6 devices can save weeks or months of development time.

This DSP platform has broad applications in a wide variety of markets, including aerospace and defense, medical technology, high -performance computing, and next-generation wireless communications.

For customers looking to add DSP to existing systems, the Spartan-6 FPGA DSP Development kit is an entry-level platform with added AXI4 support through the latest version of the Xilinx ISE Design Suite. The kit’s baseboard includes a Spartan-6 LX150T device capable of delivering price optimized DSP performance and integrated transceivers for high-speed system connectivity. In addition to a number of design tutorials, a Digital Up and Digital Down Conversion targeted reference design is supplied that can be used as-is out of the box or modified and extended within a familiar design environment of either RTL (Model-Based Design with MATLAB and Simulink) or high-level “C” synthesis to accelerate development.

Xilinx and Avnet Electronics Marketing have developed a co-processing platform that enables software designers to reduce or eliminate application bottlenecks using the Spartan-6 FPGA to achieve system accelerations. The Spartan-6 FPGA Co-Processing DSP Kit optimizes the key strengths of high-performance FPGAs, system control processing, and digital signal processing in one integrated platform.

The Virtex-6 FPGA DSP kit, which includes the ML605 development board, Xilinx ISE System Edition, AXI4 DSP IP, Virtex-6 FPGA targeted reference design, and Texas Instruments ADC/DAC technology on an FMC daughter card from 4DSP, is available for $3,995.

The Spartan-6 FPGA DSP kit includes the Avnet Electronics Marketing LX150T development board, Xilinx ISE System Edition, AXI4 DSP IP, and a Spartan-6 FPGA targeted reference design and is available for $1,995. The Spartan-6 FPGA Co-Processing kit is available for order entry for $1,695.


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