Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FPGAs for low-power and high-performance applications

Military FPGA specialist Xilinx Inc. in San Jose, Calif., is introducing two families of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) that are qualified for aerospace and defense applications. The Spartan-6Q family is for low-power, low-cost, and secure-communications applications like military communications, missiles, and munitions, while the Virtex-6Q family is for ruggedized, anti-tamper applications that need high performance and logic density up to the military temperature range.

Xilinx defense grade FPGAs are pin compatible to their commercial equivalent, and are tested and qualified to operate in extreme temperatures, while the Virtex-6Q device's ruggedized plastic packaging using standard lead content eliminates tin-whiskering concerns. Xilinx introduced the devices in anticipate of the MILCOM trade show this week in San Jose, Calif.

Xilinx's Spartan-6Q family meets the needs of military communications (MILCOM) customers who require a low power, low cost, secure communications platform, while offering missiles and munitions customers a small form factor in a low power secure platform for targeting and data processing in extended temperature ranges. The Spartan-6Q FPGAs are the first in their class to offer a low power, low cost information assurance and anti-tamper platform.

Xilinx's Virtex-6Q family offers secure SWaP-C benefits while providing anti-tamper in a ruggedized solution for applications that need high levels of performance and logic density up to the military temperature range.

The 40-nanometer Virtex-6Q FPGAs Virtex-6Q devices deliver DO-254 enabled solutions with high reliability and low power for avionics; high performance DSP solutions with high reliability and low power for electronic warfare (EW) and intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) applications; third-generation anti-tamper capabilities (DOD 5000 Series); I and M tested temperature range operation; ruggedized packaging; and long-term support with mask set control.

Built using third-generation Xilinx ASMBL architecture, the Virtex-6 FPGA family delivers 50 percent lower power and 20 percent lower cost than the previous generation. The devices operate on a 1-volt core voltage with an available 0.9-volt low-power option and are supported by a generation of development tools delivered by ISE Design Suite and a vast library of IP already available for the 65-nanometer Virtex 5 FPGA family to ensure productive development and design migration.

Spartan-6Q and Virtex-6Q FPGAs make up the silicon base of the Xilinx targeted design platforms for aerospace and defense applications. The Spartan-6Q Family and Virtex-6Q Family will be available in industrial-temperatures from -40 to 100 degrees Cslsius, as well as Q and M temperatures from -40 to 125 C (Spartan-6Q only), M: -55 to 125 C (Virtex-6Q only)). The devices will be available in spring 2011.

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