31 January 2012
Xilinx launches first of 40 development kits for 7 series fpgas
In a further development of its targeted design platform approach, Xilinx has started rolling out kits for its 7 series of fpgas. The targeted design platform is a comprehensive development kit, featuring boards, tools, IP, reference designs and mezzanine cards.
Giles Peckham, Xilinx' marketing manager for EMEA, said: "We spent most of 2011 rolling out Virtex-7 products, including Zynq. This year, we're taking the chips and delivering them to customers in a way they find most productive."
Three kits are available now: base platforms for the Kintex-7 and Virtex-7 fpgas, as well as the Kintex-7 dsp kit, developed in association with Avnet. "These are the first of 40 such kits to be delivered by Xilinx or its partners," Peckham continued.
One change from the approach used with Virtex-6 products is to include reference designs in the base platforms. "These were market specific before," Peckham explained, "but putting them in the base platform will help new users to get going." However, market specific reference designs will still be available.
Xilinx has also added analogue and video capability at the domain specific level. "We learned from Virtex-6 that image filtering and manipulation were common to a lot of applications, so we are offering domain specific platforms for video and analogue before the market specific kits. The analogue design platform will support more complex applications," Peckham said.
Recognising the importance of reuse, the 7 series platforms will be able to use FMC cards developed for 6 series kits. "There will be more than 100 FMC cards available," Peckham claimed. "More than 20 Xilinx partners have committed to supporting the 7 series platforms with either existing or upgraded cards."
The Kintex-7 FPGA KC705 Evaluation Kit is aimed at a broad range of markets, particularly those where DDR3, gigabit Ethernet, PCI Express and other serial connectivity standards are important. The Virtex-7 FPGA VC707 Evaluation Kit is likely to be of interest to those designing advanced systems requiring performance, capacity and power efficiency. Meanwhile, the Kintex-7 FPGA DSP Kit builds on the KC705 board by adding a high speed analogue FMC card. The FMC card has two 800Msample/s 16bit d/a converter channels and two 250Msample/s 14bit a/d converter channels.