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Flex Power Modules joins Xilinx Partner Program

Flex Power Modules is now a Member of the Xilinx Partner Program, giving customers easier access to both companies’ design tools and support when developing power systems for use with Xilinx’s FPGAs and adaptive SoCs.

The companies said that they have worked closely to ensure their respective software tools work seamlessly and will continue to expand the interaction, to cover more product families. This partnership is intended to help designers reduce time to market, optimise their power systems, and simplify the design process.

As a result of this co-operation, data provided by the Xilinx Power Estimator (XPE) software tool can be imported directly into Flex Power Designer (FPD). Designers can then simulate their power systems with accurate and reliable data for specific Xilinx FPGAs, reducing time to market and the potential for user error. As a Member partner, Flex Power Modules and its customers will be able to participate in the wider Xilinx design community.

System power engineers have to estimate power requirements from an early point in the design process and this may be before the FPGA design has been finalized, forcing them to use a best-guess or worst-case figure. The flexibility of FPGAs encourages design reiteration and optimisation throughout the design cycle, and every design decision can significantly affect the power supply requirements.

Simulation is criticial as it gives designers a more accurate analysis of power consumption at any stage, which would be difficult to estimate when using complex FPGAs with multiple power rails.

The FPD software automatically detects potential issues, such as transient power requirements, and suggests appropriate filter components. The key specifications for the converters are included in the tool, and full simulation and optimisation of the system level power solution can be easily carried out. It also enables seamless sequencing capabilities across the multitude of voltage rails often required, and even includes the possibility to include non-Flex solutions where necessary.

Commenting Mikael Appelberg, Chief Technology Officer at Flex Power Modules, said, “From talking to engineers, we know that power-stage design analysis is one of the key issues that can slow down working with FPGAs. Inaccurate load simulations can be a problem which this co-operation aims to solve.”

With its latest release (version 4.2), Flex Power Modules currently supports Xilinx Virtex and Kintex Ultrascale and UltraScale+ FPGAs, but will also support a growing range of Xilinx FPGAs and Adaptive SoCs with subsequent updates.

Neil Tyler

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