Xilinx Ships 65nm Virtex-5 LX FPGAs with ExpressFabric Technology

Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX), the world’s leading supplier of programmable solutions, announced initial shipments of Virtex(TM)-5 LX FPGAs, the first of four domain-optimized platforms in its new 65-nanometer (nm) Virtex-5 field programmable gate array (FPGA) family. The Xilinx(R) Virtex-5 LX Platform consists of six devices offering up to 330,000 logic cells, 1200 user I/Os, 10-Mbits of 36-Kbit block RAM, and 3.2-Mbits of distributed RAM, plus an abundance of hardened intellectual property (IP) blocks. The Virtex-5 LX50, LX85, and LX110 devices are available immediately with the remaining three devices to follow over the next six months.

Based on the revolutionary new 65-nm ExpressFabric(TM) technology, the new Virtex-5 LX devices allow designs to be packed more efficiently, thus improving performance and utilization while reducing power consumption. Virtex-5 LX FPGAs deliver 30 percent higher performance, consume 45 percent less area and provide the industry’s lowest dynamic power – 35 percent lower than previous generation 90-nm FPGAs. The Virtex-5 LX family also features 550 MHz clocking technology with performance-tuned IP blocks. High-performance SelectIO(TM) features provide the fastest connection possible to external memory such as 667 Mbps DDR2 SDRAM and 1200 Mbps QDR II SRAM.

Xilinx engaged with hundreds of system designers worldwide to define its next-generation Virtex-5 product line and to build key features into each of its four platforms to meet customer requirements. The Virtex-5 LX platform specifically addresses designer needs for:

  • Higher performance logic for improved design margins and faster timing closure
  • Lower power to meet power budgets, reduce system cost and prevent thermal runaway
  • Simplified design of reliable high-bandwidth interfaces
  • Higher level of integration to improve performance and reduce system-cost
  • Shorter design cycles to improve productivity and shorten time to market

Early Customer Feedback Positive for Virtex-5 Family
Xilinx has been shipping software and engineering samples of the Virtex-5 LX Platform to a select group of early access customers since February 2006, making it possible for companies such as Mercury Computer Systems (NASDAQ: MRCY) (Chelmsford, Mass.), a leading provider of high-performance embedded, real-time digital signal and image processing solutions, to immediately begin designing advanced Virtex-5 functionality into next-generation products.

“Using real hardware and early access software tools, we have discovered that it requires less programming effort to achieve high performance with Virtex-5 FPGAs,” said Craig Lund, chief technology officer at Mercury Computer Systems. “These devices will motivate users to shift more of their application into FPGAs. The significant improvements come from the ExpressFabric technology and other innovations added into the 65-nm parts. Mercury is motivated to get these advances quickly into the hands of our customers.”

For nearly a decade, Xilinx customer VMETRO (OSE: VME) (Oslo, Norway) has designed each new generation Virtex FPGA into its high-end embedded computer systems, delivering the highest levels of performance, innovation and reliability to its customers in the aeronautics, defense, telecommunications, medical imaging, semiconductor and seismic industries. VMETRO has utilized Virtex devices since its original 1998 introduction throughout its real-time image inspection and data recording product line, and is already designing its next- generation products with the Virtex-5 LX Platform.

“The Xilinx Early Access Program has enabled VMETRO to quickly get our initial Virtex-5 board-level designs implemented. This quick turnaround is beneficial to our traditional real-time, embedded customers, as higher performance subsystems that consume less power is always a pressing requirement,” said Thomas Nygaard, CTO at VMETRO. “Virtex-5 LX devices address both of these key needs. The Virtex-5 ExpressFabric technology provides performance gains of up to 30 percent, while the power-saving IP block features enable our customers to design more powerful subsystems in the same or smaller footprint without sacrificing performance.”

Partner Solutions Available Today
Based on the vast partner ecosystem developed through nearly a decade of Virtex Series innovation, Xilinx has collaborated closely with partners to produce design tools and evaluation boards specifically designed to optimize the new features of the Virtex-5 architecture.

Pricing and Availability
Early access software for Virtex-5 FPGAs is available now, with general availability in June 2006. Virtex-5 LX FPGA engineering samples are shipping now in the LX50, LX85 and LX110 densities, with the LX30, LX220, and LX330 to follow over the next six months. At customer production timeframes in 2008, the LX50 device will list for $149, the LX85 device will list for $279, and the LX110 device will list at $399, all in 1,000 unit volumes. These price points represent savings of more than 50 percent over offerings of other competitive 90-nm FPGAs. For even further cost reductions, the Virtex-5 EasyPath(TM) program will be available at time of volume production beginning in 2008.

About Xilinx
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions.