Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) announced the Spartan(TM)-3AN FPGA platform, an expansion of its multi-platform strategy, and the industry’s most advanced non-volatile Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) solution. Built on its proven 90nm Spartan-3 Generation low-cost FPGA fabric, the new platform combines the performance and functionality advantages of SRAM-based technology with reliable non-volatile flash technology in a single-chip solution. With the industry’s largest user flash memory and enhanced security capabilities, this new platform is optimized specifically for non-volatile applications where higher system integration or security is critical. With up to 1,000X more on-chip user flash as compared to its nearest competitor, the Spartan-3AN platform offers unprecedented system flexibility, significantly outperforming competing non-volatile FPGAs.
“Our newest addition to the Spartan-3 Generation serves space-sensitive applications requiring non-volatile single-chip solutions, including such key areas as multimedia encoding and decoding, data compression/decompression, and microcontroller applications,” said Christophe Chene, senior director of marketing for the General Products Division at Xilinx. “The combination of our programmable platform and embedded flash technology provide the most flexible, reliable and cost-effective solution for these types of dynamic applications.”
“Embedded non-volatile memory is becoming a key requirement in an increasing range of systems across the entire spectrum of applications,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst from iSuppli. “In addition to the programmable and system-level integration benefits, products such as the Spartan-3AN also address significant issues for chip designers in the areas of design security and authentication.”
Flexible Low-Cost Security
The Spartan-3AN platform offers a range of device security features that safeguard against reverse engineering, cloning, and unauthorized overbuilding. It builds on Xilinx Device DNA technology to provide a low-cost and effective mechanism for authenticating a valid design and ensuring a flexible design level security. Designers have full flexibility in customizing algorithms for both authentication as well as responses to authentication failures. With its embedded flash, the Spartan-3AN platform further optimizes security by hiding any configuration communication from the outside, making it extremely difficult to understand the design contained within the FPGA.
“The new Xilinx Spartan-3AN domain-optimized FPGAs have already given us considerable cost and time-to-market advantages,” said Bo Lindquist, CEO of A2B, a leading manufacturer of electronic equipment for distribution and communication of TV, radio, and data signals headquartered in Sweden. “The new anti-cloning security feature in this family is a critical element for protecting the IP of our next generation digital-TV and cable-TV products.”
The advanced flash technology of the Spartan-3AN platform takes the DeviceDNA feature to a new level, offering factory flash ID and flash user field. The factory flash ID is very similar to the Device DNA serial number, with a unique factory set ID that is different in every flash device, offering a 64 byte long word that can be read and added into the authentication algorithm. The flash user field is a one time programmable 64 byte word that can be used to store the authentication result. The user field can also be used to store revision tracking serial numbers or user data constants that will never be changed in the system.
Non-volatile FPGAs with No Compromises
The Spartan-3AN platform uses advanced serial flash technology to set a new standard for non-volatile FPGAs with 20-year data retention and 100,000 write/erase cycles, providing up to 1,000X write/erase cycles than competitive offerings. The on-chip flash reduces cost and footprint size with up to 11Mb of user flash for embedded and storage applications, as well as eliminating the need for external memory. In addition, fine-grained protection as well as lockdown and erase functions enable real-time control capabilities.
The Spartan-3AN platform is also the first 90nm non-volatile FPGA to offer dual-mode power management. In suspend mode, it achieves more than 40 percent power reduction and wake up time of less than 100 milliseconds, as well as system-level synchronization across time domains. In hibernate mode, it achieves up to 99 percent static power reduction.
Next-Generation Configuration Management
The Spartan-3AN platform provides a flexible, cost-effective approach to address the non-volatile needs of rapidly changing industries. Designers can build a single device while managing a variety of different feature sets with multiple configurations. The capacity of Spartan-3AN devices makes it possible for designers to store multiple configurations and dynamically select between configuration files.
Multiple configurations also can be used to support diagnostic nodes, feature upgrades, and complete product differentiation while using the same hardware design. Decisions such as protocols, buses, and the number of interfaces can all be dynamically changed to address new market requirements. The built-in multiboot feature, which allows virtually infinite re-configurations, lowers overall system cost and facilitates easier field upgrades.
About Spartan-3AN FPGAs
The Spartan-3AN platform is available in five non-volatile device options. Configurations range from 50K to 1.4M system gates with up to 576Kb block RAM, 16Mb total embedded flash, and up to 502 I/Os supporting 26 popular I/O protocol standards, In addition, unique FPGA capabilities such as digital clock managers (DCMs), multipliers, and low power modes make these devices ideal for bridging, memory interfacing, digital signal co-processing and embedded control applications. All devices are pin-compatible with Spartan-3A FPGAs.
Pricing and Availability
Customers can immediately begin designing systems with Spartan-3AN FPGAs using the ISE(TM) 9.1i design tool suite and Spartan-3 Generation library of application-specific IP. Engineering samples are shipping now for the XC3S200AN, XC3S700AN and XC3S1400AN devices with all five devices in production by Q3 2007. At customer production timeframes at the end of 2007, Spartan-3AN devices will offer designers over 4,000 logic cells and 195 I/O for USD $4.90, resulting in the world’s first integrated FPGA offering 4Mbits of flash for under $5.00.
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions.