Xilinx Introduces Spartan-DSP

Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX), introduced the low-cost Spartan(TM)-DSP series with development boards and enhanced design software, significantly expanding its offering of XtremeDSP(TM) solutions and establishing a new price-performance-power triad for digital signal processing (DSP). The Spartan-DSP series provides high DSP performance at the lowest cost points in the FPGA industry, delivering over 20 GMACS for under $30, while consuming up to 50 percent less dynamic power than other high-performance reconfigurable devices for DSP functions at this performance point.

With the addition of the new Spartan-DSP series, the XtremeDSP silicon portfolio offers three DSP-optimized platforms with a wide array of devices that provide DSP engineers with the flexibility to choose the right mix of features to match application requirements and easily migrate designs between platforms. As the first platform in the Spartan-DSP series, the Spartan-3A DSP platform provides the most cost-efficient devices optimized for wireless, video and consumer applications. This complements the higher performance processing of the Virtex(TM)-DSP series with the Virtex-4 SX and Virtex-5 SXT platforms targeted at high-end applications such as wireless base station and high-definition video including surveillance, broadcast and 3D medical imaging.

“Over the past few years, signal processing markets have demanded higher performance, cheaper DSP devices. Vendors also require delivery of complete platforms, IP and design environments to accelerate their time-to-market,” stated Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts. “With the new Spartan-DSP series and expanded line-up of XtremeDSP solutions, Xilinx is able to scale the performance and power advantages of their device portfolio to unprecedented price-performance points. This opens a range of new exciting applications that Xilinx and its customers can tap to grow their markets.”

These latest offerings facilitate a more efficient implementation of FPGA-programmable DSP co-processing platforms, a growing trend. FPGAs often complement programmable DSPs like the Texas Instrument TMS320 family in signal processing systems to implement system logic multiplexing and consolidation, new peripheral or bus interfaces, and performance accelerators in the signal processing chain. Further, the Spartan-3A DSP devices are part of the company’s platform-based DSP strategy and XtremeDSP solutions roadmap, which are supported with a comprehensive ecosystem of third-party DSP product and service providers.

New XtremeDSP Portfolio Member: Spartan-3A DSP Platform
The Spartan-3A DSP platform features the 3SD3400A device delivering over 30 GMACS and 2200 Gbps memory bandwidth and the 3SD1800A device with over 20 GMACS and 1500 Gbps memory. At the heart of the Spartan-3A DSP architecture is the new cost-optimized XtremeDSP slice (DSP48A) that enables designers to implement many independent arithmetic functions. The architecture also supports connecting multiple DSP48A slices to form wide math functions, DSP filters, and complex arithmetic functions without the use of general logic fabric, thereby reducing power consumption while delivering very high performance and efficient silicon utilization. The new DSP48A slice reduces power in common FIR filters by 50 percent compared to other high-performance reconfigurable devices.

“Xilinx innovation provides Vecima with the opportunity to do more for our customers in a more cost effective package,” said Scott Davis, director of technology strategy for Vecima Networks, Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of communications products. “Integrating DSP slices into Spartan-3A devices allows us to more efficiently use programmable logic in our WiMax, DOCSIS, and digital video solutions.”

In addition to the XtremeDSP DSP48A slice, the Spartan-3A DSP platform delivers up to 53,712 logic cells, 2268 Kbits of performance-enhanced Block RAM (BRAM), and 373 Kbits of distributed RAM that collectively can be configured to optimize a broad range of signal processing requirements.

Flexible, Easy-to-Use XtremeDSP Design Flow & Library
The new 9.1i releases of the Xilinx System Generator for DSP and AccelDSP(TM) synthesis software support industry approaches for designing Spartan3A-DSP devices as co-processing engines with digital signal processors or as standalone system platforms. System Generator for DSP is a high-level tool for the design, verification and debug of high-performance DSP systems, including seamless interoperability with Simulink(R) software from The MathWorks, Inc. AccelDSP is a high-level MATLAB language-based tool for designing DSP modules targeting Xilinx devices. Used in conjunction with the Xilinx library of signal processing intellectual property (IP) optimized for both basic and application-specific functions, these tool suites provide a comprehensive DSP development environment that does not require expertise in hardware description languages.

Pricing and Availability
The new Spartan-DSP series targets cost-sensitive, high-performance signal processing applications. Engineering samples are now shipping for the Spartan-3A DSP platform with the 3SD3400A device immediately available and the 3SD1800A device to follow later this quarter. The 3SD3400A device is priced at USD $44.95 and the 3SD1800A device at USD $29.85.

Designers can immediately begin designing with full support today for the XtremeDSP device portfolio with the 9.1i releases of System Generator for DSP suite for USD $995, AccelDSP synthesis tool for USD $4,995, and ISE Foundation(TM) for USD $2,495. To further jump start development, Xilinx is offering the Spartan-3A DSP development board with the 3SD3400A device for USD $1,095. In addition, Xilinx will ship off-the-shelf kits over the next two quarters tailored for wireless and multimedia video applications. These include the Spartan-3A DSP Editions of the XtremeDSP Starter Kit, XtremeDSP Video Developer Kit, and XtremeDSP Co-processing Kit.

About Xilinx XtremeDSP Solutions
Xilinx is the world’s leading supplier of high-performance reconfigurable DSP solutions optimized for performance, price and power. Xilinx XtremeDSP solutions come complete with silicon platforms, design tools, development boards and kits, reference designs and a host of signal processing IP for wireless and multimedia video applications. The XtremeDSP silicon portfolio delivers maximum flexibility with three device platforms: the Virtex-4 SX platform with over 250 GMACS at 500MHz, Virtex-5 SXT platform for ultra-high bandwidth with over 350 GMACS at 550MHz and integrated low-power serial connectivity, and the Spartan-3A DSP platform with the most price-performance optimized devices offering over 30 GMACS at 250MHz.

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