20nm FPGA follows successful production of 28nm
Are you a high-end hardware board designer trying to
squeeze maximum MIPS performance per square mm, and you
are still not using FPGA in your designs which undergoes
changes very frequently, then you are missing something
important. Also, if your product volumes are not high, then
you might be failing in achieving value for money in your
designs without having FPGAs. Only exceptional is battery
powered mobile device development where still FPGA is not
At 28nm, FPGA is becoming very essential for high-speed
logic and communication system design. Now Both Xilinx and
Altera are shipping 28nm FPGA for most of the application
categories. Both Xilinx and Altera have announced 20nm FPGA
launch. Xilinx claims it has lead over its competitors in
many aspects of FPGA performance at same node.
Neeraj Varma, Country Manager, Xilinx India shared below
points on the success of 28nm 7-series and launch of 20nm
family which are called as 8-series:
Neeraj says "28nm gave us a very solid foundation, both
at 28nm and 20nm SoC and 3D ICs are key differentiators.
Xilinx is the Only FPGA vendor who has optimized performance
per watt and we shipping ARTIX, KINTEX, VIRTEX, in volumes".
"In defense series we are generation ahead in terms of memory
performance, transceiver performance, DSP performance and
the capacity and almost half 50% low power compared to our
competition. If you look at the all programmable SoC, we
shipped our SoC late last year, our competition literally
has nothing. they are atleast in our estimation a year behind
us in similar product.", adds Neeraj.
Zync has been exceptionally successful product. Xilinx never
had such success in any of its family before, as per Neeraj.
On 2.5D/3D ICs which are launched late last year the product
has ramped significantly. It is not only used in VLSI design
prototyping but also in telecom applications where some
volume shipping happens. Neeraj says Xilinx competitor (mainly
Altera) is still making test-chips.
Another differentiator Xilinx offering is powerful FPGA
programming software suite called Vivado. Customers adopted
Vivado in big way. According to Neeraj, the design time
was brought down from 2/3 months to 2/3 weeks using Vivado.
Vivado is a complete EDA tool for FPGA supporting 3rd party
IP integration, IP reuse and remote team support.
Xilinx 3D IC offerings include both homogenous and heterogeneous
The benefits of 20nm FPGAs which include traditional FPGAs,
Hard IP integrated SoC and 2.5D interposer technology based
FPGA ICs are:
30-50% improvement in price/performance
Doubling the capability of Analog and mixed signal
SoC will feature heterogeneous multi cores
20nm 3D ICs to feature FPGA, transceiver and memory blocks
stacked in one package.
Power consumption cut nearly by half compared to 28nm.
For communication equipment design, 20nm FPGA will increase
port/board and decrease cost/port.
Hard IP integrated FPGA chips can offer better image and
video processing in 20nm node.
3D FPGA at 20nm useful for next generation smart networks
operating from 100G to 400G.
3D Die to die interconnect is increased by 5x in 20nm chips
and the interface going to be industry standard so that
any die can be connected.
Transceivers at 20nm to handle 56 Gbits/sec.
A 3D 20nm FPGA offers 30 to 40 ASIC million gates.
To top all these benefits Vivado design software wires 30
million+ gates faster and better.
Well, is all this great technology generating sales revenue!
Xilinx is winning 70% designs and high growth in revenues
are estimated in 2013 for 28nm, as per Neeraj.
As 20nm technology becomes mainstream and 3D IC integration
matures, programmable silicon might become inevitable nearly
in all applications except some portable electronic devices
which runs on battery for days without charging.