FPGA hits 1-GHz benchmark

August 08, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
Xilinx has increased the peak processing performance of the Zynq-7000 programmable SoC FPGA family to 1GHz and is providing smaller packaging for higher system performance.

The new 1 GHz performance benchmark, a 25 percent increase over initial specifications for the two largest Zynq-7000 devices, means the family can meet the performance requirements of even more applications than previously anticipated, especially for systems involving heavy-duty image or signal processing where customers need high-end processing capabilities in a single chip.

“The combination of the processor sub-system running at 1 GHz with the acceleration capability that the tightly coupled programmable logic offers, puts the Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC on par, and often ahead, of competing dual core solutions with higher processor frequencies, and in many cases at lower power,” said Vidya Rajagopalan, Xilinx’s vice president of processing solutions. “A significant factor behind our ability to take the Zynq-7000 family to 1 GHz is Xilinx’s choice of TSMC’s 28nm HPL process, which we are using for our entire 28nm generation to bring the value of low-power with high-performance to customers.”

Test equipment maker Rohde & Schwarz is an early access customer using the first Zynq-7045 for its products. “Using Zynq for our measurement devices gives us an extremely compact physical solution as well as an extremely compact system because software and hardware are closer together than ever before,” said Matthias Goetz, hardware project leader at Rohde & Schwarz. “We especially appreciate the great bandwidth performance between the FPGA and industry standard processing sub-system because it accelerates our processing and system development and it allows us to easily move functions from processor to programmable logic when and where needed.”

The Zynq-7045 device is the largest member of Xilinx’s family of All Programmable SoCs with more than 5 million equivalent ASIC gates (350k logic cells), sixteen 12.5 Gb/s serial transceivers and 1334 GMACS of peak DSP performance. The Zynq-7045 devices pushes programmable systems integration a step further by providing a hard PCIe Gen2 x8 block, (PCIe x8 Gen3 can be implemented using a soft core in the programmable logic), with high