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Visitor ashinn
Visitor
4,775 Views
Registered: ‎01-07-2015

Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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We have a design that was developed for the XC6SLX25, we want to move to the Artix-7 to save power.  Can we realistically expect to save power by migrating the design into an Artix-7?

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Instructor
Instructor
8,575 Views
Registered: ‎08-14-2007

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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It probably depends a lot on your design.  For example if you are using the MCB for external DDR memory in Spartan-6, the fabric-based MIG solution in Artix-7 may draw more power.  Also I believe the static power dissipation is higher in Artix-7, so if your current power draw is not heavily dominated by dynamic power there may not be so much savings.

 

One way to find out is to re-target the design and run the power analyzer.  You could do this in ISE if you target the XC7A100T.  The dynamic power in the smaller Artix parts would be similar and you can figure out the difference in static power by looking at the Artix-7 data sheet.  Ideally you'd want to port the design to the actual part, which requires moving to Vivado.  That is a lot of work up front, but if you do decide to move to Artix-7 you'd need to move to Vivado anyway.

 

Finally be aware that the 7-series part numbering scheme is different from Spartan-6.  So check the actual number of LUTs in the desired part (slices * 4).  For example the XC7A50T does not have 50K LUTs, but about 33K LUTs.  Also remember that without the MCB you'd need more internal fabric logic to handle external memory.

-- Gabor
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7 Replies
Instructor
Instructor
8,576 Views
Registered: ‎08-14-2007

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

Jump to solution

It probably depends a lot on your design.  For example if you are using the MCB for external DDR memory in Spartan-6, the fabric-based MIG solution in Artix-7 may draw more power.  Also I believe the static power dissipation is higher in Artix-7, so if your current power draw is not heavily dominated by dynamic power there may not be so much savings.

 

One way to find out is to re-target the design and run the power analyzer.  You could do this in ISE if you target the XC7A100T.  The dynamic power in the smaller Artix parts would be similar and you can figure out the difference in static power by looking at the Artix-7 data sheet.  Ideally you'd want to port the design to the actual part, which requires moving to Vivado.  That is a lot of work up front, but if you do decide to move to Artix-7 you'd need to move to Vivado anyway.

 

Finally be aware that the 7-series part numbering scheme is different from Spartan-6.  So check the actual number of LUTs in the desired part (slices * 4).  For example the XC7A50T does not have 50K LUTs, but about 33K LUTs.  Also remember that without the MCB you'd need more internal fabric logic to handle external memory.

-- Gabor
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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
4,740 Views
Registered: ‎08-01-2012

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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Spartan 6 to Artix-7 In between Artix-7 and Spartan-6 the power saving is dependent upon application type and requirement.

The Spartan-6 family is the industry's low-cost leader and an ideal fit for simple to moderately complex bridging functions found in a range of applications; this includes such market segments as infotainment and consumer/industrial automation. In addition to high I/O-to-logic-cell ratios and small form-factor package offerings, this device family offers best-in-class DSP and logic fabric performance that meet the power requirements for many cost-sensitive systems

Artix-7 family offers exceptional performance per watt. The Artix-7 family leads the industry in nearly every aspect of performance in a low-end device, including logic fabric performance, memory line rates, and signal processing bandwidth. One of the greatest distinctions of the Artix-7 FPGA is its array of transceivers. With line rates exceeding 6 Gb/s, the family offers the industry’s smallest and fastest transceiver-based devices available in 10x10 mm packaging, making it an ideal low-cost alternative for bandwidth-sensitive applications that might otherwise require more costly mid-range solutions.

 

The foot note is that the Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGAs deliver I/O optimization dominantly; the Artix-7 FPGAs deliver transceiver optimization dominantly.  Please refer the below white paper for more details.

http://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/white_papers/wp460_LE_BOM.pdf

 

I believe migrating from Spartan-6 to Artix-7 is good idea. For absolute confirmation of Product/Device selections issues please contact our Xilinx/Distributors Field Application Engineers (FAE). They will help you in better way for device selection. You can get contact details of them from the following link http://www.xilinx.com/company/sales/ww_disti.htm. (That link can guide to http://www.xilinx.com/company/contact/auth-disti-table.htm)

 

The below documents also helpful for you with respect to power saving in Artix-7

http://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/white_papers/wp373_V7_K7_A7_Devices.pdf

http://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/white_papers/wp423-Reducing-Sys-Power-Cost-28nm.pdf

http://www.xilinx.com/video/fpga/reducing-system-power-cost-artix-7.html

________________________________________________

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Visitor ashinn
Visitor
4,717 Views
Registered: ‎01-07-2015

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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Hi gszakacs, we are using PSRAM of around 8M x 16, not very high speed 70nS.  We are using Micron part MT45W8MW16BGX which has gone obsolete, we need to replace this memory with something newer, what is recommended for the Artix-7?

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Visitor ashinn
Visitor
4,716 Views
Registered: ‎01-07-2015

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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Hi umamahe,

 

thank you fro the reply, I will be digesting the information you provided.  It is appreciated.

 

Andrew

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Visitor ashinn
Visitor
4,715 Views
Registered: ‎01-07-2015

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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Sorry, I neglected to say thank you for your response, it is appreciated. Andrew
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Scholar u4223374
Scholar
4,713 Views
Registered: ‎04-26-2015

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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Could I ask what the RAM is used for? If it's memory for a soft-processor (eg. Microblaze), then perhaps Zynq might be a good option. You could run the ARM cores at a very low frequency and still beat Microblaze performance, and of course the Zynq does have a built-in memory controller.

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Visitor ashinn
Visitor
4,707 Views
Registered: ‎01-07-2015

Re: Want to migrate Spartan 6 to Artix-7

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Hi u4223374,

 

Thank you for your reply,

 

yes the psram is used for Microblaze memory.

 

Andrew

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