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Today, there are six new FPGAs in the Spartan-7 device family. Want to meet them?

by Xilinx Employee ‎09-27-2016 02:06 PM - edited ‎09-28-2016 07:47 AM (97,210 Views)


Xilinx announced six members in the new Spartan-7 FPGA family today. These devices are the lowest-cost devices in the 28nm Xilinx 7 series and they’re optimized for low, low cost per I/O while delivering terrific performance/watt. Compared to Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGAs, Spartan-7 FPGAs run at half the power consumption (for comparable designs) and with 30% more operating frequency.


Let’s jump right to the good stuff. Here’s the Spartan-7 FPGA device table so you can see what’s inside each of the six devices:



Spartan-7 FPGA Family Table.jpg


Spartan-7 FPGA Family Table



These numbers tell part of the Spartan-7 family story. If you’re comparing the 28nm Spartan-7 family with the older-but-still-popular 45nm Spartan-6 FPGA family, you’ll see that you can get a lot more FPGA in a Spartan-7 device. The smallest Spartan-7 FPGA, the XC7S6, has 6000 logic cells while the smallest Spartan-6 device, the XC6SLX4, has 3840 logic cells. That’s 50% more logic.


However, logical size is not the entire story. There’s also news on the physical front. Spartan-7 device packaging has been engineered specifically for low cost and small size. You can get the new Spartan-7 XC7S6 and XC7S15 in miniscule 8x8mm packages! That’s a tiny 64mm2 of pcb real estate but you still get 86 I/O pins. (Ball pitch is 0.5mm.) Think of what you can do with that sort of I/O capability and where you might tuck one of these puppies into your design. Who knows? You might even want to put a second one in somewhere, just in case.


And, as they say on TV, that’s not all. The Spartan-7 story is also a Vivado Design Suite story—and that’s a pretty big part of this story—because you can use the Vivado Design Suite tools including Vivado HLS to develop FPGA designs based for Spartan-7 devices starting with the 2016.3 release. That includes the no-cost Vivado Design Suite WebPACK Edition. (Vivado HLS allows you to create FPGA designs using C, C++, or SystemC.)


You’ll also want to compare the new Spartan-7 FPGA family members with the existing 28nm Artix-7 devices. Here the biggest differences are that you can get more programmable resources in the larger Artix-7 FPGAs and the Artix-7 devices incorporate two to sixteen 6.6Gbps GTP high-speed serial transceivers. The Spartan-7 devices do not incorporate any serial transceivers. (You can sort of compare the Spartan-7/Artix-7 device relationship to the Spartan-6LX/Spartan-6LXT relationship, if that helps.)


This handy table from the new 7 Series FPGAs Overview product specification further differentiates between the two 28nm families:



Spartan 7 and Artix 7 comparison.jpg


Spartan-7 and Artix-7 FPGA comparison



Spartan-7 FPGAs will begin sampling in the first quarter of 2017.





by Contributor
on ‎09-28-2016 01:43 AM

I think XC6SLX4 has got 3840 logic cells comapred to 6000 of XC7S6. Still nice to see a new chip Smiley Happy

About the Author
  • Be sure to join the Xilinx LinkedIn group to get an update for every new Xcell Daily post! ******************** Steve Leibson is the Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Planning at Xilinx. He started as a system design engineer at HP in the early days of desktop computing, then switched to EDA at Cadnetix, and subsequently became a technical editor for EDN Magazine. He's served as Editor in Chief of EDN Magazine, Embedded Developers Journal, and Microprocessor Report. He has extensive experience in computing, microprocessors, microcontrollers, embedded systems design, design IP, EDA, and programmable logic.