Today, Xilinx welcomed a new family and three new devices into the growing line of Zynq-7000 SoCs and Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoCs. The new family is called the Zynq Z-7000S family and the three new devices are the Zynq Z-7007S, Z7012S, and Z7014S. The three devices in the Zynq Z7000S family target smaller embedded designs and are therefore smaller and slower than other members of the Zynq Z-7000 SoC family—but only in a relative sense. These devices still offer the performance-boosting goodness of on-chip programmable logic just like their larger siblings.
The new Zynq Z-7000S family has two key features that differentiate it from the rest of the Zynq SoC device families. First, the members of the family have one ARM Cortex-A9 processor core (as opposed to dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processors in the other Zynq Z-7000 SoC family members). The microprocessor in the Zynq Z-7000S family members also has a maximum clock rate of 766MHz instead of the 866MHz or 1GHz upper bound for the other Zynq Z-7000 SoC family members. Another significant difference is that the three new Zynq Z-7000S family members have fewer on-chip programmable-logic resources than the other Zynq Z-7000 SoC family members.
(Not shown in this table are any of the high-speed serial transceivers incorporated into several of the Zynq Z-7000 devices including the four 6.25Gbps GTP transceivers in the Zynq Z-7012S device.)
According to the 2015 UBM Electronics Embedded Markets Study, more than 50% of embedded system designs use just one microprocessor and that’s been true since 2011. (The percentage was likely higher back when embedded multi-core processors were far less common.) The three new Xilinx Zynq Z-7000S devices now offer designers of these smaller embedded systems alternatives that might well suit their needs when a microprocessor alone just can’t provide the requisite processing oomph needed for a project.
The three Xilinx Zynq Z-7000S family members offer a lower-cost entry point into the Zynq SoC family and the devices’ on-chip programmable logic resources act as universal, programmable I/O ports for any-to-any connectivity and as processor enhancers—application superchargers if you will—that you can harness to provide precisely focused hardware acceleration for specialized embedded tasks such as sensor fusion or video processing. You just cannot do this sort of processing on a microprocessor without blowing your power and cost budgets. Programmable logic gives you far more performance/watt. Further, you’ll be able to create these accelerators using C, C++, or System C using Vivado HLS. The Xilinx Vivado Design Suite will support all Zynq Z-7000S family members starting with the Vivado 2016.3 release.
The dual-core Zynq-7000 devices are very handy when you want to pair an operating system running a GUI with an RTOS in an AMP (asymmetric multiprocessing) configuration and if you need even more performance, I’ll just briefly remind you that Xilinx already has that need covered as well with the 21 devices in the three Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC familes including:
The Zynq UltraScale+ CG device family with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 application processor and a dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 real-time processor
The Zynq UltraScale+ EG device family with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 application processor, a dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 real-time processor, and an ARM Mali-400 GPU
The Zynq UltraScale+ EV device family with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 application processor, a dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 real-time processor, an ARM Mali-400 GPU, and a 4K-capable H.264/H.265 video codec
Finally, because you’ll certainly want to know, Zynq-7000S production devices will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2017, according to today’s announcement.