Last February Xilinx presented a prototype device at the 2014 IEEE international Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC, titled “A Heterogeneous 3D-IC Consisting of Two 28nm FPGA Die and 32 Reconfigurable High-Performance Data Converters” and click here to get a copy of the paper. Let me just share the intro my dear reader…
“In this paper, we demonstrate an aggregate using sixteen 16-b DAC instances running at 1.6GS/s with an FPGA-to-die interface power of 0.3mW/Gb/s. We introduce a reconfigurable receive system that allows channel count to trade with system sample rate. Specifically we demonstrate a 500MS/s ADC by interleaving four 125MS/s units.”
The device is the most innovative and in my humble opinion, is the silicon device of the decade. The device demonstrates so much of what Xilinx is; the premier leader in Programmable Logic, no one else comes close and this is a glimpse of what goes on behind the wonderful doors at Xilinx. Since pictures speak a thousand words, the block diagram of the REAL Silicon device is shown below. Xilinx is not in the propaganda business, and once again here is proof. The device is a fully programmable Analogue FPGA. It is absolutely astounding.
This ‘AFPGA’ (Analogue FPGA) has Integrated ADCs, DACs, PCIe, Gigabit transceivers, and the kitchen sink. Think about it, this ‘Chip’ would have taken a few Circuit Boards to build a few years ago. Xilinx demonstrated its ground breaking 3D IC technology/ Stacked Silicon Interconnect once again by integrating two Virtex-7 350T’s and built the most advanced programmable device in existence. Think about what you could do with this device.
Since I am a RADAR/EW fella, I think Digital RF Memory immediately. How about software defined radio on a chip? Awesome FPGA for UAVs, and TR modules in AESA RADAR Arrays. The bottom line is all systems have analogue sensor data that eventually feeds FPGAs. This major step in system integration not only reduces the BOM, but power drops as well.
“This solution completely integrates the FPGA-data converter interface with a measured power of only 0.3mW/Gb/s, which is about 2 orders of magnitude improvement compared to discrete data converter interfaces.”
Can you say wow? I mean I’m am giddy over this FPGA, it’s like meeting the wife all over again. Do not tell her I said that…
This is no sissy device by the way, it performs very well as show below.
Above is a picture of the real device. What does all this mean? Well the FPGA blob strikes again and as expected more devices are consumed by the FPGA. Xilinx devices truly are Open Programmable Hardware. While this prototype device may never see a real design likened to the test cars at the car shows, Xilinx’s innovation cannot be denied. While this is not an ADI, TI or E2V device, but that is not the point. Someone had to take the risk of building and integrating such a device. Simple to design in Power Point, but certainly much different building this wonder on the fab. May I say Xilinx, well done and keep the innovation coming. Now if I’m lucky I’ll get my hands on one of these and perhaps make my ‘Bird RADAR’ dream a reality…