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Xilinx touts 'first' 90nm non-volatile FPGA platform

Posted: 15 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flash memory? FPGA? Spartan? Xilinx? xx?

Spartan-3AN FPGA solutions from Xilinx

Xilinx Inc. has extended its multiplatform strategy with the Spartan-3AN FPGA platform, touted to be the industry's most advanced non-volatile FPGA solution.

Built on the company's 90nm Spartan-3 Generation low-cost FPGA fabric, the new platform combines in a single chip the performance and functionality of SRAM-based technology and the reliability of non-volatile flash technology. With a large user flash memory and enhanced security capabilities, this new platform is targeted at non-volatile applications where higher system integration or security is critical. With up to 1,000X more on-chip user flash compared to its nearest competitor, according to Xilinx, the Spartan-3AN platform promises high system flexibility.

"Our newest addition to the Spartan-3 Generation serves space-sensitive applications requiring non-volatile single-chip solutions, including such key areas as multimedia encoding and decoding, data compression/decompression, and MCU applications," said Christophe Chene, senior director of marketing for the general products division at Xilinx. "The combination of our programmable platform and embedded flash technology provides the most flexible, reliable and cost-effective solution for these types of dynamic applications."

Flexible, low-cost security
The Spartan-3AN platform has a range of device security features that safeguard against reverse engineering, cloning and unauthorized overbuilding. It builds on the company's Device DNA technology to provide a low-cost and effective mechanism for authenticating a valid design and ensuring a flexible design level security. Designers have full flexibility in customizing algorithms for both authentication as well as responses to authentication failures. With its embedded flash, the Spartan-3AN platform further enhances security by hiding any configuration communication from the outside, making it difficult to understand the design contained within the FPGA.

The new platform's advanced flash technology takes Device DNA to a new level, offering factory flash ID and flash user field. The factory flash ID is very similar to the Device DNA serial number, with a unique factory set ID that is different in every flash device, offering a 64byte long word that can be read and added into the authentication algorithm. The flash user field is a one-time-programmable 64byte word that can be used to store the authentication result. The user field can also be used to store revision tracking serial numbers or user data constants that will never be changed in the system.

Spartan-3AN uses advanced serial flash technology to provide a 20-year data retention and 100,000 write/erase cycles. The on-chip flash reduces cost and footprint size with up to 11Mbit of user flash for embedded and storage applications, as well as eliminating the need for external memory. In addition, fine-grained protection as well as lockdown and erase functions enable real-time control capabilities.

Dual-mode power management
The new platform is also the first 90nm non-volatile FPGA to offer dual-mode power management, the company said. In suspend mode, it promises more than 40 percent power reduction and a wake up time of less than 100ms, as well as system-level synchronization across time domains. In hibernate mode, it achieves up to 99 percent static power reduction.

The Spartan-3AN platform is available in five non-volatile device options. Configurations range from 50,000 to 1.4M system gates with up to 576Kbit block RAM, 16Mbit total embedded flash and up to 502 I/Os supporting 26 popular I/O protocol standards. In addition, FPGA capabilities such as digital clock managers, multipliers and low power modes make these devices suitable for bridging, memory interfacing, digital signal co-processing and embedded control applications. All devices are pin-compatible with Spartan-3A FPGAs.

Customers can immediately begin designing systems with Spartan-3AN FPGAs using the ISE 9.1i design tool suite and Spartan-3 Generation library of application-specific IP.

Engineering samples are shipping for the XC3S200AN, XC3S700AN and XC3S1400AN devices. All five devices will be in production Q3 2007. At customer production timeframes at the end of 2007, Spartan-3AN devices will offer designers over 4,000 logic cells and 195 I/O for $4.90, resulting in the world's first integrated FPGA offering 4Mbits of flash for under $5.00, according to Xilinx.




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