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FPGAs cut system costs in car infotainment apps

Posted: 05 Mar 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA? automotive? networking? interface?

XA Spartan-6 FPGA

Xilinx Inc. has unveiled the Xilinx Automotive (XA) family of Spartan-6 FPGAs optimized for applications requiring high-speed connectivity and high-resolution video performance. These automotive-qualified devices provide the flexibility, scalability, and integration needed to reduce the system cost of automotive infotainment, driver assistance, driver information, and in-vehicle networking products.

XA Spartan-6 FPGAs also provide the silicon foundation for the Xilinx Infotainment Companion Chip Targeted Design Platform that will be introduced later this year. Automotive developers will be able to rapidly scale their infotainment designs with XA Spartan-6 FPGAs as companion chips to standard processors or ASSPs.

"Automotive developers today are being driven to enhance the user experience with next-generation infotainment, driver assistance and driver information applications. But, they must do so with fewer resources, tighter budgets, and shorter market windows," said Harvey Steele, VP, automotive, consumer and ISM business at Xilinx. "XA Spartan-6 FPGAs address the technical challenge through a scalable architecture, increased connectivity options, and higher integration, delivered with industry-leading quality and value. With our targeted design platform approach, we're also making it easier to develop with our new devices and reduce overall system cost."

XA Spartan-6 FPGAs provide a cost-optimized mix of logic and integrated features with a range of density and package options that enable developers to scale designs across multiple vehicle platforms. XA Spartan-6 LX FPGAs offer up to 75K logic cells, 3.1Mbit of block RAM, 132 dedicated DSP slices for massive parallel processing at 250MHz, and support memory access rates of up to 800Mbit/s using integrated memory controllers. The hard-coded memory controllers and increased memory capacity of these devices enable fast buffering of video frames for vision-based driver assistance, infotainment and hybrid driver information systems.

XA Spartan-6 LXT FPGAs with embedded 3.125Gbit/s low-power serial transceivers and PCIe interface cores are ideal for chip-to-chip communications in automotive infotainment systems. The high-speed interface capabilities and high clock speeds of these devices are also well suited to the low-cost camera interfacing and processing performance requirements of driver assistance applications. Multiple high-bandwidth video links can be integrated on a single device using the new Automotive Pixel Link (APIX) core optimized for XA Spartan-6 FPGAs also announced separately today.

Companion chip support
The Xilinx Infotainment Companion Chip Targeted Design Platform demonstration highlights the flexibility of XA Spartan-6 FPGAs to support simple to complex companion chip architectures and accommodate automotive-specific requirements not addressed by many popular host processors. Specialized interfacing and high-speed processing tasks can be offloaded from the base processor to the FPGA for optimal system partitioning and maximum performance.

Pre-configured hardware and software building blocks, developed by long-time Xilinx Alliance member Xylon, accelerate system design with automotive-specific interfaces and peripherals, along with a wide range of IP for video capture and processing, graphics acceleration and display, and in-vehicle networking functions. The platform eases plug-and-play development with daughter cards, expansion slots for interface customization, and connections to various host processors through generic serial/parallel data ports, USB, and industry-standard PCIe serial interfaces. The platform can be tailored for a broad range of application designs with minimal re-engineering.

Shipments of select XA Spartan-6 FPGAs will commence in 2H 10. All devices can be ordered in a variety densities and packaging options. Details on pricing and delivery lead times are available through Xilinx sales representatives.

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