KINTEX 7 FPGA: DESIGNERS’ SOLUTIONS TO LARGE BANDWIDTH PROBLEMS

Are you building an application that requires comprehensive bandwidth communications and radar?

Are you keen on developing cost-effective applications in the automotive industry?

If your answer is yes to those two questions, I have good news. The design of Xilinx kintex 7 FPGA was for you.

Xilinx President & Chief Executive Officer Moshe Gavrielov says, “We are extremely pleased with the customer acceptance of the entire seven series FPGA portfolio. The Kintex-7 325T FPGA design in limited production was  to meet the application need for major customers in the communications market.”

After reading this article, you will be able to decide why communication engineers prefer the Kintex 7 FPGA. This article explains the following in concise detail as regards the Xilinx kintex 7;

  • What Is an FPGA?
  • Why Is The Xilinx kintex 7 FPGA Unique?
  • Applications Of The Xilinx KIntex 7 FPGA.
  • The Kintex 7 Evaluation Board.
  • The Kintex 7 FPGA Configuration.
  • How To Program The Xilinx Kintex 7.

WHAT IS AN FPGA?

Assuming you are new to FPGAs, this might be confusing, but it’s simple.

A field programmable logic gate (FPGA) is an integrated circuit. This integrated circuit is always reprogrammable, depending on the system’s requirements. For example, sometimes, Engineers can reconfigure it to work as a processor or a graphic processing unit (GPU).

The FPGA idea breeds design flexibility. A designer can even reprogram a microcontroller with an FPGA development board. However, the function of the FPGA would depend on the type of hardware design.

  • Field Programmable (FP): The field programmable or “FP” in the FPGA means the designer can program and reprogram the device anywhere.
  • Gate Array (GA): The gate array or “GA” means that the device carries flip-flops and logic gates. The flip flops and logic gates can be in configurable logic blocks (CLBs). These CLBs are, however, interconnected via a matrix of programmable interconnect.

The FPGA uses hardware description languages (HDL) to code designs. Examples of such HDLs are; SystemVerilog, Verilog, and VHDL.

WHAT IS THE XILINX KINTEX 7 FPGA?

The kintex 7 FPGA is one of three product families built on a standard 28nm architecture with DSP ratios. This architectural design is cost-effective and supports maximum power efficiency for high-performance serial connectivity. In addition, it boasts of a scalable optimized architecture.

It also supports the next-generation systems designed for medical, broadcast, and communications markets. Before now,  System engineers agree that latency in high-end applications has always been a big deal in embedded systems.

High-end capabilities require higher bandwidth and require multiple air interfaces with tight latency. It also has a track record of the following supports;

  • It Supports a programmable system integration.
  • Support multiple air interfaces with its system on modules (SOMS).
  • It Supports an advanced extensible interface.
  • Supports AI inference acceleration with flat panel displays and cost adequate packaging.
  • They provide high bandwidth mainstream standards with enhanced image processing.

DESIGN CHALLENGES

Before the inception of the Xilinx kintex 7 FPGA, the preceding FPGA development board had the following design challenges viz;

  • Performance Bottleneck: System engineers dealt with limited processing bandwidth for a lower cost. They also have to deal with high-performance application problems.
  • High Power Consumption: The previous-generation 40nm devices consumed too much power and thus were not too effective.
  • Time To Market: System Engineers were under pressure to reduce development schedules in previous devices.

XILINX SOLUTIONS BY INDUSTRY

  • PERFORMANCE BOTTLENECK
    • Provision of Kintex 7 FPGA family with a 28nm leadership to drive high performance and keep cost low.
    • It also delivers more than 5000 GMACs of fixed-point and 1.3 TFLOPs floating-performance system performance.
    • The Kintex 7 series devices push the limits far beyond traditional DSPs concerning overall performance and performance per watt. In addition, they provided high DSP ratios and a better phase-locked loop system.
    • Designers can now reduce schedule risk and shorten the time to market. Designers can also quickly focus on adding unique value to solutions targeted at wired, wireless communications infrastructure.
  • HIGH POWER CONSUMPTION

Xilinx made a vast improvement by cutting power consumption to about 50% of the initial power consumption of 40nm devices. In addition, it supports granular clock gating that has an UltraScale device and better system packing to reduce dynamic power.

  • COST REDUCTION OF BOM
    • It supports 2,400 Megabytes per second DDR4 in a grade of mid-speed.
    • It Supports the Reduction of BOM costs by about 60%.
    • It allows up to 12.5 Gb per second transceivers to function at the slowest speed.
  • INTEGRATED TARGET DESIGN PLATFORM
    • The Kintex-7 FPGA DSP Kit includes development boards, IO daughter cards, design tools, and reference designs.
    • It also gives designers the industry’s most extensive DSP, video, and floating-point IP blocks portfolio.
    • The Xilinx DSP design platform supports hybrid development solutions that streamline DSP development processes and improve productivity.
  • EASY-TO-USE DESIGN METHODOLOGY
    • Proven, easy-to-use design methods and high-level languages like MATLAB and Simulink.
    • It Supports Better speed implementation and verification of DSP algorithms on FPGAs. In addition, by using evaluation board kits, designers have great control over their FPGA development board.
  • IMPROVED REAL-TIME APPLICATION
    • The Xilinx Kintex 7 has proved critical In intelligent system design because of its flexibility. It allows the complex calculation in lesser time with adaptive computing using ethernet adapters.
    • Also, the system requires deterministic parameters with this board.
  • BETTER SECURITY
    • The design of the Kintex 7 FPGA is to prevent malicious attacks during programming or manufacturing.
    • Vendors also provide their users with security solutions like bitstream encryption to ensure proper system and data security.

APPLICATIONS OF THE XILINX KINTEX 7 FPGA

  • The kintex 7 FPGA is suitable for avionics.
  • It is suitable for baseband solutions.
  • It is also suitable for LED backlight displays and 3DTV.
  • Suitable for applications that require wireless 3G and 4G.
  • Also best for video over IP solutions.
  • Ultra-wide bandwidth communications and radar
  • Custom triggering
  • Real-time vision algorithms
  • Big physics control
  • Medical imaging
  • Software-defined radio
  • Signal intelligence

THE KINTEX 7 EVALUATION BOARD

The Kintex 7 evaluation board provides a hardware environment for developing and evaluating designs. These designs target the Kintex-7 XC7K325T. However, the kintex 7 FPGA KC705 board has features like embedded processing systems, including a DDR3 SODIMM memory.

The board supports other features provided by FPGA Mezzanine Cards (FMCs). The FMCs are attached to either of two VITA-57 FPGA mezzanine connectors provided on the board. Also, the provision of high pin count (HPC) and low pin count (LPC) FMCs is inclusive. The FPGA Mezzanine Connectors (FMC) support scaling and customization with data cards.

FEATURES OF THE XILINX KINTEX 7 FPGA EVALUATION BOARD

  • It has GTX transceivers, including the FMC LPC connector and FMC HPC connector, PCI Express, SMA connectors, etc.
  • Possesses SFP+ Connector
  • Carries a PCI endpoint connectivity.
  • It has status LEDs – This includes FPGA INIT, power good, Ethernet status, and FPGA DONE.
  • Posses a USB-to-UART Bridge
  • Supports 12C bus – This includes 12C mux, HDMI codec, SFP+ connector, 12C EEPROM, etc.
  • Support Secure Digital connector.
  • Clock generation
  • 128 MB BPI flash memory (Linear)
  • 128 MB BPI flash memory (Quad)
  • Power management – This includes PMBus current and voltage monitoring through the TI power controller
  • XADC header
  • Switches – This includes the power off/on the slide switch
  • The FPGA_PROG_B switch
  • Configuration options – This includes BPI flash memory (Linear), SPI flash memory (Quad), and JTAG configuration port for USB

THE KINTEX 7 FPGA CONFIGURATION

The Kintex-7 XC7K325T-2FFGG900C FPGA has the highest population on the KC board. Therefore, it is necessary to talk about its configuration. Each Xilinx kintex 7 FPGA configuration interface works with one or different bus widths and configuration modes. The Xilinx kintex 7 FPGA board accepts three configuration modes of the seven series.

  • JTAG supports a USB cable to connect the host computer to the configuration port of the Kintex board.
  • Master flash memory (BPI) supports the onboard linear flash memory (BPI)
  • Master flash memory (SPI) supports the onboard Quad flash memory (SPI).

WORKING WITH THE PCI EXPRESS EDGE CONNECTOR

The PCI edge connector allows transmission and receipt of datapath with an impedance of about 85 ohms ± 10%. For Gen 1 applications, the data rate is about 2.5 GTs, while it is about 5 GTs for Gen 2 applications. Although, the Kintex 7 325t and the board of the Xilinx kc705 support around eight times Gen 2.

HOW TO PROGRAM THE XILINX KINTEX 7

In time past, the narrative has changed with AI scientists, and software programmers can now program FPGAs. You can make the difference depending on your hardware and software level using the right tools. To program the Xilinx FPGA, follow the simple steps below;

  • Choose Xilinx tools and go to Program FPGA.  
  • Click the Program FPGA
  • Specify the BMM and bitstream files to configure the device.
  • The SDK will then determine the processors in the system. Then, finally, it displays them on a table at the window’s bottom.
  • Then can choose the executable file to start the reset.
  • The program will begin to execute once it is out of reset.
  • You can then choose boot loop.
  • Click program

CONCLUSION

The Xilinx Kintex 7 design the best performance per watt with low power consumption. Xilinx has assisted designers in avionics and applications requiring high-end capabilities to improve its structure at a better cost.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Does the Xilinx kintex 7 board support a wide range of data acquisition since it is perfect for signal processing?

A: YES! The board’s design allows designers explicitly to perform dialysis or calibration processes.

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