Basic Introduction About Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA

Artix-7 is a series of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) from Xilinx. It is commonly compared to the Kintex-7, one of the earliest FPGA family series from the brand (Xilinx). Unlike the Kintex-7, the Xilinx Artix 7 is optimized for lower power consumption. The board is also designed to improve the signal processing of the board, easy migration of FPGA building blocks between devices, and usable for high-volume applications.

The Challenges

The Xilinx Artix 7 is designed to address some of the core challenges in the FPGA market. These challenges negate some projects, as the designers find it difficult to completely design the circuit board.

Here are some of the common challenges with designing Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs):

1. Advanced Functionality in a Small Form Factor

There is a need to throw in more components to provide advanced functionality to the circuit board. By using a small factor, it would be more flexible to implement those functionalities even in the smallest space.

2. The Need to Deliver High Performance with Reduced Costs

The other challenge is to deliver the highest performance standards for FPGAs while reducing the cost of completing the project.

3. Bulky Design

There is also a need to use MachineReducing power to reduce the size of the circuit, as a way of making it portable.

Xilinx Artix 7’s Solution

Xilinx came up with the Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA series as a way of resolving some of the recurring challenges with FPGA design. With this new series, designers and consumers can tap into many of its advantages.

FPGA Cost-Optimization and Power-Sensitive Applications

The Xilinx Artix 7 series of FPGAs are optimized for a variety of low-cost and power-sensitive applications. With the MicroBlaze soft core processor, 1,066Mb/s DDR3 support, and over 200DMIPs of power processing; the circuit can deploy fast-tracked applications.

Key Features of the Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA Series

Whether you are a designer or consumer, it is imperative to understand some of the core elements of Xilinx Artix 7. Here are the primary or key features of this series of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs):

1. High-Performance Capabilities

Looking for a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) that offers high performance? The Xilinx Artix 7 series do that. The high performance is bolstered by some key components, such as:

  • Integrated Memory Interface:This is used for streamlining the board’s access to data and video.
  • Dual Input and Output (I/O) options, including single and double I0 standards. These also offer speeds up to 1.25 Gigabytes per second.
  • Improved data/bitstream storage options, including support for SODIMM and the 1,066Mb/s DDR3 memory.

2. Small Package Factor

The need to conserve space while speeding up the function of the FPGA is addressed on the Xilinx Artix 7. On this board, package migration is enabled from one Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA to another in the same family/series.

In addition to this, the manufacturer (Xilinx) integrated low-cost, wire-bond, and chip-scale BGA packaging to enable the compactization of the circuit.

It is also available in a 10 by 10mm package designed to streamline the maximum integration of the FPGA across several systems.

3. Scalable and Secure Connectivity

FPGAs under the Xilinx Artix 7 series boasts a variety of scalable and secure connectivity options that bolster the board’s function. These components, when pooled together, aid in fast-tracking the circuit’s connection to networking infrastructure and next-generation computing.

The components include but are not limited to:

  • 400G High-Speed Crypto Engines used for bolstering the FPGA’s inline network security.
  • 112G PAM4 transceivers are adaptable to both emerging network protocols and modules.
  • 600G Interlaken cores with FEC used for establishing chip-to-chip interconnection.
  • Ethernet cores comprising 100G and 600G. These are used for enabling a wide range of protocols and data rates on the FPGA.

4. Excellent FPGA Development/Ramp-Up

The Xilinx Artix 7 series boast an excellent ramp-up or developmental procedure for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). This is particularly because of the faster development timeframe and low risks, as championed by the Integrated IP blocks.

Designers can start the prototyping almost immediately, thanks to the inclusion of development kits with IP and reference designs. It also comes with integrated wizards that aid in the rapid development of built-in FPGA blocks.

5. Power Reduction

The power or energy expended in designing FPGAs under Xilinx Artix 7 is up to 50% lower than what is obtainable in previous generations. Thus, designers can be confident of working with a 50% total power reduction that is way lower than what the 45nm generations had offered.

Although the power is reduced, the performance is higher. The Xilinx Artix 7 is acclaimed for the 2x improvement in the logic cells, up to 6 times the DSP slices, and an additional 2.5x block RAM. When compared to the Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGAs the Xilinx Artix 7 proves to be efficient because of those properties.

6. Cost Reduction

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) may not always be cheap, especially when more components are to be configured. However, you can get reduced costs when working with the Xilinx Artix 7 FPGAs. For example, there is a reduction in the Bill of Materials (BOM), thanks to the compacted size of the circuit.

The small wire-bond BGA packaging allows consumers to save on the costs of designing a bigger circuit while saving costs on the analog components.

Artix-7 FPGA Product Table

There is a wide range of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) under the Xilinx Artix 7 series. Below is a table showing these FPGAs and the properties that make them unique.

Artix-7 DeviceLogic CellsDSP SlicesMemoryGTP 6.6Gb/s TransceiversI/O Pins
XC7A12T12,800407202150
XC7A15T16,640459004250
XC7A25T23,360801,6204150
XC7A35T33,280901,8004250
XC7A50T52,1601202,7004250
XC7A75T75,5201803,7808300
XC7A100T101,4402404,8608300
XC7A200T215,36074013,14016500

Note:

  • Each of the SDP Slices in the Artix-7 FPGA series contains important components, such as an accumulator, an adder, and a pre-adder. The slices also include a 25 by 18 multiplier.
  • The maximum Input and Output (I/Os) do not include GTX Transceivers.

Advantages of Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA Devices

Looking to know if the Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA is the best for your next design? Here are some of the benefits of investing in this Integrated Circuit (IC):

1. Multiple System Integrations

Integrating an FPGA with one or more systems (both external and internal) helps in tapping into a variety of options to make the design great. With the Xilinx Artix 7, there is no limit to the number of systems that the device can be integrated into and with.

The independent, dual 12-bit, 1MSPS, 17-Channel, Analog-to-Digital converters in the circuit help in this regard. Through this, the implementation and management of analog integrations are enabled on the board.

The analog system capabilities of the Xilinx Artix 7 include:

  • Replacing costly System-on-a-Chip (SoC) functions.
  • Integration of Analog Mixed Signal (AMS) technology.
  • Implementing Analog-to-Digital Conversion.

2. The synergy between Cost-Sensitivity and High-Performance

There is also a synergy between cost reduction and high-performance of the Xilinx Artix 7 Integrated Circuit (IC). By default, it is designed to be used in low-cost applications without sacrificing the performance of the circuit.

3. Fast Deployment

You can start your next Xilinx FPGA-powered project and have it completed in the shortest time possible. The Xilinx Artix 7 is designed to fit into such fast deployment use cases, whereby the kit comes with a MicroBlaze CPU with a 32-bit RISC processor.

The series also offers presets, which designers can use to kick off the project. In addition, the presets can be adapted to different use cases/applications. All the designer has to do is customize the features of the specific processor.

The three (3) core processors on the Xilinx Artix 7 are:

  • Application Processor
  • Microcontroller
  • Real-Time Processor

4. Consistent FPGA Building Blocks

The core building blocks of a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) include BlockRAM, DSP Slices, and Logic Cells. These and many others of the same category are consistent in terms of design. This goes a long way to help the designer in migrating one of the designs to another and using the same design across different use cases.

5. Best-In-Class Bandwidth Applications

The Xilinx Artix 7 series of FPGAs are usable in some of the best bandwidth applications, cutting across compact wireless infrastructure and military products. The circuit is also used in cost-sensitive markets, such as:

  • Consumer electronics
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Industrial applications
  • Communications infrastructure
  • Portable medical equipment

The Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) under Xilinx Artix 7 also fit into the demands of other SWaP-C (Size, Weight, Power, and Cost) markets, such as avionics.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an FPGA that provides advanced dynamics and fits into cost-sensitive markets; the Xilinx Artix 7 does just that. The FPGAs in this series provide the best high bandwidth use cases, as powered by excellent transceivers and signal processing components.

As an FPGA consumer, getting the circuit can cut down the hassles of the project by half. Reach out to us at Rayming Technology (RayPCB) for professional advice and real-time design of your Xilinx Artix 7.

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