There are several reasons to use Domain Specific Hardware (DSH) over a general-purpose CPU. These include the lower price, higher maturity, and broader target market. Let’s examine each. Read on to learn more about the advantages of Versal Xilinx over other DSPs. Finally, this article will discuss why Versal Xilinx is better for your next DSP project.
Xilinx Versal is a Domain-Specific Hardware
The Versal family of processors is designed to meet the needs of the growing AI computing industry, with performance, connectivity, bandwidth, and integration that can scale to the highest-demand applications. These processors include a new AI Engine, which supports low-latency AI inference, and Versal Adaptable Hardware Engines, which deliver power and performance. Developed on TSMC’s 7-nanometer FinFET process technology, Versal combines software programmability with domain-specific hardware acceleration to enable faster applications.
The Versal family of processors is built on TSMC’s 7-nanometer FinFET process technology, providing the best in class performance per watt. In addition, they support world-class SerDes, including single-channel 112G SerDes for next-generation NIC to TOR links and dynamic reconfiguration and redeployment. For decades, Xilinx has been a leading provider of programmable digital hardware and is the first company to combine four key technologies in one chip. These include direct-RF sampling ADC, integrated SD-FEC codes, and high-density vector-based DSP.
The Versal platform includes dedicated hardware and adaptable interface logic to access external host processors easily. In addition, Versal consists of a standard interface to the host CPU, which we refer to as the shell. The Versal platform includes a PCIe Gen4x16 interface, advanced functional safety, security features, and a fully compliant CCIX and ARM interface.
The Xilinx Versal devices can address the demands of automotive ADAS/AD systems. With their high compute efficiency and standardized interfaces, the Versal devices have helped drive down cost and power for automotive ADAS systems.
The Versal ACAP architecture provides adaptive acceleration hardware with software programmability and flexible NoC technology. In addition, the Versal ACAP architecture integrates all engines and key interfaces, enabling developers to quickly respond to changing market demands and the latest technology trends. With Versal ACAP, engineers can easily create high-performance algorithms and adapt their algorithms to suit a variety of workloads.
It is cheaper
The Versal programmable engines are Xilinx’s latest additions. The Versal architecture has many hard blocks, including DDR and HBM. Moreover, Versal also supports ARM processors and PCIe. Depending on the need, the processor’s hard blocks can work with different segments. Although Versal processors are more expensive than xilinx Spartan 6 ‘s, they are worth considering for your next design.
Xilinx has shifted its strategy from a chip provider to a platform provider. Versal ACAPs come with advanced toolkit libraries that enable engineers to program the chip without knowing its underlying hardware. Instead, hardware engineers use the Vivado toolset, which supports circuit design at the register-transfer level. Xilinx FPGA has also released a data center application toolset, the Xilinx Vitis.
The Versal AI series will ship with an AI engine, allowing designers to use the Xilinx software stack to build deep learning applications. The AI engine can achieve the same inference capabilities within 7ms, while the other Versal AI cores can do it within two minutes. Versal AI Core will ship in the second half of 2019, while the Versal AI Prime and Edge product families will begin shipping in 2020.
Versal ACAP is an Adaptive Computing Acceleration Platform, and Xilinx uses the ACAP architecture for its new chip. As a result, it is entirely software programmable and supports the Vitis IDE, allowing any programmer to deploy their applications to Versal. In addition, Xilinx’s Versal ACAP architecture is ideal for a 7nm production process, which halves transistor dimensions.
It is more mature
Explicitly designed for cloud and telco applications, the Versal Premium series features three times the bandwidth and double the compute density compared to previous models. In addition, they are built on the adaptive compute acceleration platform, which combines programmable logic with scalar and intelligent engines to power applications. The new generation also includes programmable logic accelerators and hard IP blocks for connectivity.
The Xilinx Versal ACAPs are ideal for AI and DSP tasks. They can handle both types of workload, including training and inference. While they may not be equally effective for each, Xilinx has been developing its Versal devices to support both workloads. By doing this, they have reconfigured the core and are calling these engines AIE-ML engines.
In addition to a multi-year roadmap, the Xilinx Versal Premium series will have seven devices ranging from VP1102 (1.6m system logic cells) to VP1802 (7.4m system logic cells). The company’s Vitis software development platform is already available and aimed at software engineers. In contrast, Vivado is the tool flow of choice for hardware developers. Nevertheless, the two will coexist, according to Saban. The first Versal Premium silicon will be available in 2020 and ship in 2021.
While the Xilinx Versal Prime series is still a monolithic die product, it does have the ability to scale compute, memory, and connectivity. It also uses the ACAP architecture, which is highly customizable for memory and connectivity. The new series is capable of addressing multiple operator needs. Xilinx promises to meet the needs of the future by providing a flexible and scalable platform that can support these diverse needs.
It has a broad range of target markets
Xilinx has a multi-year roadmap for the Versal series. The company is shipping the Versal AI Core in the second half of 2019. Other upcoming products will include Versal AI Prime, AI Edge, and Versal AI RF. In 2020, Xilinx plans to release the Versal AI Premium series, which will come with high-speed Ethernet IP and 112G SerDes ports. Versal devices with integrated HBM DRAM will be available in 2021.
The Versal Prime family has a variety of target markets, including automotive, robotics, and wireless 5G communications. The company also has Versal AI Edge series products intended for advanced AI acceleration. Versal ACAP devices perform sophisticated beamforming, particularly useful in the millimeter-wave spectrum. The Versal AI Edge series also supports multiple safety standards. Versal AI Edge devices also provide flexibility in computational processing while meeting thermal and latent constraints. As a result, versal AI Edge series chips are ideally essential for a wide range of applications used by Rayming PCB & Assembly.
Xilinx’s Versal AI Engine is ideal for high-performance networks and embedded applications. It offers a customizable memory hierarchy and is perfect for algorithms, resulting in lower latency implementations. It has 123 Tbps of on-chip memory bandwidth, which is faster than leading GPUs. Network and cloud customers typically seek double bandwidth and the same power budget. In addition, Xilinx is focused on open software and is working on bringing open source code to its customers.
The Versal AI core products are now shipping to tier-one customers. Versal AI cores are a breakthrough in the industry. Unlike conventional CPU, GPU, or FPGA, they combine a broad compute function spectrum. Xilinx has been working on a multi-billion dollar chip for four years.