Product News: Electronic Components & Devices

FPGAs are radiation-tolerant.

Press Release Summary:

April 14, 2008 - Designed for space applications, Virtex®-4QV FPGAs offer multiple platforms optimized to meet processing needs of video, audio, radar streams, and packet processing functions. Reprogrammable devices incorporate high-performance logic, DSP, and embedded processing in single chip. They provide up to 200,000 logic cells, 10 Mbit of RAM/FIFO, 2 PowerPC® processor blocks with auxiliary processing unit controller, 512 DSP slices, and 4 Ethernet MAC blocks.

Original Press Release

Xilinx Introduces the Industry's Highest Performance, Largest Capacity FPGAs for Space Applications

Press release date: April 7, 2008

New reprogrammable, radiation-tolerant Virtex-4QV family optimized for high-performance logic, DSP, and embedded processing SAN JOSE, Calif., April 7, 2008 - Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX) the leading provider of programmable solutions and the leader in Aerospace and Defense (A&D) field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), today announced the immediate availability of radiation-tolerant Xilinx® Virtex®-4QV FPGAs. The new Virtex-4QV family is the first FPGA solution for space applications to offer multiple platforms optimized to meet the stringent high-performance processing needs of video, audio, radar streams, and packet processing functions. In addition to the high-performance reconfigurable logic fabric and abundant built-in memory, Virtex-4QV FPGAs incorporate advanced embedded computing and digital signal processing (DSP) technology in a single chip. This enables designers of spaced-based digital electronics to reduce system size, weight and power consumption while accelerating development and eliminating the risk and NREs associated with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Xilinx will showcase the new devices at the SEE Symposium, April 15-17 in Long Beach, Calif. "Today's announcement extends Xilinx's Aerospace and Defense leadership to the aerospace market by offering the only FPGA family that meets QML class-V requirements for use in high-performance space applications such as packet and video processing," said Mustafa Veziroglu, vice president and general manager of the Market-Specific Products Division at Xilinx. "With the introduction of the Virtex-4QV family, designers of high-altitude, in-orbit, space-based or extra-terrestrial systems in hostile radiation environments can now obtain unprecedented levels of integration in a reprogrammable FPGA that has the logic capacity, performance, and advanced silicon features that previously were available only to commercial product developers." Single-Chip Solution Addresses Performance Requirements Building on the legacy of Virtex FPGAs, the QPro(TM) Virtex space-grade series are the broadest offering of FPGAs for space applications available today. With the launch of its commercial-grade Virtex-4 family, Xilinx pioneered the concept of domain-optimized FPGA platforms, which today includes Virtex-4 LX FPGAs for logic-intensive designs, Virtex-4 SX FPGAs for ultra high-performance signal processing, and Virtex-4 FX FPGAs for embedded and packet processing. To meet the unique processing requirements of space-based systems, Xilinx selected four of the highest performance, largest capacity devices across the three Virtex-4 platforms for its new Virtex-4QV family. These devices provide an unprecedented level of system integration among FPGA-based offerings for space applications with up to 200,000 logic cells, 10Mbit of RAM/FIFO, two built-in PowerPC® processor blocks with auxiliary processing unit (APU) controller, 512 DSP slices, and four built-in Ethernet MAC blocks. All Virtex-4QV FPGAs are guaranteed for radiation tolerance, making it possible for aerospace designers to take advantage of high-performance, high-density reprogrammable technology. Extensive testing by Xilinx and the Single Event Effects (SEE) Consortium verifies a total ionizing dose (TID) of 300 krad (Si) and single-event latchup (SEL) immunity greater than 125 MeVcm²/mg with Virtex-4QV devices. The SEE Consortium was founded in 2002 when Xilinx joined forces with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, leading the way to the application of SRAM-based reconfigurable FPGA technology in high-radiation environments. SEAKR's vice president and co-owner Scott Anderson states that, "SEAKR has chosen the Virtex-4QV device for our advanced space processor product line due to its high performance and unprecedented flexibility. The modularity of Xilinx-based processor systems dramatically changes the playing field on what is possible for space applications. The ability to be reprogrammed while in orbit allows our customers to minimize program risks while maximizing their return on investment by being able to entertain new business opportunities with deployed space assets." Xilinx TMRTool and Single-Event Upset Mitigation Solutions The Virtex-4QV family is supported with a range of upset mitigation solutions to address environmental circumstances, such as charged particles (e.g., heavy ions or protons), that can alter the state of configuration elements within the FPGA, causing a single event upset (SEU) that produces adverse effects on the expected FPGA functionality. These solutions include triple modular redundancy (TMR) reference designs, extensive application notes that simplify the implementation of advanced configuration memory scrubbing techniques, and the Xilinx TMRTool to automate logic triplication in the FPGA fabric. The TMRTool not only increases productivity with fast, error-free design triplication, but also streamlines the integration of custom-built TMR modules while giving designers control over how the design is triplicated. Comprehensive Portfolio of Tools and IP To help accelerate every phase of system design with Virtex-4QV FPGAs, Xilinx offers a comprehensive development ecosystem that includes: ISE® FPGA design software; Embedded Development Kit with Platform Studio suite; the XtremeDSP(TM) tools package with System Generator for DSP and AccelDSP(TM) synthesis tool; and the ChipScope(TM) analyzer. It also features a robust library of more than 600 intellectual property (IP) cores, Xilinx training and support services, and application notes that can be downloaded from the Xilinx website. Availability The Virtex-4QV family is now shipping with the XQR4VLX200, XQR4VSX55, and XQR4VFX60 devices available for order today in a variety of package options. The XQR4VFX140 device will be available for order in the third quarter of 2008. Details on pricing and delivery are available through Xilinx sales representatives. About Xilinx Aerospace and Defense Xilinx has provided uninterrupted support to the A&D industry since 1989 with comprehensive solutions that include: commercial grade to radiation- tolerant FPGAs; application-specific IP for image processing to waveform generation; and advanced technologies such as partial reconfiguration and single-chip crypto. These solutions feature long product lifecycles, high reliability devices, unique manufacturing flows, specialized design services, and advanced security solutions for high assurance applications to meet the long-term requirements of A&D programs. For more information, visit About Xilinx Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For more information, visit Source: Xilinx, Inc. Web site:


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