Xilinx (News - Alert) has revealed its latest line of systems on a chip (SoC): Zynq-7100 Programmable SoCs.
According to Lawrence Getman, Xilinx’s VP of processing platforms, the Zynq-7100 packs twice the processing power of any other SoC on the market. Utilizing the Zynq-7100 could mean an accelerated time-to-market for wireless, broadcast, military and medical applications.
“Xilinx provides the technology foundation needed to create an extremely wide range of next-generation applications ranging from data center security appliances and resource-optimizing TOR (top-of-rack) switches to extremely efficient mobile backhaul modems and smarter wired access equipment,” wrote Clive Maxfield in EE Times.
“All programmable solutions like those from Xilinx give more intelligence and adaptability to SoC solutions.”
SoCs from Xilinx’s Zynq-7000 line utilize programmable logic. Combined with ARM (News - Alert) processors, the Zynq line gives designers the freedom to add numerous peripherals to the SoC and create accelerators that will improve the chip’s performance. Xilinx sells accelerators and peripherals as plug-and-play IP cores.
Xilinx offers accelerators and peripherals customized for applications such as broadcast, digital signal processing (DSP), embedded processing, communications and networking, FPGA features and debug, and interconnected infrastructure.
According to a company statement, the Xilinx Zynq-7000 line of SoCs gives customers a blend of software intelligence and high-performance hardware-based processing for data, packets and pixels.
The Zynq-7100, according to Xilinx, is ideal for DSP-intensive applications such as wireless radio heads, broadcast encoders and decoders, military communications equipment and high-end medical systems.
The company argues that its Zynq-7100 SoC offers less power consumption compared to multi-chip constructions and cuts the bill-of-materials by combining software, hardware and I/O onto one device.
Programmable SoCs are rendering application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) and application-specific standard products (ASSP) irrelevant. According to a blog from Xilinx’s director of strategic planning and marketing, Steve Leibson, ASIC design starts have dropped 80 percent since their peak in 1997.
Factors for the drop, says Leibson, include increased consolidation of ASICs and processors onto one SoC. Also, escalating non-recurring engineering and design costs for nanometer SoCs have cut demand for ASICs in the last 15 years. Xilinx all programmable chips like the Zynq-7100 are rushing in to fill the gaps.
Edited by Brooke Neuman