Xilinx ships new programmable chip

Semiconductor specialist Xilinx has used the latest process technology and design tools to develop a large programmable chip with...

Semiconductor specialist Xilinx has used the latest process technology and design tools to develop a large programmable chip with clock speeds of over 400MHz.

The Virtex-II Platform FPGA XC2V8000 is 73% larger than any comparable FPGA (field programmable gate array), has 8 million gates with clock speeds of over 400MHz and I/O speeds of 840Mbps, Xilinx said.

FPGAs are increasingly being used in place of ASICs (application specific integrated circuits) because they can be programmed and reprogrammed as necessary, giving the designer more flexibility.

The XC2V8000 is likely to be used for handling large data streams in routers, network port aggregation and broadcast equipment, video and graphics.

The chip was made possible by a combination of advanced 0.15 CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology and design automation software that helped to optimise its performance, Xilinx said.

The XC2V8000 includes 104,832 logic cells, over 3Mbytes of block RAM, 12 Digital Clock Managers, 168 18x18 multipliers and 824 I/O pins, including 412 differential I/O pairs.

Customers have already begun work on software for the device because they have been given access to the latest Integrated Software Environment (ISE), ISE4.2i, in advance, Xilinx said.

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