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DPRG: What is Xilinx?

Subject: DPRG: What is Xilinx?
From: Kipton Moravec kmoravec at usa.net
Date: Wed Feb 18 20:24:54 CST 1998

Garrett A. Myrick wrote:
> 
> Hi,
> 
> What the heck is Xilinx?
> 

Xilinx is a company that sells some of the biggest and fastest and some
cheapest programmable logic devices. 

I am currently using the 9500 series of parts which are flash memory
based.  With this part I do not need any other TTL parts (except for
Schmitt triggers and open collector devices I use for driving LEDs)

The tools are good.  I can design using a schematic, or two different
hardware design languages, VHDL or ABEL.  ABEL is easy to pickup but it
is not as efficient as VHDL.  My current design uses all three methods.

The nice thing about the 9500 series is that it is in circuit
programmable, up to 10,000 times (I sometimes think I will exceed that
on this project.) :)  

Each series has a large library of macros that performstandard logic
functions. There is not much math in the 9500 series but the larger
higher performing 4000 series has up to 32 x 32 bit multipliers in its
libraries. 

The other series I am looking into is the 5200 series because they are
big and cheap.  Where the 95108 goes for a little over $8, the 5206 goes
for just under $6 but is the equivalent of 6 95108s.  The hitch is that
it is an SRAM based device and so it automatically loads itself from
serial EEPROM at power-up so it is unavailable for the first 1/2 second
or so.  In most cases that does not matter, but you do not want it for
the memory decode logic on your processor unless you can delay the start
of the processor for a while.

There is a new series called the Spartin, I think that is supposed to be
bigger and cheaper than the 5200 series. 

I am currently implimenting all the logic for a waveform generator in
three 95108 devices and an SRAM (with a 8051 for setup and RS232 serial
commands from a PC.)  When I go to a 16 channel generator I will
probably go to the 5206 or the new Spartin to get the cost and chip
count down.  

The web site is:
http://www.xilinx.com

Regards,
Kip

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