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Fpga Device Selection


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How to select FPGA Devices?

How to select FPGA Devices?

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  • 1. FPGA Device Selection How to choose the device that is right for you? By FPGA Central © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 2. Selecting The Right FPGA In this presentation we will review various factors that effect the device selection of a FPGA or CPLD in a project. © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 3. Overview Selecting the right device is very important and can impact your overall success of the project, including: – Technical feasibility • A technical roadblock can jeopardize the entire project – Schedule – Cost • Design Cost (Time, Tools, IP) • Per device cost It is important to look at these much before the design starts. © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 4. Know what you want • What external interfaces you need ? – PCIe, I2C, SPI4.2, Interlaken etc • How many pins do you need ? – Single ended, Differential, Serdes • What IO standards are required ? – LVCMOS 2.5V, HSTL I, LVDS etc • What functionality you want to achieve ? • What frequency you need to run the design? © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 5. Specify The Requirements • Group the requirements into the following: – # of LUTs/LE , FF, DSP Block, RAM bits – # of IOs for each voltage level • 3.3v, 2.5v, 1.8v etc – # of Clock pins, PLL/DLL/DCM , Clock Buffers (regional or global) required – Hard macro requirements • Hard macros like PCIe, Ethernet MAC, Serdes, Processors etc are getting popular. Find out if you require to use any of these (separate must from nice to have) © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 6. Know The Vendors • Xilinx, Altera, Lattice, Actel are few major FPGA vendors with Xilinx & Altera having 85% of the market share • Many other vendors including startups like SiliconBlue should not be ignored • A complete list of various FPGA vendors can be found at – © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 7. Know The Devices • Spend time to learn about the vendor devices. • FPGA vendors usually provide a Device Product Table which provides the capability of each device that they offer. Usually: – # of LUT/LEs, FF, Serdes, User IO, RAM bits – Package types & Size • It is recommended to go with the latest released product (As it will be supported longest) © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 8. Device Product Table • Some of these tables are located at – – iv/overview/stxiv-overview.html – FPGA Central offers FREE service to help you in selecting a device. If you would like support in selecting the right FPGA contact us via © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 9. Isolate Devices • Based on the requirements gathered, isolate anywhere between 2 to 4 devices • Quick tips: – Keep room for future expansion (aka feature crap), bug fixes – Keep the utilization under 80%. Having a full FPGA makes meeting timing much more challenging © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 10. Compare Devices… 1 • Once you have isolated few devices, compare them based on: – Resource utilization (LE, FF, RAM, IO, hard Macro etc) – # of IO banks available vs # of various voltage level required – Frequency of operation – Power • vendors provide tools to measure power – usually excel tools – Package size Vs Amount of space on the board © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 11. Compare Devices… 2 – Cost • TIP: Cost varies based on speed grades and quantity so negotiate with the vendor – IP available (either via FPGA vendor or 3rd party) and the cost associated • Using pre-validated IPs makes the design time shorter and reduces risks/un-know in the design • TIP – Ask for characterization data for critical interfaces and IPs. © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 12. Select Device Now you should be able to choose a device based on above criteria. Some times you will have a clear winner over the other. But many times you would find more then one solution which is best for you. In those cases, choose the device and vendor which you are most comfortable with. © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 13. Further considerations • You should also consider the following criteria: – Support (Silicon & IP) – EDA Tools support – Configuration PROM and programming times – Option to migrate to smaller or bigger die (in case you need less logic or more). – ECC or Parity protection on RAMs – SEU – Single Event Upset (Defines MTBF) – Number of power supply required (usually multiple) – What devices/IP your team have worked on in the past © – World’s 1st FPGA Portal
  • 14. World’s 1st FPGA Portal Thank You & Good Luck Choosing the Device Go to to get FREE help Selecting the right Device/ IP