October 18, 2004 -- Xilinx, Inc. has announced the next-generation of its EasyPath solution as the FPGA industry's lowest cost and only conversion-free replacement to ASICs for volume production. The expanded EasyPath product line now supports the Xilinx Spartan-3 and Virtex-4 Platform FPGAs, starting at just $12.95 for 30,000 logic cells. Xilinx boasts that this is half the price of comparable structured ASIC offerings.
According to Xilinx, advances in the patented EasyPath test technology also provide the benefit of design flexibility with platform features and price points better than those available with structured ASICs, opening the gateway for more companies and applications to leverage all the advantages of FPGAs from prototype through production at the lowest possible cost.
"As applications move into volume production, companies want an easy, no-risk path to cost reduction without the resource and time requirements of converting to ASICs. Our EasyPath solutions provide the lowest total cost and fastest no-conversion ramp to volume production, and now include the flexibility to make design changes, at prices below structured ASICs," said Mustafa Veziroglu, general manager of the Market-Specific Products Division at Xilinx.
The Xilinx EasyPath solution leverages commonly used redundancy techniques standard in the semiconductor industry and patented test technology to lower FPGA costs by up to 80 percent. EasyPath FPGAs also derive cost benefits because they are based on the cost and performance-optimized architectures of the 90nm Xilinx Spartan-3 and Virtex-4 FPGAs.
Companies can transition their Xilinx FPGAs to the lowest device cost for volume production in as little as eight weeks with no conversion required and identical functionality, Xilinx claims. The reliability and quality metrics for EasyPath devices are identical to their FPGA counterparts with test coverage superior to structured ASICs, Xilinx also says. In addition, EasyPath FPGAs feature the low non-recurring engineering (NRE) charges without any additional engineering or re-qualification costs, IP or tool investments required.
Spartan-3 and Virtex-4 EasyPath FPGAs, unlike any ASIC, offer designers the ability to implement in-system engineering change orders (ECOs) using fully re-programmable look-up tables (LUTs) and flexible IOs. Designers can make changes without re-spins, which greatly reduces engineering, bill of materials and inventory costs as compared to ASIC approaches. In addition, EasyPath FPGAs now support two design variations in a single device - typically one to assist in the customer's system diagnostic test and one for the actual application - further reducing costs and providing unmatched flexibility.
According to Xilinx, the EasyPath conversion-free design methodology ensures first-time success with no feature disparities and no discrepancies in logic and timing as compared to the underlying FPGA device. There is also no need to re-design, re-qualify or re-verify prior to production signoff, thus eliminating all the risks and significant costs of re-qualifying an ASIC conversion.
Pricing and Availability
Xilinx offers EasyPath FPGAs for its Virtex-II, Virtex-II Pro, Spartan-3 and Virtex-4 Platform FPGAs. EasyPath solutions range in price from 30 to 80 percent below their standard FPGA counterparts. For example, list price for a Spartan-3 EasyPath E3S1500 is $12.95 (pricing based on $12.95 list for Spartan-3 EasyPath E3S1500 with $75,000 NRE and 50,000 unit minimum order quantities in second half calendar year 2005) with $75,000 NRE and 50,000 unit minimum order quantities in second half calendar year 2005. The new design flexibility features are offered as options for Spartan-3 and Virtex-4 EasyPath FPGAs and include incremental NRE and unit costs.
Virtex-II and Virtex-II Pro EasyPath FPGAs are in full production today. Spartan-3 and Virtex-4 EasyPath solutions are available for design now with volume production in mid-2005.
Go to the Xilinx, Inc. website for details.