Dual ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore Processing System Tightly Integrated with Programmable Logic Extends Embedded System Architectures for Higher Performance and Scalability
NUREMBERG, Germany, March 1, 2011 -- Embedded World -- Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) today unveiled the Zynq(TM)-7000 family, the industry's first Extensible Processing Platform (EPP) developed to achieve the levels of processing and compute performance required in high-end embedded applications targeting markets such as video surveillance, automotive driver assistance, factory automation, and many others. Supported by an extensive ecosystem of tools and IP providers, the Zynq-7000 family tightly integrates a complete ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-A9 MPCore(TM) processor-based system with 28nm, low-power programmable logic for system architects and embedded software developers to extend, customize, optimize, and differentiate their systems.
"For more than 10 years we have been discussing exactly this symbiosis possibility of processor and FPGA on one die to reduce cost and PCB space. Over time several companies have tried such an approach, but none of them offered a tight integration that allowed us to meet our targets. Finally, our long time wish becomes reality with the Xilinx Zynq-7000 family," said Ralf Schaffer, project lead at Agilent Life Science Group. "This means Agilent can now create many different product variants on a common code base from low-end, mid-range, to high-end, with minimal cost and engineering overhead."
Each Zynq-7000 EPP device is built with an ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore processing system with NEON and Double Precision Floating Point engines that is fully integrated and hardwired, and includes L1 and L2 caches, memory controllers, and commonly used peripherals. The processing system boots at power-up and can run a variety of operating systems independent of the programmable logic. The processing system then configures the programmable logic on an as needed basis. With this approach, the software programming model is exactly the same as standard, fully featured ARM processor-based SoCs.
Application developers can take advantage of the programmable logic's massive parallel processing to handle large amounts of data across a wide range of signal processing applications, as well as extend the features of the processing system by implementing additional peripherals. High-bandwidth AMBA(R)4 Advanced Extensible Interface (AXI4(TM)) interconnect between the processing system and the programmable logic enables multi-gigabit data transfers at very low power, thereby eliminating common performance bottlenecks for control, data, I/O, and memory.
Familiar Programming Environments
The Zynq-7000 family accelerates time to market by providing an open design environment that facilitates parallel development of software for the dual-core Cortex-A9 processor-based system and custom accelerators in the programmable logic. Software developers can leverage the Eclipse environment, Xilinx Platform Studio Software Development Kit (SDK), ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5(TM)) and ARM RealView Development Suite (RVDS(TM)), or compilers, debuggers, and applications from leading vendors within the ARM Connected Community(R) and Xilinx Alliance Program ecosystems, such as Lauterbach, Wind River, PetaLogix, The MathWorks, Mentor Graphics, Micrium, and MontaVista.
In parallel, the Zynq-7000 family's programmable fabric can be tailored to maximize system level performance and application specific requirements, leveraging Xilinx's award winning ISE(R) Design Suite, which provides a comprehensive hardware development environment that includes development tools and AMBA4 AXI4 Plug-and-Play intellectual property (IP) and Bus Functional Models (BFM) to accelerate design and verification. Following Xilinx's acquisition of high level synthesis leader AutoESL Design Technologies, Inc., further tool enhancements are underway to provide C, C++ and SystemC synthesis optimized for the Zynq-7000 device architecture. Future releases will also enable a more seamless movement of key algorithms between the processors and the programmable logic of the Zynq-7000 family.
Over time, these solutions will be augmented by third-party vendors within the ARM Connected Community and Xilinx Alliance Program as part of Xilinx's Targeted Design Platform approach to provide an over-arching productive development environment that includes IP, reference designs, development kits, and other resources targeting specific applications and design disciplines.
Unified Programmable Logic Architecture
The Zynq-7000 family's programmable logic is based on Xilinx's newest 7 series FPGA architecture to ensure 100% compatibility with respect to IP, tools and performance across all devices within the 28nm generation. The smallest Zynq-7000 devices, the Zynq-7010 and Zynq-7020 device, are based on the Artix(TM)-7 family which is optimized for low-cost and low power. The larger Zynq-7030 device and Zynq-7040 device are based on the Kintex(TM)-7 family and includes between four and twelve10.3 Gbps transceiver channels and a PCI Express(R) Gen2 block for high-speed off-chip connectivity. All 4 devices also include a new dual 12bit 1Msps ADC (Analog-to-Digital Converter) block . (For more information about the 7 series FPGAs, please visit: http://www.xilinx.com/7)
Rapid Adoption Already Underway
"The Extensible Processing Platform provides high-performance processors paired with a high-bandwidth connection to programmable-logic fabric in a single chip, making it an ideal target for National Instruments' graphical design environment, LabVIEW," said Keith Odom, R&D Fellow, National Instruments. "The low-latency and high throughput provided by this architecture enables innovation in a number of application areas, from industrial automation to communication systems to machine vision."
Since April 2010, early access customers have been evaluating the Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform for its ability to support systems targeting end market applications that require multi-functionality and real-time responsiveness that go well beyond what traditional processing solutions are able to implement. Visit Xilinx during Embedded World in Hall 12/12-515 to learn more about the Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform family and what customers are already developing.
"Our Zynq-7000 family offers designers a comprehensive platform that enables them to create their own customized standard products that scale from very cost- and power-effective solutions based on the capabilities of the Artix-7 FPGA family, to more comprehensive and performance-oriented solutions on the higher end with devices based on the Kintex-7 family," said Vin Ratford, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Business Development at Xilinx. "The tight integration of the processing system with the programmable logic not only effectively reduces system bill of materials, power, and size, but will serve as an 'innovation engine' that can drive innovative applications and significantly expand the markets being served by traditional FPGA approaches to embedded systems."
Pricing and Availability
Customers can start evaluating the Zynq-7000 family today by joining the Early Access program. First silicon devices are scheduled for second half of 2011 with general engineering samples available in the first half of 2012. Designers can immediately use tools and development kits that support ARM to familiarize themselves with the Cortex-A9 MPCore architecture and begin porting code. Pricing varies and depends on volume and choice of device. Based on forward volume production pricing, the Zynq-7000 family will have an entry point of below $15 in high volumes. Interested customers should contact their local Xilinx representative. For more information, please visit www.xilinx.com/zynq
Xilinx is the world's leading provider of programmable platforms. For more information, visit http://www.xilinx.com/.
A familiar programming and development environment supported by an industry-leading ecosystem of providers is a major pillar of the overall product solution that makes up the Zynq-7000 family. In addition to early access customers, Xilinx is working closely with members of the ARM Connected Community(R) and the Xilinx Alliance Program to provide well-adopted tool chains, compilers, debuggers, IP and other support for the Zynq-7000 family.
"A dual core Cortex(TM)-A9 processor,implemented with ARM Artisan Physical IP andtightly integrated with 28nm FPGA fabric opens up a whole new spectrum of possibilities for embedded designers who need significant levels of performance in a single low-cost, low-power package," said Mike Muller, CTO, ARM. "The Zynq-7000 family enables the development of fully extensible systems, providing the end customer with a balance between fixed and flexible resources."
"The Dual Cortex A9 processor system with NEON and floating point engine offers iVeia the high performance we need with the integration to reduce cost and power for our ultra compact form factors," said Michael Fawcett, CTO of iVeia. "The tight coupling between the processor system and programmable logic allows us to get the best performance for hardware acceleration."
"Lauterbach's support of the Zynq-7000 family with the TRACE32 hardware assisted debugging and trace tool allows customers to preserve their design/debug environment while, at the same time, explore the capabilities of the Extensible Processing Platform," said Norbert Weiss, Sales and Marketing Director at Lauterbach Development Tools. "Our work with Xilinx builds on years of collaboration between the two companies on FPGA-based embedded systems development solutions."
"PetaLogix has a long relationship with Xilinx providing a complete Linux and Development Tools solution for the Xilinx MicroBlaze(TM) soft processor," said Dr. John Williams, PetaLogix founder and CEO. "Now with support for the ARM Cortex-A9 processor sub-system, PetaLogix will be able to offer the embedded designer support across both hard and soft microprocessor resources, in a unified and seamless design flow, with the out-of-the-box Linux platform support they've come to expect."
"Thousands of engineers are using Model-Based Design with Simulink(R) and MathWorks code generation technology to implement algorithms for both processors and FPGAs," said Ken Karnofsky, Senior Strategist at MathWorks. "MathWorks is committed to working with Xilinx to bring a Model-Based Design flow to the Zynq-7000 family that supports automatic code generation for both the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and the programmable logic."
"Partnering with Xilinx to provide Sourcery G++ for the Zynq-7000 family's ARM Cortex-A9 cores extends our solutions to a broader class of embedded customer," said Mark Mitchell, Director of Embedded Tools at Mentor Graphics. "Our Eclipse-based integrated development environment, including CodeSourcery's professional-quality GNU tool chain, will give developers an easy way to build applications for Zynq-7000."
"Micrium is looking forward to extending its support for Xilinx's MicroBlaze soft processor extending to the ARM Cortex A9-based processing subsystem within the Zynq-7000 family," said Jean Labrosse, Micrium's president and CEO. "Micrium offers comprehensive support for Xilinx's broad portfolio of embedded processing solutions, and takes pride in addressing the performance, integration, and reliability requirements inherent in embedded applications."
"MontaVista's MVL 6 development platform for Xilinx embedded solutions will now extend to the Zynq-7000 family," said Patrick J. MacCartee, Director of Product Management at MontaVista. "Our Extensible Processing Platform support opens up fantastic opportunities for our Meld development community to work with a processing platform that delivers new levels of performance and integration."
"By integrating a high performance Cortex A9 MPCore processor with the flexibility of an FPGA fabric,Xilinx establishes a highly flexible foundation for tightly embedded applications," said Imran Yusuf, director of global alliances at Wind River. "When combined with Wind River's extensive and market-leading multi-core software portfolio, Wind River and Xilinx provide a flexible and configurable ARM based hardware and software platform on which our customers can innovate to address diverse needs across the embedded spectrum."