FPGA prototyping system scales to 1.7bn gates

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Pro Design in Munich has launched a range of FPGA prototyping systems with multiple high end Virtex UltraScale devices from Xilinx.

The proFPGA UNO, DUO and QUAD systems are aimed high-speed design verification and bug hunting to shorten time to market by eliminating costly re-spins and providing early prototypes for software and application development.

Scalable from 1 up to 4 pluggable Virtex UltraScale+ VU19P based FPGA modules, the QUAD system, offers a capacity of up to 192m ASIC gates, 1.6 times that of the previous generation based on Virtex UltraScale XCVU440 based generation.

Up to nine proFPGA QUAD systems with overall 36 FPGA modules can be connected together to increase the capacity up to 1,728m ASIC gates for FPGA prototyping of the largest system on chip (SoC) designs. The proFPGA QUAD VU19P system offers 58 extension sites, with a total of 7728 FPGA standard I/Os. This is about 45 percent higher than the previous generation and gives the user a maximum flexibility regarding FPGA interconnections and connecting peripherals such as the standard proFPGA interface and memory daughter boards or application specific extension boards.

The QUAD platform also offers 16 extension sites with a total of 192 free accessible multi-gigabit transceivers to connect and verify high-speed interfaces like PCIe Gen4 or QSFP28.

The FPGA modules use a high-speed PCB design with delay matched signal lines and high-end PCB materials for improved signal integrity and to run up to 30 percent faster than the previous proFPGA XCVU440-based product generation. Through standard I/Os the system achieves a single-ended point-to-point performance of about 1.4 Gbit/s and via the Multi Gigabit Transceivers (MGTs) even up to 25 Gbit/s.

The key factor of the proFPGA concept is its modularity. The user can for example use the UNO system for IP or sub designs development and later reuse the FPGA modules for complete SoC and ASIC prototyping by simply plugging the same VU19P modules on a DUO or QUAD motherboard for reusability and a high return on invest.

The VU19P product family is fully compatible to the previous proFPGA generations so all the existing proFPGA motherboards, FPGA modules, daughter cards and accessories can be used in combination with the new modules. This also allows designers to mix and match the new VU19P technology with the previous Virtex 7, Virtex UltraScale, Virtex UltraScale+ and Zynq technology on one system.

The proFPGA systems are equipped with a mechanical construction and cooling concept that guarantees high robustness, easy system handling and most efficient system and FPGA cooling in a compact form factor.

All proFPGA systems come with the proFPGA Builder software, which provides FPGA protoyping features such as debugging, advanced clock management, integrated self- and performance test, automatic board detection and I/O voltage programming, system scan- and safety mechanisms. There is also a parallel use mode and easy remote system configuration and monitoring through USB, Ethernet or PCIe to simplify the usage of the system. An optional proFPGA Cut tool released earlier this year acts as a design partitioning tool to help partition designs across multiple FPGAs.

“We are very proud and excited about the release of our 4th generation of Xilinx®- based prototyping systems. We released our first proFPGA product line at end of 2012 and since then we’ve already won about 200 customers,” said said Gunnar Scholl, CEO of PRO DESIGN.

“During these years we carefully listened to our customers and their needs and steadily enhanced our platforms with each new generation. With our latest proFPGA Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ VU19P based product generation we have further improved our product family and are one of the first prototyping system vendors who has developed a XCVU19P-based solution developed. We could once again demonstrate that we are at the top of technology. Our engineers did a fantastic job and created an even more powerful and competitive solution that fulfils the highest needs in the increasing complexity of today’s ASIC designs for AI, machine learning, 5G or datacentre applications. Our customers will like it and benefit a lot from it.”

The proFPGA UNO, DUO and QUAD VU19P systems will be available at mid of October 2020 and can be ordered now.

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