ASMBL Architecture Leads Xilinx to Virtex-4 Multi-Platform FPGAs

6/14/2004 - Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX), the world's leading supplier of programmable logic solutions and inventor of the FPGA, unveiled details of its Virtex-4TM Platform FPGAs, the fourth generation VirtexTM product. Enabled by the revolutionary Advanced Silicon Modular Block (ASMBLTM) architecture, the Virtex-4 product line is the world's first FPGA family with multiple domain-optimized platforms, offering breakthrough FPGA capability at every price point. The initial Virtex-4 family includes three platforms; Virtex-4 LX for logic, Virtex-4 SX for very high performance signal processing, and Virtex-4 FX for embedded processing and high-speed serial connectivity. Each platform will offer a range of device options. With up to 200,000 logic cells and up to 500 MHz performance the Virtex-4 family delivers twice the density and up to twice the performance of any FPGA in the industry currently in production. Visit for more information.

Leveraging the proven success of the Xilinx Virtex series and the company's one-year lead in 90nm process technology, the Virtex-4 family is poised to move beyond the $5.1B programmable logic market to capture additional share in the $36B ASIC and ASSP markets*. System designers within high-growth technology segments such as wired and wireless communications, storage and multimedia will now be able to use cost-effective FPGAs for applications previously served only by ASICs and ASSPs.

"By exploiting the unique advantages of the revolutionary ASMBL architecture, the Virtex-4 family delivers the highest level of performance, density and feature integration of any FPGA on the market today," said Wim Roelandts, president and CEO at Xilinx. "This powerful combination offers a cost-effective alternative to ASICs and ASSPs and positions us well for continued growth into applications previously served by these types of devices."

One Family - Multiple Platforms
The Virtex-4 family is the first embodiment of the revolutionary ASMBL architecture, a design methodology that enables Xilinx to rapidly and cost-effectively assemble multiple domain-optimized platforms with an optimal blend of features. This multi-platform approach allows designers to choose an FPGA platform with the right mix of capabilities for their specific design. Features such as the logic fabric, block memory, clock management, and the XtremeDSP slices are all performance matched to support up to a record-breaking 500 MHz clock speed. By reaping the benefits of advanced 90 nm process technology and the innovative architecture, the family's logic capacity ranges up to an unrivaled 200,000 logic cells.

Virtex-4 Family Overview
The Virtex-4 LX, SX and FX platforms each provide a different mix of core capabilities, such as logic, memory, parallel and serial I/O, embedded processors, high-performance DSP functionality, enhanced clock management, hard IP, mixed signal, and other function blocks suited to specific application requirements.

Virtex-4 LX Platform FPGAs are optimized for general logic applications and offer the highest logic density and most cost-effective high-performance logic and I/Os. Members of this family provide abundant logic cells together with embedded Block RAM, digital clock management (DCM) blocks, and XtremeDSP/arithmetic functions to handle high-density, I/O intensive, and high-performance logic applications across multiple markets. The Virtex-4 LX programmable devices redefine FPGA capability-cost ratios and deliver the industry's highest value FPGAs ever.

Virtex-4 SX Platform FPGAs are optimized for very high-performance signal processing applications such as wireless communication, video, multimedia and advanced audio that may require a higher ratio of XtremeDSP slices to logic than other members of the Virtex-4 family. Members of this family offer all the capabilities of the LX platform and are designed for very high-performance real-time signal processing. The exceptionally high ratio of XtremeDSP-slices-to-logic and embedded Block RAM-to-logic ratios allow the Virtex-4 SX programmable devices to offer breakthrough DSP performance at significantly reduced power consumption compared to alternative FPGA solutions. In addition, the 500 MHz XtremeDSP slices can be cascaded and operate at full system speed. These higher levels of performance make the SX devices the ideal complement to programmable DSP processors as DSP algorithm accelerators.

Virtex-4 FX Platform FPGAs are assembled with capabilities tuned for complex system applications including high-speed serial connectivity and embedded processing, especially in networking, storage, telecommunications and embedded applications. Members of this family offer the industry's first multi-gigabit serial transceivers supporting any speed between 600 Mbps and 11.1 Gbps, enhanced embedded PowerPC 405 processors with an auxiliary processor unit for hardware acceleration, in addition to abundant logic cells, block RAM, DCM clock managers and DSP/arithmetic functions. By offering built-in capabilities for complete system integration, Virtex-4 FX programmable devices provides the most advanced Platform FPGA available for system design.

Building on Proven Success of the Virtex Series and Process Technology Leadership
Virtex-4 Platform FPGAs are the fourth generation of devices in the Virtex Series. Since its 1998 introduction, the company has shipped over 15 million Virtex devices. Generating nearly $2.5B in cumulative revenue, the Virtex family has significantly contributed to the company's record-breaking gains in PLD market share for six consecutive years. Based on their industry-leading capacity, performance, and cost-effectiveness, Xilinx Virtex FPGAs are the number one choice of designers worldwide. Thanks to consistent development of design tools, FPGA architecture and system capabilities, customers and partners are able to leverage existing IP investments for new designs in Virtex-4, with significant performance, power and pricing advantages.

ASMBL Architecture Overview
The new ASMBL architecture is a modular framework of silicon subsystems, enabling Xilinx to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy platforms targeted to different application domains. Each domain includes a variety of applications sharing common requirements such as very high-performance signal processing, embedded processing and high-speed connectivity. As a result, customers can select the platform with the optimal mix of features and capabilities for a specific design. The ASMBL architecture makes use of advanced flip-chip packaging technology eliminating geometric layout constraints associated with traditional chip design such as hard dependencies between I/O count and fabric array size. The architecture also addresses the increasingly more stringent requirements for on-chip power and ground distribution by allowing power and ground to be placed anywhere on the chip. As a result, Xilinx can significantly accelerate development time, reduce cost and increase reliability for designers using FPGAs.

Initial engineering samples of the Virtex-4 LX Platform FPGAs will be available in summer 2004, with SX and FX platforms to follow. EasyPath support will be available at the time of production, offering a risk-free, cost-reduction path for high-volume production. General design tools support will also be available in summer 2004.

About Xilinx
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For more information, visit

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