Raytheon Develops MicroLight with Xilinx FPGAs and Design Services

6/30/2004 - Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX), the world's leading programmable logic supplier, and the Raytheon Company, a leader in defense and aerospace electronics, announced a collaboration that resulted in the successful development of Raytheon's new MicroLight small form factor radio, hosting the Enhanced Position Reporting System (EPLRS) waveform. Raytheon leveraged the technical expertise of the Xilinx Design Services (XDS) team to augment its internal design team with on-site support of specialized engineers. The high-performance embedded processing capabilities of the Xilinx Virtex-II Pro Platform FPGAs provided enhanced performance, lower power consumption, and a smaller form factor than previous generation systems.

Through the combination of Xilinx design services expertise and the flexibility of Xilinx silicon and IP, Raytheon delivered MicroLight, a robust, high-speed, secure automated communications system, ahead of schedule. Using the reconfigurable nature of Xilinx programmable devices, the Raytheon MicroLight system can automatically reconfigure itself to overcome the line-of-sight limitations of UHF communications as well as jamming threats. The data communication and position location-reporting and navigation functions of the EPLRS waveform play an integral role in mission critical operations.

Xilinx Design Services Improve Time-to-Market
To further accelerate the development cycle, Raytheon leveraged the Xilinx Titanium level Design Services, with dedicated Xilinx applications engineers on site to improve productivity, increase its own internal expertise, and produce the best possible design. XDS and Raytheon combined their skills and experience in system, logic and embedded software design to build a unique development team. Utilizing the Xilinx ML300 Development Board, EDK with Platform Studio and the Wind River VxWorks RTOS, Raytheon and Xilinx Titanium engineers were able to quickly build and test in hardware subfunctions of the overall system.

"We faced significant design challenges in developing this next-generation system. With the help of the Xilinx Design Services team we were able to fully leverage the high-performance features of the Virtex II Pro Platform design environment," said Tushar Patel Program Manager of Networked Communication Systems for Raytheon's Integrated Communication Systems. "The design tool support and IP integration capabilities were also a big part of our decision and helped address many of our design challenges head-on."

Virtex-II Pro Platform approach enables integration, performance
Raytheon product developers chose Xilinx Virtex-II Pro Platform FPGAs to meet stringent design requirements, including the ability to quickly integrate a host of intellectual property (IP) cores. Backward compatibility with earlier generation systems was also critical, as was the ability to re-target Wind River operating system code to a new processor.

The Virtex-II Pro Platform FPGA approach allowed Raytheon to include hard and soft processor cores, custom logic and peripheral IP into the most space efficient packaging possible while still using existing application code. Integral to Raytheon's MicroLight system architecture was the use of the Virtex-II Pro embedded IBM PowerPC core and the Xilinx MicroBlaze soft processor core. The Xilinx MicroBlaze core provided offload of cursory tasks from the PowerPC 405 processor, allowing the overall clock frequency to remain low while significantly decreasing power consumption. For rapid system integration of the processor subsystems, Raytheon leveraged the fact that both MicroBlaze and the integrated PowerPC core utilize a common industry standard CoreConnect bus architecture. Particularly useful was the Xilinx Embedded Design Kit (EDK) with the Xilinx Platform Studio IDE, which facilitated key peripheral IP integration, such as 10/100 Ethernet MAC, UART and the Reed Solomon Error Correction (all part of the peripheral offering from Xilinx).

About Xilinx Virtex-II Pro Platform FPGAs and Embedded Solutions
Based on their industry-leading capacity, performance, and cost-effectiveness, Xilinx VirtexTM FPGAs are the number one choice of designers worldwide. The Xilinx Virtex-II Pro is the world's first and only FPGA to offer integrated PowerPC embedded technology. Xilinx has shipped over 100,000 PowerPC cores to its customer base and enabled over 1,400 CoreConnect licenses. Xilinx offers a range of processor cores both hard and soft for a wide range of either lower cost or high performance applications.

Providing designers the ability to easily develop, integrate, and debug their entire embedded system, Xilinx offers a fully integrated hardware/software development environment, Platform Studio, included in the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit (EDK). The Xilinx embedded system solution is comprised of an extensive library of IP (over two hundred cores), application/reference designs, internal and third party provided tools. Further ensuring first-time design success with its Platform FPGAs, Xilinx provides a variety of embedded design services, training and support.

About Xilinx Design Services
Xilinx Design Services augments customer design teams with industry experts in FPGA design techniques and programmable logic solutions such as systems architecture consulting, hardware engineering, and embedded software design. Led by professionals with proven project management skills, the XDS team of FPGA hardware engineers, embedded software designers, signal integrity specialists, and system architects help customers deliver products to market faster, more cost-effectively, and with optimal performance. More information about Xilinx Design Services is available at www.support.xilinx.com/xds.

About Raytheon
Raytheon Company, with 2003 sales of $18.1 billion, is an industry leader in defense, government and commercial electronics, space, information technology, technical services and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 78,000 people worldwide.

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

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