editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Xilinx’s Crossover

Xilinx announced their new Zynq family a while back, and now they’re working the positioning to further clarify why it’s different from past processor+FPGA combo chips. At Mentor’s U2U, Xilinx CTO Ivo Bolsens described Zynq as a “crossover” chip, sharing the characteristics of an FPGA, ASSP, and ASIC.

And here’s what he said makes the critical difference: coherency. An FPGA typically resides outside the processor’s known realm, and is responsible for managing its own memory – and for keeping the contents consistent with the main CPU memory if necessary.

In Zynq, by contrast, the FPGA gets access to the main memory. That means less data copying, since the processor can simply send a pointer to the FPGA for some accelerated function. The FPGA and the CPU are, more or less, peers – it’s multicore with shared memory, only with one of the cores being an FPGA. And the FPGA doesn’t need its own memory manager.

As subtle as that seems, it can make a big difference in how you conceptualize the interplay between CPU and FPGA. And, presumably, removes some glue logic and speeds performance.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Dec 14, 2018
Yesterday I wrote a sort of overview of the Cadence Automotive Summit that took place in November, in the post Automotive Summit: The Road to an Autonomous Future . Today, the focus in on a key part... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community si...
Dec 13, 2018
In November, we continued our mobile updates to the website, released a couple of new content experiences, and made placing sample requests even easier. Read more below on these and the rest of the major updates to Samtec.com for November 2018. Continued Improvements to our M...
Dec 10, 2018
With Apple'€™s '€œWearable'€ category of sales setting a new record this September with growth over 50%, and FitBit seeing growth in both trackers......
Nov 14, 2018
  People of a certain age, who mindfully lived through the early microcomputer revolution during the first half of the 1970s, know about Bill Godbout. He was that guy who sent out crudely photocopied parts catalogs for all kinds of electronic components, sold from a Quon...