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What Is Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA ?

The contemporary world runs on massive data and industry revolutionizing and fast-changing technologies. It involves data-reliant technologies such as machine learning, AI, genomics, HPC, etc. As a result, flexible, adaptable, and fast architectures become a necessity, something that the Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA takes care of.   So what is the Artix 7 FPGA all about? Why is it essential for your integrated circuit needs?

Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA

The ability to reprogram or program an FPGA makes it an attractive option for diverse applications. It allows for design changes besides supporting new applications during their lifecycle. Therefore, as a designer, the changed expectation from the digital revolution makes it instrumental in considering your competitive edge in cost-sensitive markets.

Artix 7, an FPGA product line from Xilinx, offers such a competitive, cost-effective option. It combines high-performance features such as a broad application reach, high portability, and processing bandwidth while keeping power consumption minimum. As a result, Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA has redefined cost sensitivity by half when compared to earlier generations.

It also reduces power consumption while giving the best-in-class signal processing abilities and transceivers for high bandwidth areas of application. The Artix 7 FPGA family is developed on a 28nm HPL process and delivers the best performance-per-watt within the product portfolio. Equipped with the MicroBlaze soft processor, it is perfect for products such as compact wireless systems, military radios, and medical equipment.  Additionally, the Artix 7 FPGAs satisfy weight, size, and power needs for cost-sensitive markets like communication and avionics.

If you need to address cost and power with your integrated circuit for high-performance design, then the Artix 7 FPGAs should be your go-to solution. While the product comes from Xilinx, you can always rely on RayMing PCB and Assembly to get proper insights into your question regarding components, fabrication, and other IC needs.   

Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA as the Best-in-Class Bandwidth and Performance

Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA PCBA Board

When it comes to cost-sensitive markets, nothing beats the Artix 7 FPGA family. It delivers the highest performance, lowest power, and most optimized transceivers. It is ideal for cost-sensitive applications needing high-end features. The FGPA family leads in performance areas such as signal processing, logic, LVDs I/O, embedded memory, memory interfaces, and most importantly, transceivers.

It possesses a MicroBlaze CPU, which comes highly configurable with a 32-bit RISC processor. Presets are also available for fast deployment of the microcontroller, application processor, and real-time processor use cases. It is from this preset basis that you can move forward with application-specific customization. The processor system can then get expanded the drag and drop IP from the peripherals (driver-enabled). It includes UARTs, PWMs, serial interfaces, etc. Additionally, the drag and drop peripherals of the MicroBlaze processor, such as Vivado HLx Design Suite, are available and at zero cost.

The Artix 7 FPGA family also provides additional system integration competencies such as the integrated and advanced AMS technology. It is the next frontier in analog-to-digital conversion or the replacement of costly SoC (system-on-a-chip) functions. AMS gets accomplished in Artix 7 FPGAs by an autonomous dual 12-bit, one-MSPS, 17-channel analog-to-digital converters.

Artix 7 FPGA as a Portion of an Expansive Portfolio

It forms a part of an expansive all programmable, cost-optimized portfolio that delivers top value for a specific application. It also entails Spartan-7 FPGAs and Spartan-6 FPGAs that deliver input/output optimization. The portfolio also includes Zynq-7000 all-programmable SoCs that deliver system optimization and integration for applications.   

Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA Architecture

The Artix 7 FPGA comprises logic blocks, DSP blocks, global routing networks, and block RAM. Everything mainly revolves around the logic blocks, but it is also vital to remember that modern reconfigurable logic came to the fore as logic designs easily get expressed as medium-scale logic building blocks like shift registers, registers, counters, multiplexers, subtractors, adders, and comparators.

As a beginner, understanding the Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA architecture is instrumental in your design process. At the same time, it is true that the Basys3, an entry-level FPGA developmental board, can become helpful in your design process. It is precious when using it through the Vivado Design Suite that features the Artix 7 FPGA architecture.  

A Basys3 board represents a newer edition of the renowned Basys3 line that includes Basys3 Diligent. It is simple enough for design students or beginners to get started with the FPGA technology.

Logic Blocks

The basic block instrumental in implementing the VHDL design’s logic entails the CLB (configurable logic block). FPGAs have thousands of these CLBs, which get laid out in a global routing network. It implies that every CLB within the FPGA is connected. However, in the Artix 7 FPGA, every CLB has two logic slices.

Logic Slices

The amount of logic slices on a family member of the Artix 7 depends on the type. For instance, an Artix 7 7A200T contains an overall of 33650 logic slices. In this case, every logic slice possesses eight flip-flops and four 6-input LUTs, corresponding to 134600.

However, three possible logic slice types exist. It includes SLICEL, SLICEM, and SLICEX though Artix 7 does not utilize SLICEX.  Some of the most apparent SLICEM subsystems from a design diagram include the LUTs (four 6-input LUT), the flip-flops (eight), and the fast carry logic.

  • Look-up tables. A SLICEM includes 64×1 RAMs that help realize the five or six variable functions. Remember, the function’s truth table gets stored in random access memory while the inputs function as the input addresses.
  • Flip-flops. Every logic slice contains eight flip-flops. When designing or looking at the architecture, it is essential to ask questions such as the clocking mechanism of the slices, the origin of the data input, the initialization of the slices, and the destination of the output from the slices.
  • Fast carry logic. It primarily aims to realize a disparity of carrying look-ahead adder. It can either propagate or generate.

Interconnect

It implies the connection of the configurable logic blocks within the Artix 7. A CLB and a switch matrix are interconnected with further connections to other islands of the same pairs (CLB + switch matrix)

DSP Slice

The Artix 7 possesses DSP slices apart from the slices that form the CLBs. A decent example will contain 700 DSP48E1 slices, with every slice having a pre-adder, an adder, an accumulator, and a 25×18 multiplier.  

Xilinx Artix 7

Artix 7 is a product line from Xilinx that provides the highest transceiver line rates, performance-per-watt fabric, AMS integration, and DSP processing in a cost-optimized FPGA. It features the 1066Mb/s DDR3 support and MicroBlaze soft processor. Therefore, it is a top value option for diverse power-sensitive and cost applications. Such applications include software-defined radio, low-end wireless backhaul, and machine vision cameras.

Features and Benefits

Artix 7 devices contain up to 215000 LCs. The AMS (analog mixed-signal) and AXI IP are instrumental in its programmable system integration.

The presence of 930 GMAC/s 1.2 GB/s LVDS, 13Mb BRAM, DDR3-1066, and up to 16×6.6G GTs ensures an improved system performance.

The small wire-bond packaging present, besides the five-dollar saving on analog components, reduces the BOM costs.

Artix 7 devices also possess low power and static at 50% and 65%, respectively, compared to the 45nm generation. Consequently, it ensures an overall reduction of power consumption.

The Artix 7 devices have a scalable and optimized architecture besides a comprehensive tool kit and IP. Such features ensure a fast-tracked design productivity compared to other generations.

FPGA Artix 7

An FPGA family redefines cost-sensitive solutions by reducing the power consumption to half besides offering advanced functionality for high-performance applications. Some of the critical capabilities of Artix 7 FPGAs include the following.

Capabilities

· Enhanced performance levels

It possesses the 6.6 GB/s transceivers that enable peaks of 211 GB/s bandwidths. The Artix 7 FPGA also double and single differential input/output standards clocking speeds of up to 1.25 GB/s. The 740 DSP48E1 slices can process signals of up to 930 GMACs.

Other key elements that bring about the new and unprecedented performance levels include the 1066Mb/s DDR3 memory. Such a DDR3 memory consists of the SODIMMs support. Further, the integrated memory interface allows for streamlined access. It also has the 200plus DMIPs MicroBlaze processor, application processor, or real-time processor configuration.

· Reduced power (half), comparable cost, and enhanced capacity (two times)

Artix 7 FPGAs have about 50% lesser total consumption than earlier generations and a sub-watt performance range of 13000-2000000 logic cells. It comes with the lowest-power industrial speed-grade offering. It also has 2.5 times block RAM, two times logic, and 5.7 times more DSP slices than Spartan-6 FPGAs.

· Low risk and quick ramp-up

It runs on the production-ascertained 28nm process, quality, and architecture. The integrated IP blocks reduce risks and the development time. It also allows for the rapid development of integrated blocks.

The Artix 7 FPGA comes with a development kit complete with reference designs and IP for the rapid start of the design process. It also possesses freeRTOS, Linus support, and bare metal for the MicroBlaze processor, complete with drag and drop peripherals.

· Smallest package

The Artix 7 FPGA comes in a low-cost, wire-bond, BGA packaging. It is also available in a package with 10x10mm dimensions. It offers optimum system integration besides package migration capabilities, especially across the Artix 7 family.  

XC7A100T

XC7A100T falls within the Artix 7 FPGA product series, with the name denoting the base product number. It provides the highest performance-per-watt fabric line rates when it comes to the transceiver. The XC7A100T features the MicroBlaze soft processor besides a 1066Mb/s DDR3 support. It gives the best value for power and cost-sensitive applications, including low-end wireless backhaul, machine-vision cameras, and software-defined radios.

The XC7A100T FPGA supports numerous configuration options that include commodity memory support, 256-bit AES encryption, complete with HMAC built-in SEU correction and detection besides authentication. It meets power, size, weight, and cost requirements for cost-sensitive sectors like communication and avionics.

Features

Five-speed grade options (-1L,-2L, -1,-2,-3) with diverse temperatures

Programmable system integration

Has CBSBGA, FPGA, FCBGA, FTBGA, and FPBGA logic case style

324 pins in total

A single-speed grade

120 input/out  

950mV minimum core supply voltage and a maximum of 1.05V

Maximum operating frequency of 464MHz

Xilinx AC701

It is an evaluation kit that features the Artix 7 family, a leading system performance, and allows rapid prototyping for cost-sensitive applications. The Xilinx Artix 7 AC701 includes every primary component, including design tools, hardware, pre-verified reference design, and IP. It also has the targeted reference design that enables high-performance serial connectivity besides progressive memory interfacing.

General Attribute and Benefits

  • It is optimized for rapid prototyping, primarily for cost-sensitive applications through Artix 7 FPGA
  • It has design tools, hardware, pre-verified reference design, and IP
  • The reference design gets implemented with the NL (northwest logic) DMA engine usually attached to the AXI interface.
  • 1GB DDR3 SODIMM-enabled advanced memory interface with up to 1066Mbps/533MHz
  • The presence of GTP ports enables high-performance serial connectivity on SFP, SMA, and FMC.
  • Has the MicroBlaze soft 32-bit RISC architecture that backs embedded processing
  • It has the HDMI out to implement video display application
  • Expanded input/output with the FMC interface
  • It has networking applications possessing 10-100-1000Mbps Ethernet.

Board Features

  • Clocking
  • Fixed oscillator featuring a differential output of 200MHz
  • Deployed as the FPGA’s “system” clock
  • Jitter-attenuated clock
  • User-programmable differential oscillator with a range of 10MHz – 810 MHz and 156.250 MHz default
  • Differential SMA and SMA GTP reference clock inputs
  • It supports CPRI/OBSAI applications, which performs clock recovery functions from a user-supplied SFP+/SFP module
  • Expansion Connectors
  • FMC-HPC connector (partially populated)
  • Two GTP transceivers, 58 differential (24 HA and 34 LA) or 116 single-ended user-defined signals
  • PMOD
  • VADJ supports 1.8V, 2.5V, or 3.3V. The 2.5 V is the default
  • Communication and Networking
  • SFP cage
  • 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
  • GTP port (RX, TX) with SMA connectors (four connectors)
  • A USB bridge to UART
  • PCI Express four-lane edge connector
  • Configuration
  • On-board configuration circuitry(JTAG) to allows for USB configuration
  • It comes with a JTAG header to get deployed with the Xilinx download cables
  • 32 MB quad SPI flash
  • Control & I/O
  • Push buttons (user)
  • SMA user input/output
  • User DIP switches (4-position)
  • 2 I/O AMS FAN header
  • Seven input/out pins via the LCD header
  • Memory
  • 8 Kb IIC EEPROM
  • 1 GB DDR3 SODIMM equaling 533MHz / 1066Mbps
  • Quad SPI Flash: 32MB (256Mb)
  • A slot for SD card
  • Display
  • LCD
  • HDMI video output
  • User LEDs
  • Power

-ATX or an AC power adapter of 12V

  • Analog
  • A XADC header

Artix 7 Development Board

Artix 7 development board comes as an upgraded version of earlier generations, such as the Spartan-6 development board. It includes an example such as the EDGE Artix 7 FPGA designed and suitable for the vivado design suite. The development board features an external SDRAM memory, micro SD, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI Out, DAC, ADC, 7 Segment, LCD, TFT, switches, LED interfaces, and buttons. It also allows for easy implementation of the MicroBlaze softcore processor using SRAM and via the vivado SDK.

The development board comes as a ready-to-use kit solution for the ECE curriculum. It is also helpful in developing both fundamental and cutting-edge digital circuits. The Artix 7 development board is simple to implement in numerous applications. Such applications can range from video/image processing, wireless control, and IoT devoid of interfaces.  It also provides a free WebPACK Vivado design suite type to implement designs without any extra cost.

Features

  • 256Mb SDRAM
  • On-board USB programmer (JTAG)
  • Flash-based memory of 8MB SPI
  • CMOS camera
  • USB-to-UART interface
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 50 MHz clock
  • HDMI Out
  • 12-bit VGA interface
  • Artix 7 FPGA integrated circuit
  • SPI TFT display

Artix 7 100T

It comes as a ready-to-use development base for Xilinx Artix 7 FPGAs. The board uses the MicroBlaze soft processing system and proves a malleable processing platform. It is capable of adjustment, especially to the project’s requirements. The Artix 7 100T also transcends the limit of one set of processing peripherals as other single board computers. It can become a communication powerhouse complete with UARTs, IICs, SPIs, and Ethernet MACs or transition into a thorough timekeeper the next minute. The board has the potential of becoming a top adaptable tool within your project toolbox when considering the universally renowned expansion headers.

Features

  • 15850 logic slices
  • 65200 flip-flops
  • 240 DSP slices
  • 450MHz plus internal clock speeds
  • XADC and an MSPS on-chip ADC
  • Programmable over Quad-SPI flash and JTAG
  • 16MB Quad-SPI flash
  • USB-JTAG circuitry (programmable)
  • USB-UART Bridge
  • Four Pmod connectors
  • ChipKit/Arduino shield connector
  • 4860 block RAM
  • USB-powered or powered from sources with 7V-15V
  • 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
  • Four buttons, 4 Switches, 4 RGB LEDs, 4 LEDs, and one reset button
  • 256MB DDR3L complete with a 667 MHz 16-bit bus

Artix 7 Evaluation Board

The Artix 7 evaluation board is integral in giving an ideal hardware environment for developing and evaluating Artix 7 FPGAs. While it can come under different types, an excellent example include the AC701 evaluation board. It provides attributes typical to most embedded processing systems like SODIMM memory, DDR3, a 4-lane PCI express interface, UART interface, etc. The evaluation board also allows for the incorporation of other attributes, primarily through FMC. It also provides a high pin-count FMC connector.

Features of an Artix 7 Evaluation Board (AC701)  

  • Artix 7 XC7A200T-2FBG676C FPGAs
  • 256 Mb Quad SPI (serial peripheral interface) flash memory
  • 1 GB DDR3 memory and SODIMM
  • SD or secure digital connector
  • USB JTAG via Digilent module
  • Clock generation (features a fixed 200 MHz LVDS oscillator, SMA connectors and those for GTP receiver clocking, and 12C programmable LVDS oscillator)
  • GTP transceiver (features FMC HPC connectors, PCI express, PHY RGMII interface Ethernet interface, and SFP+ connector)
  • 10/100/1,000 tri-speed Ethernet PHY
  • Connectivity of the PCI express endpoint (features four gen1 4-lane and four gen2 4-lane)
  • SFP+ connector
  • USB-to-UART bridge
  • High-definition multimedia interface technology codec
  • I2C bus (it features 12C MUX, user 12C programmable LVDS oscillator, HDMI codec, SFP+ connector, FMC HPC connector, DDR3 SODIUM socket, 12C EEPROM, and 12C programmable jitter-attenuating PCM)
  • Status LEDs (features good power, Ethernet status, FPGA DONE, and INIT)
  • User input/output (feature four GPIO or user LEDs, five directional user pushbuttons, LCD character display, four-pole GPIO user DIP switch, CPU reset pushbutton, and a pair of user SMA GPIO connectors)
  • Switches ( features FPGA_PROG_B pushbutton switch, configuration DIP switch mode, and a power off/on slide switch)
  • Power management involves the PMBus voltage besides monitoring of current through the TI power controller.
  • Three configuration options in Quad SPI flash memory, platform cable header configuration port, and USB JTAG configuration port

Xilinx Arty A7

It is a board that features the Artix 7 technology from Xilinx. It offers low power and high performance. Xilinx Arty A7 features the RISC-V soft architecture that makes it perfect for portable devices or equipment. It also holds the MicroBlaze soft processing, which adapts it for multiple project needs. The board can entail numerous options such as the 100T and 35T and compatible with the high-performance Vivado design suite. Designs can get implemented without extra costs since the Vivado design suite is supported under the unrestricted WebPACK license; consequently, example projects, design resources, and tutorials become a reality without Arty Resource Center.

It applies in areas such as low-cost ultrasound systems. Other application areas are PLC (programmable logic controllers), multi-protocol machine-vision cameras, and RISC-V processors/controllers. It also applies to battery-powered and small factor software-defined radios.

Features

  • An internal clock speed that exceeds 450 MHz
  • On‐chip ADC or analog‐to‐digital converter
  • Programmable over Quad‐SPI Flash and JTAG
  • 90 35T- DSP slices and 240 100T- DSP slices
  • 5,200 35T- slices and 15,850 100T- slices that contain four 6‐input LUTs besides eight flip‐flops
  • 256 MB DDR3L
  • 16MB Quad SPI Flash
  • Powered from the USB or other sources provided, they are 7 V up to 15 V
  • USB-UART bridge and a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet

If you want to design or fabricate a low-cost and high-performance integrated circuit product, it’s advisable to look at the Artix 7 FPGA as your go-to solution. However, looking at the ideal Artix 7 FPGA family and product is vital to ensure the individual characteristic of the part suits your IC FPGA needs.

Additionally, finding the right EMS for your fabricating needs influences the quality of your electronic product. It is thus vital to find one with a reputable history, capacity and can source for the FPGA products and the required environmental and quality certification that guarantees the quality of your electronic products.

Final Thoughts

The Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA series represents a good product line for your integrated circuit needs, especially for the latest, complex, and data-reliant technologies. The highlighted Artix 7 FPGA from Xilinx are some of the most predominant and popular. Therefore, pick a suitable one based on your needs.