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What is Xilinx kintex 7 ?

The Xilinx Kintex-7 field programmable gate array (FPGA) is a high-performance programmable logic device built on a low-power 28nm fabrication process. The Kintex-7 combines high logic capacity with advanced features like integrated Gigabit transceivers and DSP blocks to address complex processing needs for applications including wireless communications, image processing, automotive electronics and aerospace systems.

This article provides a comprehensive technical overview of the Kintex-7 architecture, available features, design methodology, target applications and key benefits for system designers.

Introduction to Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGAs

The Kintex-7 represents Xilinx’s mid-range FPGA offering within its overall product portfolio. Key features include:

  • High density programmable logic fabric using 6-input LUTs as the basic logic cell
  • Integrated hardened blocks – high speed serial transceivers, block RAM, DSP slices
  • High-performance interfacing – memory controllers, PCI Express, Ethernet MAC
  • Low power 28HPm process optimized for cost-sensitive applications
  • Package offerings spanning space-constrained to high I/O variants
  • Supported by the mature Vivado Design Suite tools and IP ecosystem

The Kintex-7 specifically designates the automotive and industrial temperature grade offering -40C to +100C operation. Kintex-7 devices achieve optimal balance between capabilities and cost for high volume applications requiring reasonable logic capacity coupled with essential peripheral functionality.

Kintex-7 FPGA Family Overview

Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA price

The Kintex-7 family provides a range of devices with different sizes and capabilities to match application requirements and budgets. The current lineup includes:

Density Class

  • Small – Up to 77K logic cells
  • Medium – 201K to 474K logic cells
  • Large – Over 600K logic cells

Transceiver Speeds

  • GTH – 3.2Gbps to 6.5Gbps
  • GTX – 6.5Gbps to 12.5Gbps

Package Types

  • FBGA – Small form factor flip-chip BGApackage
  • PBGA – Larger body size plastic BGA with more I/Os

Larger devices include more hardened blocks like transceivers, memory interface generators and PCIe interfaces for more complex system connectivity. Power consumption ranges from 2W for entry-level versions up to 15W for high-end Kintex-7 FPGAs.

Kintex-7 Architecture

The Kintex-7 leverages key architectural advances to deliver scalable performance, capacity and power efficiency.

Programmable Logic Fabric

The core programmable logic fabric utilizes 6-input LUTs as the basic building block. Important characteristics:

  • 6-input LUTs minimize LUT count to implement logic functions reducing area and power
  • LUTs can also be fractured into two 5-input LUTs for optimization
  • Fast interconnect and abundant local routing for high performance datapaths
  • 36Kb Block RAMs for on-chip data storage
  • Digital Clock Managers (DCMs) and Mixed Mode Clock Managers (MMCMs) for clock control

Integrated Blocks

Dedicated hardened blocks are integrated to accelerate system performance:


  • Up to 24 high-speed serial transceivers operating up to 12.5Gbps
  • Support popular standards including PCIe, Ethernet, CPRI, JESD204B

DSP Slices

  • Up to 3600 DSP slices, each performing multiply-accumulate operations
  • Optimized for DSP and video processing algorithms

Memory Interfaces

  • DDR3 controllers with data rates up to 1866Mbps
  • Two 32-bit PCI Express interfaces up to Gen2 speeds

Analog Mixed Signal (AMS)

  • High-speed ADCs with up to 3.6 GSPS rate and 14-bit resolution

I/O Ports

A key strength of Kintex-7 is plentiful I/O supporting over two dozen standards including:

  • LVDS, RSDS – Differential signaling for noise immunity up to 1.6Gbps
  • SSTL, HSTL – Memory interfacing up to DDR3 speeds
  • Single-ended – LVCMOS, LVTTL
  • Digitally controlled impedance and drive strength
  • On-die termination for memory interfaces

This enables seamless bridging between digital logic and real-world interfaces.

Power Management

Kintex-7 implements numerous low power techniques:

  • 28nm fabrication with 1.0V core voltage minimizes power -Suspend mode reduces static power consumption by 98% when idle -Fine-grained clock gating to shut off inactive regions -Logic redundancy for accelerated low voltage operation

Kintex-7 Benefits for System Designers

The Kintex-7 architecture and features deliver significant advantages to hardware designers:


  • 6-input LUTs reduces LUT count by 18% for higher density vs Kintex-7 using 4-input LUTs
  • Integrated memory and DSP blocks accelerates processing and data transfer
  • 12.5Gbps transceivers support fast chip-to-chip communication
  • 28Gbsps ADCs enables high throughput data acquisition

Low Power

  • Smaller 28nm geometry enables lower static and dynamic power
  • Suspend mode drastically cuts consumption during idle periods
  • Power gating unused blocks improves efficiency


  • Mature 28nm process provides cost-effective manufacturing
  • Integrated blocks minimize external logic and interface glue logic


  • Industrial temperature rating enables -40C to +100C operation
  • SEU mitigation techniques boost robustness

For applications like communications infrastructure, image processing, motor control and industrial sensors, Kintex-7 hits the sweet spot between capabilities and costs.

Kintex-7 Design Flow

Designing with Kintex-7 FPGAs involves:

  1. Design Entry – Creating the desired logic functionality using schematics, VHDL or Verilog. Xilinx’s Vivado Design Suite is used for the full flow.
  2. Simulation – Simulating the functionality using testbenches to verify intended behavior.
  3. Synthesis – Synthesizing HDL code into optimized logic representations targeting the Kintex-7A FPGA resources.
  4. Implementation – Translating synthesized design into a physical FPGA implementation mapped to Kintex-7A primitives.
  5. Verification – Validating timing, power and functionality pre and post Place and Route.
  6. Programming – Generating a Bitstream file with the final FPGA configuration ready for loading into the Kintex-7A device.
  7. In-System Debug – On-chip logic analyzer and signal monitoring assists real-time debug.

The programmable nature of Kintex-7A allows rapid design iterations and optimization throughout the development cycle.

Kintex-7 Target Applications

Kintex-7 FPGAs address the needs of diverse applications across communications, industrial, automotive, aerospace/defense and scientific computing sectors:

Wireless Infrastructure

  • 4G LTE baseband processing
  • Optical transport network cards
  • Wireless backhaul systems
  • Microwave communications

Industrial Automation

  • Motion control systems
  • HMI and PLC systems
  • Industrial sensors and vision
  • Process/plant control and management

Automotive Avionics

  • RADAR and sensor processing
  • Diagnostics and prognostics
  • Vision systems
  • Inflight entertainment
  • Vehicle connectivity gateways

Medical Imaging

  • MRI, CT and PET scanning systems
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • X-ray and radiation monitoring
  • DNA sequencing systems

Scientific Research

  • Satellite payloads
  • Physics experiments and particle detection
  • Weather monitoring and prediction
  • Radio astronomy processing

Kintex-7 provides an ideal balance of capabilities to meet the evolving processing needs across a diverse spectrum of applications in cost-sensitive yet highly demanding segments.

Kintex-7 vs. Virtex-7 FPGA Comparison

xilinx kintex 7 FPGA

The Kintex-7 compares to Xilinx’s higher-end Virtex-7 FPGA as follows:

Programmable Logic

  • Virtex-7 uses 6-input LUTs similar to Kintex-7A for efficient logic implementation
  • Virtex-7 provides 50-70% higher logic cell density for very complex designs


  • Kintex-7 supports up to 16 x 12.5Gbps transceivers
  • Virtex-7 supports up to 32 x 28Gbps transceivers

Memory Interfaces

  • Both support similar DDR3 interfaces with comparable max speeds
  • Virtex-7 adds 2500 Mbps DDR4 support

Package Options

  • Kintex-7 available in FBGA and PBGA packages
  • Virtex-7 adds large high-pin count FF packages


  • Kintex-7 optimized for low cost applications
  • Virtex-7 caters to high performance segments with higher power budgets


  • Kintex-7A provides a cost-optimized mid-range FPGA option
  • Virtex-7 costs approximately 40-50% higher

For applications where the highest logic density or transceiver performance is mandatory, Virtex-7 is indicated. Kintex-7 hits the sweet spot for high volume cost-driven applications needing respectable capability.


With an optimal blend of cost-efficient programmable logic, integrated processing blocks and advanced interfaces, the Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA family addresses the needs of high volume mid-range applications across communications, industrial, automotive, aerospace and scientific computing sectors.

For hardware designers, Kintex-7 provides a power-optimized platform leveraging 28nm geometries to accelerate development and facilitate transition from prototype to deployed solution across diverse verticals and use cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the key characteristics of the Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA?

A: The Kintex-7 provides high logic capacity, integrated transceivers, DSP blocks, memory interfaces, analog mixed signal and abundant I/Os at an optimal cost point.

Q: What are the main configurable elements in the Kintex-7 architecture?

A: This includes the programmable logic fabric using 6-input LUTs, integrated hardened blocks like transceivers and DSP slices, and flexible multi-standard I/O blocks.

Q: What are some of the target applications for Kintex-7 FPGAs?

A: Key applications include wireless infrastructure, industrial automation, automotive electronics, medical imaging, and scientific research.

Q: How does Kintex-7 compare to the higher-end Virtex-7 FPGA?

A: Virtex-7 offers higher density, faster transceivers and more package options but at substantially higher cost over Kintex-7.

Q: What design tool is used to develop for Kintex-7 FPGAs?

A: Xilinx’s mature Vivado Design Suite supports the complete design flow – from RTL to bitstream generation to debug.




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