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FPGA and ASIC Technology Comparison

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  1. FPGA and ASIC Technology Comparison

    Part 1
  2. Intro to VHDL or Intro to Verilog 3 days FPGA and ASIC Technology Comparison FPGA and ASIC Technology Comparison FPGA vs. ASIC Design Flow Virtex-5 Coding Techniques Spartan-3 Coding Techniques ASIC to FPGA Coding Conversion Fundamentals of FPGA Design 1 day Designing for Performance 2 days Advanced FPGA Implementation 2 days FREE Curriculum Path FREE FREE FREE for ASIC Design Minimum: 6 months design experience
  3. Welcome If you are an experienced ASIC designer transitioning to FPGAs, this course will help you reduce your learning curve by leveraging your ASIC experience Careful attention to how FPGAs are different than ASICs will help you create a fast and reliable FPGA design
  4. Objectives After completing this training you will be able to: Describe the differences between ASIC and FPGA architectures Explain the features of Xilinx FPGA architecture Benefit from the Xilinx dedicated resources
  5. Contrasting Architectures ASIC architecture compared to the Xilinx FPGA architecture Gates versus LUTs Delays Performance Fundamental part selection considerations Cost Size Performance Volume Analog circuitry Time to market Reprogrammability
  6. Standard Cell Advantages Lowest price for high-volume production (greater than 200K per year) Fastest clock frequency (performance) Unlimited size Integrated analog functions Custom ASICs Low power Disadvantages Highest non-recurring engineering costs Longest design cycle Limited vendor IP with high cost High cost for engineering change orders
  7. Embedded Array Advantages Low price for medium-volume to high-volume production Performance only slightly slower than a standard cell 50+ million gates Custom macro support More flexibility than an FPGA Low power Disadvantages High non-recurring engineering costs Design cycle longer than an FPGA Vendor IP has high cost Generally digital only
  8. Xilinx FPGAsField-Programmable Gate Arrays Advantages Lowest cost for low-volume to medium-volume production No non-recurring engineering costs Standard product Fastest time to market Xilinx has extensive library of IP Inexpensive compared to ASIC vendors Ability to make bug fixes quickly and inexpensively Disadvantages Slower performance Size limited to ~25 million system gates Digital only
  9. Field-Programmable Gate Arrays Xilinx FPGAs are made using SRAM Today’s FPGAs use 65-nm copper CMOS process Potential to accommodate 25M system gates Includes RAM and logic gates Performance up to 550 MHz Integrated synthesis, simulation, and place & route tools PC and UNIX Inexpensive: $2500 or less for the ISE Design Suite Use of third-party tools will increase costs Free ISE WebPACK is available
  10. Configuration Introduction When does configuration happen? On power up On demand Why do FPGAs need to be configured? FPGA configuration memory is volatile Configuration data is stored in a PROM or other external data source What do you need to know about FPGA configuration? What happens during configuration How to set up various configuration modes and daisy chains
  11. Configuration Cost of ownership is reduced with the ability to reconfigure the hardware—extending the life of the product Reduces the costly physical deployment of repair technicians Extends the life of the product Upgrades Bug fixes Adding additional functionality Faster time to market Partial reconfiguration
  12. FPGA Configuration Methods Xilinx PROMs: Slave/Master Serial Slave/Master SelectMAP Xilinx Cables: JTAG Slave Serial Slave SelectMAP FPGA Microprocessor: JTAG Slave Serial Slave SelectMAP Commodity Flash: Slave SelectMAP SPI* BPI* *SPI and BPI support is available in the newer Virtex™-5 and Spartan™-3E families
  13. Five Primary Elements Routing Xilinx FPGAs Configurable logic blocks Dedicated blocks Inputandoutput blocks * Clocking Resources
  14. CarryChain D Q LUT S/R Logic Cells Logic cells include Combinatorial logic, arithmetic logic, and a register Combinatorial logic is implemented using Look-Up Tables (LUTs) Register functions can include latches, JK, SR, D, and T-type flip-flops Arithmetic logic is a dedicated carry chain for implementing fast arithmetic operations Carry out Carry in
  15. A B C D E F Combinatorial Logic A B C D E F Z 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 1 0 0 00 0 1 0 0 0 00 0 1 1 1 0 00 1 0 0 1 0 00 1 0 1 1 ... 0 01 1 0 0 0 0 01 1 0 1 0 0 01 1 1 0 0 0 01 1 1 1 1 LUT Combinatorial Logic LUTs function as a ROM Constant delay through a LUT Limited by the number of inputs and outputs, not by complexity They generate the output value… for a given set of inputs Z 0 00 1 0 1
  16. LUT LUT LUT Wide Input Functions For wider input functions, LUTs can be combined using a multiplexer These muxes are dedicated, so they are fast MUX
  17. LUT LUT-Based Memory Can store 64 bits of memory as either a RAM or a ROM Fundamentally, the LUT is a ROM Can become RAM with activation of configuration write strobe Combine multiple LUTs for larger memories—larger in both in depth and width 128 x 8 is not uncommon 6-input LUT contains two 5-input LUTs, which adds more flexibility
  18. Carry Logic The carry logic chain is dedicated logic that computes high-speed arithmetic logic functions The carry chain generally consists of a multiplexer and an XOR gate The LUT computes the multiplexer selector The multiplexer determines the carry-out The XOR gate computes the addition
  19. Memory Blocks Support single- and dual-port synchronous operations In dual-port mode, these RAM blocks support fully independent ports for both reading and writing Each RAM block can be configured for 36 kb Can be used as 2 independent 18-kb RAMs Dedicated cascade logic allows 2 RAM blocks to be configured as 72 kb Blocks of memory are generally spread out across the die Dedicated FIFO logic enables each RAM to be configured as a FIFO
  20. Port A: 8 bits Port B: 32 bits Block RAM Configurations Configurations available on each port Independent configurations on ports A and B, read and write Supports data-width conversion, including parity bits IN 8 bit OUT 32 bit
  21. IOB Element Input path Two DDR registers Output path Two DDR registers Two 3-state enable DDR registers Each path can be combinatorial or registered Separate clocks and clock enables for I and O Set and reset signals are shared
  22. IOB Element Default I/O standard varies by family Fast and slow slew rate Programmable drive strength Other I/O standards Built in SERDES functionality ISERDES divides input data by up to 10 OSERDES multiplies output data by up to 10
  23. DSP Slice 25x18 Multiply ALU Mode Dedicated A Cascading Pattern Detection Independent C input
  24. Routing A combination of programmable and dedicated routing lines Dedicated routing Global clocks with predefined clock tree Regional clocks and IO clocks Global low-skew routing resources for other high-fanout signals Carry chain routing Dedicated routing among other dedicated resources General interconnect Routing of local signals between CLBs and IOBs
  25. Clock Management Dedicated clock trees are pre-optimized clock networks that balance the skew and minimize delay Virtex-5 FPGA has 32 separate clock networks Spartan-3 FPGA has 8 separate clock networks Each can be configured for a built-in clock enable (BUFGCE) or switching clock sources (BUFGMUX) Local clock routing includes regional (BUFR) and SERDES (BUFIO)
  26. Clock Management CMT PLL Digital Clock Manager (DCM) consists of… Digital Delay Locked Loop (DLL) Digital Frequency Synthesis (DFS) Digital Phase Shifter (DPS)
  27. I/O Translators Programmable input and output thresholds Supported standards include LVCMOS (several classes), LVPECL, HSTL (several classes), SSTL (several classes), PCI, PCI-X, LVDS (several classes), GTL, GTL+, and HyperTransport™ (LDT) technology - Supported standards vary, check your data sheet Different I/O standards require a separate input and output reference voltage for each bank supporting a separate I/O standard Generally, each bank can support several standards, as long as they share the same vref (input) or vcco (output)
  28. Dedicated and Special Resources Clock management (CMT) DCM and PLL Dedicated clock trees (not shown) Test logic Built-in JTAG I/O translators Supporting many different thresholds Other resources Dual-Data Rate (DDR) registers in IOB SERDES resources Dedicated Cores Block RAM DSP Slices Gigabit transceivers, MGTs (all devices) Tri-mode Ethernet MAC (all devices) PCI Express® core (all devices) Additional FXT Cores PowerPC® 440 processors (not shown) Faster GTX transceiver (not shown)
  29. Other Resources Embedded processor cores 32-bit PowerPC 440 processor core (hard) MicroBlaze processor core (soft) Digitally controlled termination resistance (DCI)
  30. Summary FPGA flexibility Reconfigurable logic Time to market Lowest “cost of change” Xilinx combinatorial resources use flexible LUTs Xilinx slices also contain registers, carry logic, clocking resources, and dedicated muxes to improve the performance for all applications Xilinx FPGAs have dedicated resources for DSP, RAM, PCI, EMAC, and I/O that make these critical paths equivalent to a custom ASIC
  31. Where Can I Learn More? Xilinx online documents www.support.xilinx.com Software manuals Data sheets Application notes User guides Xilinx Education Services courses www.xilinx.com/training Xilinx tools and architecture courses Hardware description language courses Free Videos
  32. FPGA and ASIC Technology Comparison

    Part 2
  33. Intro to VHDL or Intro to Verilog 3 days FPGA and ASIC Technology Comparison FPGA and ASIC Technology Comparison FPGA vs. ASIC Design Flow Virtex-5 Coding Techniques Spartan-3 Coding Techniques ASIC to FPGA Coding Conversion Fundamentals of FPGA Design 1 day Designing for Performance 2 days Advanced FPGA Implementation 2 days FREE Curriculum Path FREE FREE FREE for ASIC Design
  34. Welcome If you are an experienced ASIC designer transitioning to FPGAs, this course will help you reduce your learning curve by leveraging your ASIC experience Careful attention to how FPGAs are different than ASICs will help you create a fast and reliable FPGA design
  35. Objectives After completing this training you will be able to: Describe how a simple logic implementation can differ between ASIC and FPGAs Recognize gate counts as an estimation of design size Explain some of the FPGA design practices you must follow to get peak performance in your FPGA
  36. Gate Comparison In retargeting HDL code for an ASIC design to an FPGA, gate conversion is rarely one to one A 0.13-µ standard cell can have up to 100K gates per mm2 A Virtex®-5 FPGA has about 20K usable gates per mm2 Why the difference? Xilinx has programmable logic in addition to the functional logic Routing Multiplexers Configuration memory registers This means built-in design flexibility!
  37. Gate Translation Separate out logic, flip-flops, RAM, cores, and I/O Partition cores into logic and RAM Assume 6 to 24 gates per LUT (depending on the number of inputs used) RAM bits are equivalent Up to 100 ASIC gates per I/O; translate to IOBs 7 gates per register So what design strategy do you think you need to use? To get the most out of the FPGA try to use as many features as possible, especially the FPGA’s dedicated hardware
  38. ASIC 250K logic gates Four 32-kb blocks of RAM 243 pads, includingpower and ground FPGA 20,800 to 41,600 LUTs Equivalent Equivalent number of pins Example Depending on the number of LUTs needed, this design could use a Virtex-5 LX30, LX50, or LX85 FPGA
  39. CONCLUSION Gate Counts Gate counts are influenced by Coding style Metal layers Process geometry Library quality Placement and routing algorithms Core contents (RAM versus gates) I/O requirements Special features Any ASIC-to-FPGA gate counting method is only a rough estimate. Taking ASIC code directly to an FPGA will not utilize the dedicated resources of the FPGA.
  40. For vec(7 downto 0) and_out <= vec(0) AND vec(1) AND vec(2) AND vec(3) AND vec(4) AND vec(5) AND vec(6) AND vec(7); VHDL VHDL For vec(7.0) assign and_out = & vec; Verilog Verilog AND Gate Example 8-input AND gate
  41. ASIC Implementation 8-input AND gate Two four-input NAND gates feeding a two-input NOR gate Approximate gate count = 14 Approximate delay in a standard-cell ASIC with 0.13-µ process = 0.47 ns Beware of ASIC libraries with very wide gate types!
  42. Xilinx Implementation 8-input AND gate implemented in three 4-input LUTs and two logic levels Approximate max delay in a Spartan®-3 FPGA = 0.678 ns Approximate gate count = 18 gates Approximate max delay in a Virtex-5 FPGA = 0.435 ns Approximate gate count = 18 gates
  43. Question How many 4-input LUTs would be required to implement a 32-input OR gate? How many Logic Levels would they generate?
  44. LUT LUT LUT LUT LUT LUT LUT LUT LUT LUT Answer How many 4-input LUTs would be required to implement a 32-input OR gate? 11 How many Logic Levels would they generate? 3 If net delays ~ .3 ns and LUT delays ~.2 ns then total delay would be 2(.3) + 3(.2) ~ 1.2 ns …in a Spartan®-3 FPGA How do you think this would be implemented in Virtex-5 with a 6-input LUT? (Answer: 7 LUTs and 2 Logic Levels) LUT
  45. Tri-State Busses Some ASIC designs have large tri-state busses There are no tri-state buffers associated with each slice in the newest FPGAs These will have to be re-synthesized and be mapped to LUTs and the F7 and F8 dedicated muxes You may need to code these with a CASE statement and a high-Z output The F7 can implement an 8-to-1 mux The F8 can implement a 16-to-1 mux
  46. process (clk) begin if rising_edge(clk) then vec_q <= vec; and_out <= vec_q(0) AND vec_q(1) AND vec_q(2) AND vec_q(3) AND vec_q(4) AND vec_q(5) AND vec_q(6) AND vec_q(7); end if; end process; VHDL VHDL always @ (posedge clk) begin vec_q <= vec; and_out <= & vec_q; end Verilog Registered AND gate
  47. Performance Comparison A comparison of the achieved performance for the registered 8-input AND gate Virtex-5 FPGA ~550 MHz ~88 gates 0.13-µ standard cell ASIC ~850 MHz ~77 gates Typical high-performance frequencies (no optimization for the FPGA) Virtex-5 FPGA ~275 MHz for four-levels of LUT (combinatorial) logic 0.13-µ standard cell ASIC ~550 MHz for equivalent logic Don’t forget to optimize your HDL code!
  48. Combinatorial logic implemented in an ASIC is typically faster than in an FPGA implementation The fine-grain architecture of an ASIC allows wider input functions to be implemented with significantly less delay ASICs have a dedicated routing structure rather than a programmable routing structure Critical paths typically include I/O, RAM, PCI™ technology, EMAC, and DSP resources Xilinx has dedicated FPGA resources to implement these functions, making these paths equivalent to an ASIC implementation Remember: Xilinx Virtex-5 devices are cutting-edge ASICs ASIC versus FPGA Don’t forget to include Xilinx-dedicated resources in your design!
  49. fMAX = n MHz Two Logic Levels D Q D Q fMAX 2n MHz D Q D Q D Q One Level One Level Pipelining
  50. Sequential Design How do you get high performance from an FPGA? Pipelining For large combinatorial paths, additional registers may need to be inferred to break up combinatorial paths to increase performance This technique increases the size of the design This is not as likely to be needed for Virtex-5 FPGA designs because the Virtex-5 FPGA has a 6-input LUT Evaluate the number of logic levels your design has by generating a timing report from the ISE® Design Suite or your synthesis tool Usually the registers are added at a hierarchical boundary Don’t forget to evaluate the number of logic levels for your timing-critical paths!
  51. Timing Constraints How do you get high performance from an FPGA? Timing constraints Timing constraints communicate the performance goals to the implementation tools Global timing constraints constrain virtually all the paths in your design based on your system frequency, input, and output times (PERIOD, OFFSET IN, OFFSET OUT) Path-specific timing constraints need to be added to constrain multi-cycle paths and false paths Adding timing constraints is essential if you want good system speed!
  52. Coding Style How do you get high performance out of an FPGA? Coding style has a large impact on the performance Because FPGA combinatorial and routing resources are inherently slower, the HDL coding style needs to be improved Write your code to limit the number of logic levels inferred Learn about proper HDL coding styles by listening to the REL modules Don’t waste time! Evaluate your HDL!
  53. Synchronous Design How do you get reliability out of an FPGA? Always build a synchronous design Asynchronous circuits are less reliable Lot variations exist for all FPGAs, which means that your design has to be able to work for faster devices Timing constraints Cannot fix asynchronous design problems—only you can
  54. Synchronous Design Methodology One clock (or at least as few as possible) Use one edge (all flip-flops use rising or falling edge) Use D-type flip-flops Register the outputs of each behavioral block In place of multiple clocks, use clock enables Synchronize asynchronous signals to the “single” clock (synchronization circuits) Do NOT create Gated, derived, or divided clocks Local asynchronous set/reset Avoid global asynchronous set/reset Get it right the first time!
  55. Summary Don’t worry too much about gate counting methodologies. They are only rough estimates, anyway Optimize your HDL coding style Instantiate Xilinx-dedicated hardware resources into your design to improve your system speed and maximize what you get from your FPGA Pipeline your timing-critical paths Timing constraints are a primary means for improving system speed Get your design to work properly the first time by designing synchronously
  56. Where Can I Learn More? Xilinx Answers Browser www.support.xilinx.com  Answers Browser window Enter keywords like “pipelining” or “period constraint” Xilinx Education Services courses www.xilinx.com/training Xilinx tools and architecture courses Fundamentals of FPGA Design Learn about synchronous design, global timing constraints, the Architecture Wizard, and the CORE Generator™ tool Designing for Performance Learn about avoiding metastability, path-specific timing constraints, and the Timing Analyzer Free Video-based Training Learn about proper HDL coding techniques
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