Today, Xilinx Inc. announced its brand new FPGA named Virtex 5QV. The main important feature of this new model is that it provides the space industry with a high performance rad-hard reconfigurable FPGA. You may ask to yourself what rad-hard actually means. It is an abbreviation use for implying the device is radiation hardening. It is actually a method of designing and testing your electronic component to make them have a resistance in hard conditions such as high radiation and high electromagnetic fields. Now it seems like industry has a new and powerful component to build their technology onto. I think that this will be the new era for rad-hard FPGA and we may see other players developing high end products like this in the industry of field programmable gate arrays. So that the market gets even hotter.
The new FPGA has features as listed below:
– Up to 130k logic cells
– 450MHz system performance
– Integrated block memory
– SelectIO technology
– 3.125 Gpbs GTX transceiver (18)
– PCI Express endpoint blocks
– 10/100/1000 Ethernet Media Access Controller blocks (6)
– Up to 360MHz DSP48E slices (320)
It might seem like a very specific field of applications for FPGAs but the results might effect a broad field as space industry is the “Formula 1” of electronic development. Meaning that you watch a F1 race and hear people talking about a new technology in the race cars to either improve speed or security and next thing you know when you buy a new car that feature has been put in your new car. Also the company listed its possible field of applications as sensor processing, reconfigurable computing platform, modems and communications. So that as the FPGAs continue to develop through space industry it will be logical to expect new developments in more common fields for FPGAs.
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