It is nice to see that concerns on our Earth is not only special to Greenpeace. Now industry leaders plan their new line of products according to the market’s one of greatest demands, low power consumption. As the money that the customers continue to raise for keeping their system in live production, they start to look into ways of reducing the running costs for their equipments. When the case is electronics, the main running cost is the power that your system uses when it is online.
Now, when we talk in large numbers, every cent counts for reducing the cost. So Xilinx Inc. announcement on low power FPGAs is the great news for customers who are looking into reducing their operation costs. Xilinx announced that their new 7 series are 50% power efficient to their predecessor 6 series. Now that is some hot news! Company announced that with their new ISE Design Suit 12, which enabled intelligent clock-gating technology, this performance in power consumption is achievable using their new 28nm 7 Series product families such as Virtex- 7, Kintex- 7 and Artix- 7. Xilinx also claims that their new 28nm 7 Series products are achieving a 30% power efficiencies compared to the other 28nm alternative FPGAs.
Now, as it is power efficient? Does this mean it has less performance? According to Xilinx, that is a big No! They also announced that their new 7 Series products achieve up to 2X performance compared to their predecessors. So that the market for FPGAs continue to get hotter and hotter for the vendors.
It is really interesting to see that the industry is coming back to “power efficiency” orientation after the “performance” focused era where the products are solely designed to have more muscle power than trying to balance out the power consumption. I think this is a result of our World’s energy politics which started to give some red alerts on running out of main energy sources such as oil. Now it is their time to look for alternative ways of producing the power that we need to continue building our circuits and machines. However, until a “free” energy source is being found it seems like it is going to be a pretty tough race for vendors to come up with power efficent products. So that we can say Xilinx Inc. new 7 Series products are only the beginnig.