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'Spicing' up high speed.

WILSONVILLE, OR -- Mentor Graphics ( is offering a new class of design kits for Xilinx's ( line of 10-Gb/s FPGAs. The Mentor kit provides high-speed verification models written in ICX-SPICE, for use with the company's ICX PCB design verification environment.

Xilinx's Virtex-II Pro X FPGAs are capable of speeds up to 10 Gb/s per channel, reportedly the fastest FPGAs available.

The move means designers can integrate the Virtex FPGAs with Mentor's ICX environment, which includes design entry, place and route and signal integrity.

The ICX line provides SI analysis for IC device architectures, combining the electrical and physical aspects of a design and providing an integrated design and verification environment for SI and timing analysis during layout.

"Mentor Graphics has reduced the cost and complexity of multi-gigabit signal integrity analysis by fully integrating its SPICE and S-Parameter solution directly within its PCB design environment," said Jerry Banks, director of Global Alliances at Xilinx, in a statement. "Users should benefit from a robust design with a reduced number of board spins and a higher PCB production yield by having accurate verification models for our multi-gigabit Virtex-II Pro X devices.

"FPGA on board is one of our strategic thrusts," John Isaac, director, systems market development, told PCD&M. "We're seeing more put on board because of performance and density increases, and [because] the cost of ASICs is prohibitive."

Multi-gigabit technology isn't the norm yet, but use is increasing. One recent study found 14% of designs use multi-gigabit technology. Isaac said the solution will have the biggest impact on designers operating above 500 MHz. "If you are operating below 300 to 400 MHz, you can live with conventional chips and SI software. But you have to eat a lot of routing space to run these designs."

While the new design kit applies to ICX, Mentor said it is "on the verge" of completing testing of a comparable design kit for Hyperlinx.
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Title Annotation:Mentor Offers Design Kits for 10-Gb/s FPGAs
Author:Buetow, Mike
Publication:Printed Circuit Design & Manufacture
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:Mentor, Cadence expand tool interoperability.
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