What does 20nm really buy you as a system designer? All by itself, perhaps not too much. But if you use advanced 20nm IC process technology as an architectural enabler as Xilinx has done with the mid-range Virtex UltraScale and high-end Kintex UltraScale All Programmable Device families, you get some pretty compelling value metrics for systems design.
Consider the following five system-level design scenarios:
- Migration from Virtex-7 All Programmable Devices to 20nm UltraScale devices: You will see 1.5x to 3x more performance per unit cost across the board with power reductions of 25% to 45%.
- Integration of multiple chips into one 20nm UltraScale All Programmable device: You will see as much as a 60% BOM-cost reduction.
- For system designs with heavy DSP use: You may well find that you can use mid-range 20nm Kintex UltraScale devices where you previously had to use high-end Virtex-7 devices.
- For systems already using Kintex-7 devices: You will get 25% to 120% more DSP capability and 1.5x to 4x more serial I/O bandwidth with 20nm Kintex UltraScale devices. You’ll also get power reductions of 25% to 45%.
- For applications with insatiable appetites for performance that are already using Virtex-7 devices: You will get double the system performance, lower power consumption, and you may see BOM costs drop by as much as 50%.
If one of these five scenarios applies to your team’s next project, you might want to read “UltraScale: Multiplying the Value of 20nm – Doing More for Less,” which explains more about the value of the Xilinx UltraScale architecture implemented in 20nm. Below is a table taken from this document with a far more detailed list of the 20nm UltraScale benefits: