Author Topic: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen  (Read 1587 times)

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Online hamster_nz

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Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« on: April 06, 2017, 04:53:40 AM »
...on what looks to be a new Digilent Dev board



Video says parts are "available for order"
 
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Offline lukier

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 05:10:19 AM »
Looks nice, but bloody PMOD or even worse Arduino connectors that are not even aligned to 0.1" - somebody has to stop this stupid trend. I was considering once to buy STM32F7 Discovery board and it also has only Arduino pins broken out (and on the bottom side!). Fortunately STM32F7 Nucleo has two normal dual pin header footprints (but in addition to something Arduino like  :palm:)

I'd rather see all the pins (except really commited ones, like the DDR memory etc) broken out onto 0.1" or some high speed connector, this is particularly important for the FPGAs.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 05:15:00 AM »
I didn't see that board at Digilent but I did see a more affordable Zynq board:
http://store.digilentinc.com/arty-z7-apsoc-zynq-7000-development-board-for-makers-and-hobbyists/

Not cheap but it might be worth it for the education.
 

Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 06:45:43 AM »
cool! Spartan 7 has been a while in the works. very keen to see the price performance tradeoff with artix 7...

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Offline PDXjason

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 08:57:20 AM »
Looks nice, but bloody PMOD or even worse Arduino connectors that are not even aligned to 0.1" - somebody has to stop this stupid trend. I was considering once to buy STM32F7 Discovery board and it also has only Arduino pins broken out (and on the bottom side!). Fortunately STM32F7 Nucleo has two normal dual pin header footprints (but in addition to something Arduino like  :palm:)

I'd rather see all the pins (except really commited ones, like the DDR memory etc) broken out onto 0.1" or some high speed connector, this is particularly important for the FPGAs.

Something like an FMC but cheaper?  I might know something in the works like that.  ;)
 
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Offline lukier

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 09:29:08 AM »
Something like an FMC but cheaper?  I might know something in the works like that.  ;)

Yeah, FMC is a bugger :) I was just thinking it would be good to have a board with some signals on 0.1" pin headers for simple stuff and quick tests and some routed to a more high speed suited connector. On one of the dev. boards I have (Spartan 3E Starter Kit) uses Hirose FX2 for that, not extremely expensive, but I'm not sure it is high speed enough by today's standards.

My rant against Arduino headers is simply related to the fact that one of the points of an FPGA is to have a ton of IO (what sometimes is a problem in the hobbyist context with the crazy BGA packages FPGAs come in), so putting Arduino 20 something pins on a dev board is a joke (the same arguments stands for such feature rich MCU as STM32F7).

Often I would prefer something like system on module, in the FPGA or high performance MCU context probably not with 0.1" or 0.05" inch headers because pulling out a module with 100 pins is no fun :)
The downside is that, surprisingly!, such SoMs are (I think) not subsidized like popular dev. boards and often more expensive and available from 3rd party vendors, unrelated to manufacturer's marketing department. It baffles me, full blown dev. board has more connectors, components, features, accessories and is still cheaper than a SoM which is a tiny PCB with FPGA/CPU + SDRAM/FLASH, some power & clocks and 2-3 high density connectors or even cheaper - SODIMM 204 pin edge connector.

But it's getting better in that respect, TrenzElectronic makes nice FPGA SoMs, hotmcu.com Allwinner or AM335X based ones or Myirtech Z-turn Board with Zynq.
 

Offline ehughes

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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2017, 11:33:20 AM »
Those seem to be automotive-rated parts (125C).  Hopefully they'll expand the listing soon.
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2017, 01:13:25 PM »
It baffles me, full blown dev. board has more connectors, components, features, accessories and is still cheaper than a SoM which is a tiny PCB with FPGA/CPU + SDRAM/FLASH, some power & clocks and 2-3 high density connectors or even cheaper - SODIMM 204 pin edge connector.
The manufacturer can sell (a limited quantity) of the parts for a very low price into dev boards to induce uptake, or even outright subsidise development boards as an marketing expense.
 

Offline pieman103021

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2017, 10:43:42 PM »
I didn't see that board at Digilent but I did see a more affordable Zynq board:
http://store.digilentinc.com/arty-z7-apsoc-zynq-7000-development-board-for-makers-and-hobbyists/

Not cheap but it might be worth it for the education.
It is worth noting that Digilent also offers the Pynq-Z1 for only $65 with the academic discount. It is a hardware equivalent, except it additionally has a PDM microphone. 

This is good because while there isn't any support for non-pynq software on the pynq, all of the support made available for the Arty will be directly applicable.
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 12:33:28 AM »
I didn't see that board at Digilent but I did see a more affordable Zynq board:
http://store.digilentinc.com/arty-z7-apsoc-zynq-7000-development-board-for-makers-and-hobbyists/

Not cheap but it might be worth it for the education.
It is worth noting that Digilent also offers the Pynq-Z1 for only $65 with the academic discount. It is a hardware equivalent, except it additionally has a PDM microphone. 

This is good because while there isn't any support for non-pynq software on the pynq, all of the support made available for the Arty will be directly applicable.

Alas, I am not eligible for an educational discount and nobody seems to offer an 'old geezer' discount.  Bummer!
 

Offline pieman103021

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2017, 01:00:30 AM »
I didn't see that board at Digilent but I did see a more affordable Zynq board:
http://store.digilentinc.com/arty-z7-apsoc-zynq-7000-development-board-for-makers-and-hobbyists/

Not cheap but it might be worth it for the education.
It is worth noting that Digilent also offers the Pynq-Z1 for only $65 with the academic discount. It is a hardware equivalent, except it additionally has a PDM microphone. 

This is good because while there isn't any support for non-pynq software on the pynq, all of the support made available for the Arty will be directly applicable.

Alas, I am not eligible for an educational discount and nobody seems to offer an 'old geezer' discount.  Bummer!
In that case, for learning on a budget there are always lattice dev boards. I think Mike of mikeselectricstuff is a big fan of these: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/Lattice-Semiconductor-Corporation/LCMXO3L-6900C-S-EVN/220-1935-ND/5039065 but I have no personal experience with them.

Of course, with the Spartan 7 costing $300+ alone, it is safe to say everything mentioned is going to be cheaper than what we see in the OP.

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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2017, 02:59:23 AM »
Of course, with the Spartan 7 costing $300+ alone, it is safe to say everything mentioned is going to be cheaper than what we see in the OP.

What are you talking about? That part on Digikey that someone posted is $18, not $300+.
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Offline jnz

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2017, 04:32:40 AM »
Of course, with the Spartan 7 costing $300+ alone, it is safe to say everything mentioned is going to be cheaper than what we see in the OP.

What are you talking about? That part on Digikey that someone posted is $18, not $300+.

.... But.... not if you buy 19 of them!  :P
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2017, 06:22:40 AM »
I didn't see that board at Digilent but I did see a more affordable Zynq board:
http://store.digilentinc.com/arty-z7-apsoc-zynq-7000-development-board-for-makers-and-hobbyists/

Not cheap but it might be worth it for the education.
It is worth noting that Digilent also offers the Pynq-Z1 for only $65 with the academic discount. It is a hardware equivalent, except it additionally has a PDM microphone. 

This is good because while there isn't any support for non-pynq software on the pynq, all of the support made available for the Arty will be directly applicable.

Alas, I am not eligible for an educational discount and nobody seems to offer an 'old geezer' discount.  Bummer!
In that case, for learning on a budget there are always lattice dev boards. I think Mike of mikeselectricstuff is a big fan of these: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/Lattice-Semiconductor-Corporation/LCMXO3L-6900C-S-EVN/220-1935-ND/5039065 but I have no personal experience with them.

Of course, with the Spartan 7 costing $300+ alone, it is safe to say everything mentioned is going to be cheaper than what we see in the OP.

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I just like to whine about not qualifying for the educational discount.  I don't really have a budget problem but I do try to keep things rational.

The linked Lattice board is a little small for my CPU project, it's about 1/3 the size of my Spartan 3 1200k board and I use just over 1/3 of the chip capability and most of the BlockRAM.  OTOH, that board has a lot of IO brought out and for embedding in a larger project, that kind of thing is very helpful.

I don't quite see the point of the Spartan 7 and I'll concede that I haven't look at all the details but according to the Overview, the Artix-7 is a bigger chip and the Artix-7 'Arty' boards are fairly cheap.  They use a rather modest Artix-7...

https://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/data_sheets/ds180_7Series_Overview.pdf

I think the Zynq board will be up next.  I could see running Linux in the ARM cores and having an FPGA fabric for my CPU project.  My IO subsystem would be much more elegant.
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2017, 10:04:11 AM »
I don't quite see the point of the Spartan 7

I'm starting to wonder about that myself.  It doesn't look like they're going to be (much) cheaper than Artix. 

I thought they were just going to be Artix parts without the high-rate transceiver hardware.  But Xilinx is advertising that one of the advantages of S7 is that the commercial parts are good to 125C.  That makes me think they're not just binned Artix parts, but something based on a different process altogether.
 

Offline pieman103021

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2017, 10:11:50 AM »
Of course, with the Spartan 7 costing $300+ alone, it is safe to say everything mentioned is going to be cheaper than what we see in the OP.

What are you talking about? That part on Digikey that someone posted is $18, not $300+.
You make a good argument. That number did seem weird to me, but I guess it should have put a little more thought into it. 
In that case, I look forward to seeing what comes of this board.

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Offline james_s

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2017, 06:22:10 AM »

Alas, I am not eligible for an educational discount and nobody seems to offer an 'old geezer' discount.  Bummer!

Well you can get a senior discount at many restaurants but that probably isn't what you're looking for :)
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2017, 07:58:56 AM »
$18 looks substantially cheaper than Artix-7 to me. I'm not sure how real these prices are.

 

Offline Someone

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2017, 10:22:02 AM »
$18 looks substantially cheaper than Artix-7 to me. I'm not sure how real these prices are.
Cheaper than the other 7 series parts, but still competitive with the older spartan 6 series. Given their substantial differences it would really depend on the design specifics as to which part you would pick.
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2017, 10:33:23 AM »
$18 looks substantially cheaper than Artix-7 to me. I'm not sure how real these prices are.

Those are less than half the size of the smallest Artix part, though, and cost more than half as much.
 

Offline JoeN

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2017, 04:13:30 PM »
The guy in the video says a Microblaze soft processor costs as little as 19 cents to implement in a Spartan 7 FPGA.  Does he mean the cost for IP or the cost for both IP and the logic fabric that it will take up?  19 cents seems pretty low.  The only device I can get a price on is $18 for 6,000 LEs (link above, the only part listed at Digikey, though not in stock yet).  A minimal Microblaze is said to be around 600 LEs, right?  So that is $1.80 in fabric for a small device.  Do larger devices really lower the price by a factor of 10?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 04:16:25 PM by JoeN »
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Online Kilrah

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2017, 06:39:56 PM »
I didn't see that board at Digilent but I did see a more affordable Zynq board:
http://store.digilentinc.com/arty-z7-apsoc-zynq-7000-development-board-for-makers-and-hobbyists/

Not cheap but it might be worth it for the education.

Nice! Note that it selects the version with the larger 7Z020 by default, the 7Z010 version is only $149. You can already do quite some stuff with that.

I might actually get one since I had something I wanted to try with both HDMI in and out at the same time, which my Zybo doesn't have... and the Snickerdoodle+accessories I backed eons ago is still nowhere  close to getting there it seems >:(
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 06:46:32 PM by Kilrah »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2017, 04:03:17 AM »
The guy in the video says a Microblaze soft processor costs as little as 19 cents to implement in a Spartan 7 FPGA.  Does he mean the cost for IP or the cost for both IP and the logic fabric that it will take up?  19 cents seems pretty low.  The only device I can get a price on is $18 for 6,000 LEs (link above, the only part listed at Digikey, though not in stock yet).  A minimal Microblaze is said to be around 600 LEs, right?  So that is $1.80 in fabric for a small device.  Do larger devices really lower the price by a factor of 10?

They're probably talking about whatever device is the sweet spot for lowest cost per LE, and also probably in quantities of 1,000+. You're always going to pay more in single quantities and quotes like above are aimed toward mass production.
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Xilinx Spartan 7 seen
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2017, 12:19:26 AM »
The guy in the video says a Microblaze soft processor costs as little as 19 cents to implement in a Spartan 7 FPGA.  Does he mean the cost for IP or the cost for both IP and the logic fabric that it will take up?  19 cents seems pretty low.  The only device I can get a price on is $18 for 6,000 LEs (link above, the only part listed at Digikey, though not in stock yet).  A minimal Microblaze is said to be around 600 LEs, right?  So that is $1.80 in fabric for a small device.  Do larger devices really lower the price by a factor of 10?

They're probably talking about whatever device is the sweet spot for lowest cost per LE, and also probably in quantities of 1,000+. You're always going to pay more in single quantities and quotes like above are aimed toward mass production.
And this screw only costs 3 cents. But you need to buy the car, it comes in.
 


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