Breakthrough triple-oxide 90nm technology reduces power consumption by 50 percent

Jun 14, 2004

New technology used to manufacture Virtex-4 FPGAs expected to cut power consumption in half while significantly increasing performance over previous generation devices

HSINCHU, Taiwan, and SAN JOSE, Calif., June 14, 2004 - Xilinx, Inc., the world's leading supplier of programmable logic solutions and inventor of the FPGA, and leading global semiconductor foundry UMC, today announced production of the industry's first FPGA products manufactured using 90nm triple-oxide technology. By using three different thicknesses of the insulating gate oxide layers, the companies were able to break the traditional tradeoff between power consumption and performance, and expect to lower static and dynamic power consumption by 50 percent from previous generation devices with the Virtex-4TM platform FPGA family. Xilinx has already received initial wafers from UMC using this breakthrough triple-oxide 90nm technology.

"Power management has become a critical requirement of customers, especially with increased performance, bandwidth and the move to 90nm technology," said Erich Goetting, vice president and general manager of the Advanced Products Division at Xilinx. "Therefore, reduced power consumption and increased silicon performance were both high on the priority list for Virtex-4 development. Working with UMC, we have leveraged the benefits of triple-oxide technology on 90nm to break the industry trend of increased power consumption when moving from 130nm to 90nm. The new Virtex-4 platform FPGAs will reduce both static and dynamic power consumption by up to 50 percent."

UMC and Xilinx delivered the industry's first 90nm FPGAs in March of 2003. UMC is now in volume production for various 90nm products including the Xilinx Spartan-3TM family of FPGAs.

Dr. S.W. Sun, senior vice president in charge of UMC's Central Research and Development, said, "UMC develops technologies that are targeted for our customer's requirements. For the 90nm node this includes triple gate oxide, in which Xilinx has exploited for their new line of FPGAs. We are pleased to deliver enabling technologies to help Xilinx achieve their performance targets for the Virtex-4 product line, and look forward to reaching future technology milestones together."

About Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGAs

Enabled by the revolutionary Advanced Silicon Modular Block (ASMBLTM) architecture, the Virtex-4 product line is the world's first FPGA family with multiple domain-optimized platforms, offering breakthrough FPGA capability at every price point. The initial Virtex-4 family includes three platforms; Virtex-4 LX optimized for logic-intensive designs, Virtex-4 SX optimized for very high performance signal processing, and Virtex-4 FX for embedded processing and high-speed serial connectivity. Each platform will offer a range of device options. With up to 200,000 logic cells and up to 500 MHz performance, the Virtex-4 family delivers twice the density and up to twice the performance of any FPGA in the industry currently in production. Initial engineering samples of the Virtex-4 LX Platform FPGAs will be available in summer 2004, with SX and FX platforms to follow.

The original press release can be found here.

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