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Xilinx Transforms Ecosystem to Accelerate Mainstream Adoption of Programmable Platforms
Xilinx Establishes Marketplace for the FPGA Ecosystem Based on Industry Standards and Open Platforms
"Customers are increasingly turning to FPGAs and expert 3rd party providers to design progressively complex products within shrinking time to market budgets, but the industry needs to streamline the process further through industry standards and open platforms to make FPGAs more approachable to a broader set of electronic system designers versus ASIC and ASSP alternatives," said Dave Tokic, Senior Director, Partner Ecosystems and Alliances at Xilinx. "The ultimate goal in this new chapter of the Xilinx Alliance Program is to introduce a healthier marketplace for the ecosystem that is tuned to specific end-market applications, implemented on Xilinx FPGAs, and delivered to customers via Targeted Design Platforms that come directly from us and the FPGA ecosystem at large."
Xilinx Alliance Program Members make up a worldwide ecosystem of qualified companies that have a proven track record in delivering products and services built for Xilinx programmable logic technologies across all markets served by Xilinx. These companies span many disciplines including IP, design and integration services, embedded software, design tools, development and evaluation boards, and complimentary silicon device technology. Each is working with Xilinx platforms to deliver significant flexibility and cost of ownership benefits, while lowering design risks, over ASSP and ASIC solutions.
"Xilinx programmable platforms and key Alliance Program members have helped Delphi shorten development time for some of our latest infotainment products," said Roger Davis, Product Line Architect. "As a market innovator, it is important for Delphi to accelerate the product design process without compromising quality. The transparent qualification and certification process Xilinx has put in place to strengthen the ecosystem allows our design teams to more confidently engage with those key Alliance Program members to successfully meet this goal."
Establishing a Marketplace to Accelerate Mainstream Adoption of FPGAs
While there has always been 3rd party companies supporting FPGA technologies, Xilinx understood that a transformation was needed in order to realize the potential of the programmable platform. Ecosystem providers need a more efficient way to support FPGAs, and at the same time, improve quality and deliver their solutions to customers in a way that reduces design complexity and provides more value. To move the ecosystem further along the path toward a more viable marketplace, Xilinx is adopting widely-used industry standards and opening up its own platforms to better enable Alliance Program members to ultimately provide 'plug and play' FPGA design solutions. In addition to technical standards, Xilinx is also establishing standard business terms for licensing of IP and design services, investing in the ecosystem to accelerate availability of optimized IP and Targeted Design Platforms, and piloting new business models to provide customers more choices to engage with Alliance Program members.
Xilinx has chosen the AMBA® AXI4 protocol as the single, open, on-chip interconnect standard to streamline IP development and significantly reduce customer and 3rd party provider IP integration time and effort. This combined with the unified architecture across device families in the 28nm 7 series FPGAs will also improve IP portability and designer productivity. With the availability of ISE® Design Suite 12.3, the first of these AXI protocol-enabled IP cores are now available including initial support by Alliance Members, such as Northwest Logic and Xylon, and with expanded support coming later in Q4'2010. (Please see: "Xilinx ISE Design Suite 12.3 Introduces AMBA 4 AXI4 IP Cores")
Xilinx is opening up its ISE Design Suite CORE Generator(TM) System and standardizing on the IEEE 1685 IP-XACT standard defined by the SPIRIT Consortium to automate the packaging, delivery, and configuration of IP. Xilinx is also supporting the IEEE P1735 IP encryption standard and FlexNet licensing to improve interoperability and access to advanced SoC design tools and methodologies to optimize the FPGA design flow; and is driving industry-standard business terms to streamline licensing of IP and design services through the SignOnce IP License, the industry's first and only set of common license terms for programmable logic soft IP cores. Xilinx has also adopted the VITA-57 FMC (FPGA Mezzanine card) standard for add-on cards in order to improve the scalability of development boards using Xilinx FPGAs.
"As the industry is developing more complex designs on programmable solutions, competent and trusted providers are required to deliver key IP, software, and services to meet the tight delivery schedules of today's system companies," said Gunter Rottner, Director of Engineering at Bosch. "Xilinx is taking a leadership position by building their ecosystem on open standards and holding them to high standards to reduce customer risks."
Strengthening Customer Trust with Industry's First Tiered Ecosystem
As customers use FPGAs to implement more advanced systems they have increased requirements for 3rd party providers. In response, Xilinx has sharpened the qualification process for Alliance Members and has introduced the first of its kind Premier and technical certified tier of membership.
Premier Members are top-tier Alliance Members who have passed an exhaustive 320 point on-site audit from Xilinx covering business processes, technical competency, product quality, and supportability, and maintain certified design expertise on Xilinx FPGAs. They work closely with Xilinx to align development roadmaps and proactively provide optimized support for the latest silicon and design tools. Premier Members span all market segments and applications domains and to date include IP providers Helion Technology Ltd, Northwest Logic, Omiino Ltd, Tokyo Electron Device Ltd, and Xylon.
Certified Members pass a comprehensive 320-point review of their technical, business, quality, and support processes and have engineers who have passed the same rigorous training on FPGA design used by Xilinx Field Engineering worldwide. Xilinx certified Member engineers annually refresh Certification training to ensure they have updated their expertise on the latest products and technologies from Xilinx. Certified Members to date are Avnet Inc., Barco-Silex; Bottom Line Technologies, Inc.; B&A Engineering Systems, Inc.; CAST, Inc.; CMC Ltd.; CoreEl Technologies; Coreworks, S.A.; Chenxiao Technology Ltd; E-Element Technology Co., Ltd; Hardent, Incorporated; HCL Technologies Ltd; intoPIX, S.A.; iWave Systems Technologies Private Ltd; MAC, Ltd.; Multi Video Designs; Oki Information Systems Co., Ltd; Tata-Elxsi Ltd; Tata Consultancy Services Ltd; Tri-Star Design, Inc., and Wipro Technologies.
Find the Right Alliance Member Faster
Xilinx has significantly expanded the visibility of the ecosystem to allow customers to find the right qualified 3rd party provider easier and faster than before. Customers can visit www.xilinx.com/alliance/ and use a new search engine to immediately find the details they need to choose the right Alliance Member. Xilinx is enhancing the site to include direct self-service access allowing Alliance Members to provide customers the most up to date information about their company, products, and services. Xilinx is the first FPGA provider to launch a microsite on the ChipEstimate.com IP portal, demonstrating its commitment to enabling the usage of external industry portals to broadly raise visibility to Alliance Member IP and improve access for customers. To learn more about the Xilinx Alliance Program and how Xilinx is transforming the FPGA ecosystem, please go to www.xilinx.com/alliance/.
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