November 26, 2021
Editor’s Note: This content is republished from the MicroZed Chronicles, with permission from the author.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about migration from Spartan-6 devices to 7 Series devices. This originated from several client questions and inquiries about how this particular migration is best performed. This week, I am going to start looking at Spartan-6 migration more in depth, beginning with how to select the most appropriate device from the 7 Series range.
FPGA designs are complex and we need to consider each case individually. At a high level, however, we can guide the possible device selection from the flow chart below. This flow chart is based upon three key decisions points:
Of course, these decision points are high-level decision points intended to guide potential device selection. Once the recommended family has been selected, the engineering performing the migration needs to carefully look through and consider additional salient points of the design and consider the following to identify the actual target migration device:
While migration from Spartan-6 to a 7 Series device comes with overheads, it also comes with opportunity. Depending upon the device selected for migration, a larger device or higher performance device could be selected. For example, a Kintex-7 part can be used in place of a Artix-7 or a MPSoC in place of a Zynq-7000 SoC. These selections provide the resources to support future product roadmap enhancements which may have previously been limited due to device utilization constraints. This is also the case when using a Zynq / MPSoC in place of a MicroBlaze processor. This provides easy support for a range of now commonly used interfaces such as USB and Gigabit Ethernet as well as advanced solutions such as SATA or DisplayPort. In an upcoming blog, we will look at the migration of the device itself now that we have selected the target component.