The Spartan 6 FPGA can be described as as the best choice for balancing cost, space, performance and price. It has over 4 MBs of external non volatile memory whereas it is also able to house a number of I/O devices and external connectors to various kinds of interfaces, making it the ideal choice for many and most digital applications. There are many reasons why people tend to go for Xilinx’s Spartan 6 FPGA family, one of the most important ones being the fact that it offers great system integration capabilities as compared to the costs incurred, making it the perfect fit for high volume applications. On the other end of the spectrum, the simplicity of the circuit and absence of complex external components also makes it a great solution for automotive, flat panel displays and video surveillance.
There are various factors which make Spartan 6 FPGAs the preferred choice when it comes to FPGA chips in various applications. Following are some of the defining characteristics of the Spartan 6 family:
With the Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA line, you get the option to choose from either a 1.2V core or a 1.0V core. One of the benefits you get with Spartan 6 FPGAs is the hibernate power down mode that consumes zero power. It also has a suspend mode wherein the state and configuration is maintained, and enhanced control is achieved.
The Spartan 6 FPGA family has increased I/O connectivity capability thanks to a high pin count to logic ratio, with over 40 I/O standards to help simplify the system design. Depending on the device and package size, the number of I/O pins may vary between 102 or 576. Integrated Endpoint Block is also available for PCI Express Designs.
The system includes up to eight low power serial transceivers operating at 3.2 GB/s as well as an 800 MB/s DDR3 with an integrated memory controller. The use of adjustable I/O slew rates improves signal integrity whereas the data transfer rate lies at 1080 MB/s per differential I/O. they also have a Clock Management Tile to enhance system performance by promoting low noise and flexible clocking along with Digital Clock Managers and Phase Locked Loops to stop clock skew and promote low jitter clocking.
Apart from the uses mentioned before, Spartan 6 FPGAs are widely used and can be applied in industrial networks, high resolution graphics solutions, as well as in systems governing vehicle networking and connectivity.
As mentioned before, the Spartan 6 FPGA family is the ideal fit if you are looking for a high volume interface that allows for system I/O expansion at a low rate. The MicroBlaze processor soft IP eradicates the need for any external processing components. The FPGAs employ the use of multiple integrated blocks that are efficient in their function.