Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3

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Hab auch ein paar S3-50 in der Schublade...
Weiss aber immer noch nicht ob die Blockrams und DLL's haben oder nicht ?

Gruss MIKE

for our english readers:
I also have some spartan3-50 devices, but don't know if they have blockrams
and dll's ?

regards MIKE






Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
Sorry, this was meant to be a personal reply, and it says that I have
Spartan3-50s here in my drawer. They do exist !
(BTW, don't use your German dictionary, it starts with some colloquialisms...)
Peter
===============
Peter Alfke wrote:
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3

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Personally, I agree with your statement and have been trying to convince the
powers that be to add additional Spartan-3 devices to WebPack.  The folks
responsible for WebPack are concerned about the total download size.  The
larger devices have multi-MB support files.

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Hmm.  Engineering samples of the XC3S1000 and XC3S50 are available today.
The engineering samples have the part number XC3S1000J and XC3S50J to
distinguish them from the production devices.  This may be the reason you
were quoted longer delivery.  The non-'J' devices are due out in 4Q2003.
The non-'J' version of the XC3S50 also includes block RAM, embedded
multipliers, and 2 Digital Clock Managers (DCMs), which the XC3S50J does
not.


--
---------------------------------
Steven K. Knapp
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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 You could always shock them with the 'left field' concept of selective
downloading just the device library files you need ? :)

-jg

Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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If the size of the download is the issue, there are very simple ways to
address that.  One is to split the download into two parts, one for the
current configuration and one for the added support for the larger
devices.  The other is just to ship the CD as you already do.  I don't
think adding all the chips will blow away a CD will it?  As it is, I
don't think it is very practical to ask a user to download a 150 MB
file.  At least it is not practical for me to download it.  


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I have been told that the 50 and 1000 have a design problem with 3 volt
tolerance and have been pushed back from late Q3 or early Q4 to 1Q04.
The other two or three chips due out in Q4 (including the XC3S400) are
now the first chips to be available in full production.  

I am having a lot of trouble getting straight information and this is
what I currently have in print!  If this is not correct, I really need
to know now!

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3

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the
folks
The

There's little doubt that multiple optional download parts is the most
elegant solution - along with the possiblity of getting everything on CD for
those that want that.  However, the current WebPack is so large that a few
extra megabytes for extra part support would not make a significant
difference.  And anyway, are there many companies with the resources to be
involved in fpga design, but without a permanent internet connection?  Even
if it's a bit slow, you can always leave a download running overnight.




Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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Overnight does not cut it.  As for the resources, it really does not
take a lot and a high speed internet connection is not even on the list
other than for this sort of download.  These files are so large that the
reliability of the connection becomes a significant factor.  The last
time I actually downloaded webpack, it took me about five trys and over
a week.  

I know there are tools that let you restart an interrupted download, but
even then it is a real chore getting a download completed.  I much
prefer to buy the CD.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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I don't know about my line being "dodgy".  I just know that the
combination of ISP, phone line, modem, OS and browser software makes it
hard to get a 17 hour download to complete without error.  It is also a
PITA tying up the modem connection for a day while this is going on.  It
makes it very slow to browse or even get emails.  

As to the effort required to get a solid data line, there is virtually
*nothing* you can do if your voice capability is not affected.  I have
talked to the phone company before and they have made it clear that a
phone line is not a data line.  They guarantee no specific data rate.
DSL is not available in the second largest city in Maryland and Cable
Modem is a fixed installation, it can not be easily moved from one
computer to another.  Cable Modem also goes out in nearly every storm
along with the TV.  

I only wish I could get connected at 57 kbps!

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3

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of
in
main
hard or
requirement
the
line,

Can't you use a firewall/router connected to a cable modem?  Of course, it
won't fix the storm problem, and not every isp's contract will let you
connect a whole network to their system.  Can you get ISDN there?  I have no
real idea whether that is available in the US or not - it is popular in
Europe for businesses, and used to be common for internet access before ADSL
became so widespread.  Maybe you can get radio internet connections?  Many
of these are pretty ropey, but there are some ISP's here in Norway that
manage to do it well, so it's certainly possible.  Other than that, I can
offer nothing but sympathy (and surprise - I knew the US had a problematic
telephone system, but I didn't know it was that bad).




Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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 While you're adding things, any chance of sneaking the real differential
input terminators ( LVDS_25_DT, LDT_25_DT, etc. ) of the V2Pro into the S3 ?

Brian

P.S.  And I'd personally love to see some TBUF's - Xilinx seems to have
forgotten that not only did they provide (the illusion of) tristate buffers,
but also dedicated chip-spanning routing for wide multi-source buses without
tying up routing resources.

 Although their demise was not unexpected, given that they'd already been
chopped off at the knees in V2 by providing TBUF's at a vertical pitch
that didn't match the carry chain pitch.

 For V3(??), how about a full set of TBUFs every N columns, instead of a
half set in every column?

Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3

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Split the download, or switch the devcie files to be
download-on-demand or download-via-miniapp.
--
Nicholas C. Weaver                                 snipped-for-privacy@cs.berkeley.edu

Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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Actually the device files should be separate anyway since they change
frequently.  There are often reasons for not wanting to change the
version of the tools you are using, but there is never a reason to keep
an out of date speed file.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
Hi Dennis,

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Here are a few key advantages for Cyclone that I can think of off the top of
my head:

- Availability.  The 1C12 is in full production on a 130 um process that
we've used to manufacture 10+ different devices (including 7 Stratix
members, 4 Cyclone members, and some Apex II members)

- Performance.  The _slowest_ Cyclone speed grade is 20% faster (geometric
average of fmax over many real user designs) than Spartan-3, which is
currently offered in only one speed-grade.  If you need greater performance,
there are two more Cyclone speed grades available, giving you an additional
30% performance advantage.

- 3.3V Tolerance.  Cyclone is 3.3V tolerant, in today's silicon.  PCI?  No
problem.

- Bitstream Compression.  Regardless of your data source, you can compress
your bitstream (~2:1 ratio) to reduce the cost of your non-volatile storage
device, whether that is our low-cost, low-footprint serial configuration
devices or something else.

Regards,

Paul Leventis
Altera Corp.



Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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Marc,

If you learn nothing else about dealing with IC vendors it should be
that you never, ever, EVER listen to what one vendor says about
another.  Feel free to check it out yourself, but you should always
assume that any vendor will put his competition in the worst possible
light, perhaps even unfairly.  

So don't blame a vendor for being a vendor.  They all do it.  Just learn
to be a discriminating listener.  Kinda like when you watch commercials
on TV.  :)

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
This is beautiful !
 I had felt like commenting, but it's so much better coming from a user.
Thanks, Rickman!
We should put our best foot forward, and be as honest as we can.
But I will not slam Altera's products. Maybe needle their people...  :-)
Have a safe Fourth of July !
Peter Alfke

rickman wrote:
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
Hi Marc,

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Interesting... I thought my posting was relatively FUD free.  Have I have
been on the dark side for too long?  :-)

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I am a tech person... I assure you that we're the last customer of ISE that
Xilinx cares to inform about future performance!

The software is the silicon -- it doesn't matter how fast the chip is if you
don't know how fast your design will run on it.  I would be leary of relying
on a nebulous future performance improvement; I think the performance
reported *today* is very relevant for people making decisions today.
Besides, in postings to this newsgroup at least, Xilinx has indicated that
they sacked performance in order to reduce costs.  So how conservative is
the timing?  5%?  10%?  100%?  I don't know.  Do you?

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Hmm... I'd go listen to some Xilinx conference calls from the same time
period, and look at recent dielectric decisions on VIIPro, and look at when
products shipped vs. dates indicated in announcements before proclaiming
that FUD.


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being

I guess it's not that fair for me to compare a released, available, fully
characterized product with a final timing model against a product that is
barely sampling.  But that is what the original poster was asking for, and
that's all I can compare against.  And the "nebulous" claim was 20% faster
(slowest Cyclone to only Spartan 3 speed grade), or ~55% for the fastest
Cyclone speed grade.  These are not "up to" numbers -- they are geometric
averages over 50+ user designs.

Have yourself a great long weekend,

Paul Leventis
Altera Corp.



Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3

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$60?  What speed grade are you using?

Also, is this low quantity pricing (~<100)?  

I could have sworn I was quoted a similar price for something as large as
a EP1C20 in lower quantities (~<100) for a respin/cost reduction project
I was going to do.  Don't hold me to that...I'd have to check my notes at
work!

Thanks!

Ed



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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3

: Hab auch ein paar S3-50 in der Schublade...
: Weiss aber immer noch nicht ob die Blockrams und DLL's haben oder nicht ?

: Gruss MIKE

: for our english readers:
: I also have some spartan3-50 devices, but don't know if they have blockrams
: and dll's ?

To my knowledge, the first batch of 3S50 was made without BRAM and DLLs. Try
to decipher the Date Code and you probably you'll find information on the
Xilinx webpage ( and you probably will get feedback here).

Bye
--
Uwe Bonnes                 snipped-for-privacy@elektron.ikp.physik.tu-darmstadt.de

Institut fuer Kernphysik  Schlossgartenstrasse 9  64289 Darmstadt
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Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3
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OK, but i didn't know that this NG is called
"FPGAinformationexchangecentraldistributioncenter".

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So the present s3-50 devices without blockrams are the fastest s3 90nm chips
forever ?

MIKE





Re: Cyclone vs Spartan-3


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No, when I wrote "speed up", I meant weeks in design, not picoseconds in
operation.
Spartan3 is not the fastest, in some areas it is slower than Virtex-II,
since the priorities for Spartan3 were: 1. low cost, 2. low cost, and 3.
low cost. We don't throw away speed, but we did not increase the chip
size to gain performance.
Deleting BRAM and DLL does nothing to the performance, but it reduced
the design effort, and it made the chip smaller. But this is all history now.

"FPGAinformationsaustauschzentralverteilungsstelle" was meant as a joke,
referring to the American fascination with the German capability to
concatenate words ad infinitum. Donaudampfschifffartgesellschaftskapitaen....

Peter Alfke



Peter Alfke

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