I'm making a PCI card which currently has the Xilinx Spartan-II designed in beacuse of its ability to interface directly to the 5V bus.
I notice that the Spartan-II has partly disappeared from the Xilinx site, as in hard to find (not longer listed amongst their FPGA products) and not available in their online shop anymore.
I strikes me that "the world" really needs a 5V capable device, and that it's just a bit strange that a major manufacturer decides to no longer make devices that has 5V support. It is likely that this capability will be useful for another few tens of years.
Of course there are level converters and that is probably the obvious solution. However, that seems inelegant, and they bring in a new set of problems, such as increased cost and complexity and increased set up and hold times etc.. Also there seems to not be a particularily good selection of level converters.
Thus I have two questions:
- How do you go about building FPGA based PCI cards, or indeed anything that needs to interface to 5V; What's your favourite device (family) for this? Do you use level converters, if so which ones?
- I'd prefer that the parts we end up with will be easily available in small quantities for the next 4 or 5 years. Does that make the Spartan-II a bad choice?
Any advice will be appreciated - thanks!