Beyond FPGAs – Xilinx unveils adaptable computing platform

March 19, 2018 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Beyond FPGAs – Xilinx unveils adaptable computing platform
Xilinx has introduced a breakthrough product category called Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP) that goes far beyond the capabilities of an FPGA.

An ACAP is a highly integrated multi-core heterogeneous compute platform that can be changed at the hardware level to adapt to the needs of a wide range of applications and workloads. Its adaptability, which can be done dynamically during operation, delivers levels of performance and performance per-watt that is unmatched by CPUs or GPUs.

An ACAP is ideally suited to accelerate a broad set of applications in the emerging era of big data and artificial intelligence. These include: video transcoding, database, data compression, search, AI inference, genomics, machine vision, computational storage and network acceleration. Software and hardware developers will be able to design ACAP-based products for end point, edge and cloud applications. The first ACAP product family, codenamed “Everest” will be developed in TSMC 7nm process technology and will tape out later this year.

Everest is expected to achieve 20x performance improvement on deep neural networks compared to today’s latest 16nm Virtex VU9P FPGA. Everest-based 5G remote radio heads will have 4x the bandwidth versus the latest 16nm-based radios. A wide variety of applications across multiple markets like automotive; industrial, scientific and medical; aerospace and defense; test, measurement and emulation; audio/video and broadcast; and the consumer markets will see a significant performance increase and greater power efficiency.

“This is a major technology disruption for the industry and our most significant engineering accomplishment since the invention of the FPGA,” says Victor Peng, president and CEO of Xilinx. “This revolutionary new architecture is part of a broader strategy that moves the company beyond FPGAs and supporting only hardware developers. The adoption of ACAP products in the data center, as well as in our broad markets, will accelerate the pervasive use of adaptive computing, making the intelligent, connected, and adaptable world a reality sooner.”


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