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Xilinx7 life extension

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Xilinx7 life extension


AMD Xilinx made a huge announcement this week in that they have officially extended the product lifecycle for their 7 series devices through at least 2035. This includes all temperature and speed grades of the Kintex-7, Virtex-7, Zynq-7000 SoCs (System on Chip), Artix-7, and Spartan-7 families of FPGA devices in AMD Xilinx's portfolio.
This is an exciting announcement for AMD Xilinx users in both the professional and hobbyist spaces alike. It means more time to fully master and utilize these chips in designs for hobbyists before obsolescence (because we all know FPGAs are not the easiest tool to pick up initially). And it saves professional engineers the headache of either having to plan ahead of time with an end-of-lifetime buy of the FPGA to support their own product's longer lifecycle, or worse: a costly and painful redesign mid-production.

While you've probably been hearing a lot lately about the shiny new Versal devices and the Kria system-on-modules (SOMs), the 7 series lineup is the tried and true workhorse that is popular amongst customers in a broad range of markets such as automotive, medical, aerospace and defense, test and measurement, and industrial.
I've personally turned to the Artix-7 FPGAs for my tight-budget and low-power requirement designs such as a battery-powered hand-held software defined radio (SDR). The performance to cost ratio of the Artix-7 makes it one of my top choices for new projects that don't appear to immediately require the muscle of one of the UltraScale+ devices.

The Spartan-7 devices are the ideal option for those projects that eat up I/O. It's also a sigh of relief for those that just had to update their designs from the Spartan-6 to know that the new Spartan-7 will have a longer-yet lifecycle.
The Zynq-7000 SoC is hands down the FPGA device family I'd pick if I had to pick just one type of FPGA to use in the rest of the designs I ever work on. Having that Arm Cortex processor physically embedded in the programmable logic of the FPGA gives you the advantages of working in software (ie - dealing with floating-point numbers/arithmetic) right next to the advantages of working in hardware (ie - tight timing in the microsecond or nanosecond range).
Given that many of the 7 series devices have already been around for approximately 10 years, this announcement means that some devices will end up with at least a 20-year lifecycle. The Kintex-7 for example was introduced in 2011, so it'll end up with a 24+ year lifespan. Overall, whether you're a professional or a hobbyist, you can trust that your designs utilizing a 7 series device will be supported for at least the next 13 years through 2035.

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