[Hardware] Status on FPGA PCB

John L. Bass jbass at dmsd.com
Mon Dec 4 19:32:22 EST 2006


Kris> Does that mean you will be running 8 FPGA's @ 240mkeys/sec ?

Guerric is looking at his core on the Spartan-3 (which is a bit slower
than Virtex-4 parts) and without optimization, is about 1/2 the speed
of the Virtex-4 at 1/4 of the price, making it very affordable.

Best case numbers for the Spartan-3 using pencil and paper are about
250MKeys/second for BRam based designs, and I expect we can probably
get a good piece of that with tuning over time.

I have some serious questions about how to handle heat on Spartan-3's
which will require a prototype (or two) to resolve. I suspect the
octal design I did for the prototype may not be stable, but I wanted
to give it a try anyway. I am pretty confident that that single sided
mesh design can be made stable, so this board is useful to test both
configurations.

Kris> Also what was the cost to build this?

A little over a $100/fpga. Something around $150-200 for one, and about
a grand for two by the time we add eeproms/flash, power supplies, cap's,
board, and connectors in.

I'm excited ... I didn't realize high end Spartan-3's were this cheap and
performance rich for the dollar when applied to reconfigurable computing.

Have fun,
John


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