Breaking The Three Laws


Xilinx UltraScale VU440 Device Now 25% Greater Capacity?

Trolling the Xilinx documentation I noticed something amazing while looking at the UltraScale FPGA Product Tables and Product Selection Guide, the VU440 UltraScale device seems to have grown in FPGA capacity. Previously quoted as 4.4M Logic Cells the VU440 is now 5.5M System Logic Cells. Incredible the VU440 is now 25% larger…. Or is it….

Click the picture for full size showing how the VU440 and other Xilinx UltraScale FPGA devices were listed when launched

Xilinx UltraScale Logic Cell Representation

Now click the picture for the full size showing how the VU440 and other Xilinx UltraScale FPGA devices are now listed

Xilinx UltraScale System Logic Cells representation

Anyone notice the difference?

Yes that’s right, Xilinx has moved from quoting FPGA device capacity in Logic Cells to System Logic Cells !!!! So unless Xilinx has some super cool back to the future time machine technology and have traveled back in time and inserted more logic, the device is the same capacity.

This highlights the conclusion from my last two blogs on this subject “How many ASIC Gates does it take to fill an FPGA?” and the finale post “Part Deux: How many ASIC Gates does it take to fill an FPGA?” THERE IS NO ACCURATE WAY TO CALCULATE ASIC GATES FROM FPGA GATES. The only true way of more accurately estimating the number of FPGA’s your SoC prototype will need is by executing FPGA area estimation within a prototyping tool such as ProtoCompiler.

Inquisitive minds are asking the following questions

  • Why has Xilinx changed from Logic Cells to System Logic Cells?
  • What exactly is a System Logic Cell?
  • Do time machines actually exist?

I’m interviewing a Xilinx representative next week, I’ll post what I find out.

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I have chickens and sadly there are many Norwegian rats in our area. The rats love chicken food and if you leave the food out overnight you will be amazed at how much food the rats eat. So a couple of years back I rummaged through my garage and came up with a solution from stuff just laying around. It included a 3000 Lbs winch which is remote controller and a solar charged battery pack.

Chicken food winch version 1

The food is pulled up into the metal bucket protecting it from the rats. However this solution seemed overkill for even me. I will say that it has worked very well other than having to pop outside to use the winch remote. What I wanted was a fully automated day/night solution so I designed and built the below prototype

Chicken food rat protection version 2

This has a day/night sensor which activates the mini winch (my design) that lifts the food cover. Sadly during testing the winch motor controller failed and drained the battery. In addition the day/night sensor had no adjustment and I noticed that on a cloudy day the food got covered.  I had built a magnetic reed switch setup to turn on and off the motor at the right points, this proved unreliable. But without failure there would be no innovation so I created version 3

Chicken food rat protection version 3

This version has a more reliable day/night sensor setup which is adjustable and has been proven to only protect the food at night. The system uses a linear actuator to lift the food into the metal bucket to protect it. However on day 5 tragedy, the food failed to lower out of the bucket and we had hungry chickens until we noticed. Basically I had undersized the battery and solar panel setup and run the battery dead.  Easy solution, larger battery and solar panel but even with this update I was not happy with the operation. The winch setup has issues and the food is not easy to detach for filling.

So now I am working on version 4. The picture below is a prototype of the core of the new build. This setup will use a scissor jack setup to raise and lower the food in and out of the metal bucket.

Chicken food rat protection version 4, scissor jack

I know what you are thinking “you have too much time on your hands”. I don’t, I just don’t sleep…

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