Flex joins Xilinx power programme to support FPGA designs

September 21, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Flex joins Xilinx power programme to support FPGA designs
Flex Power Modules joins the Xilinx Partner Programme to streamline FPGA power system design

Power design for the latest FPGA accelerators in the data centre are an increasingly difficult challenge. Currents of over 1000A and short distances to minimise losses are challenging for designers to tackle with high levels of efficiency.

Power module maker Flex Power Modules has joined the Xilinx Partner Programme, giving customers easier access to both companies’ design tools and support when developing power systems for use with Xilinx’s market leading FPGAs and adaptive SoCs.

Through this co-operation, data provided by the Xilinx Power Estimator (XPE) software tool can be imported directly into Flex Power Designer (FPD). Designers can then simulate their power systems with accurate and reliable data for specific Xilinx FPGAs, reducing both time to market and the potential for user error.

System power engineers must estimate power requirements from an early point in the design process. This may be before the FPGA design has been finalized, forcing them to use a best-guess or worst-case figure. The flexibility of FPGAs encourages design reiteration and optimization throughout the design cycle, and every design decision can significantly affect the power supply requirements. Simulation gives designers a more accurate analysis of power consumption at any stage, which would be difficult to estimate when using complex FPGAs with multiple power rails.

The FPD software automatically detects potential issues, such as transient power requirements, and suggests appropriate filter components. The key specifications for the converters are included in the tool, and full simulation and optimization of the system level power solution can be easily carried out. It also enables seamless sequencing capabilities across the multitude of voltage rails often required, and even includes the possibility to include non-Flex solutions where necessary.

“We’re delighted to collaborate with Flex Power Modules to streamline power design flow for Xilinx devices to further benefit our customers – helping ensure they get the best possible power system design for their FPGA-based product,” said Manuel Uhm, Director of Silicon Marketing at Xilinx.

“From talking to engineers, we know that power-stage design analysis is one of the key issues that can slow down working with FPGAs. Inaccurate load simulations can be a problem which this co-operation aims to solve,” said Mikael Appelberg, Chief Technology Officer at Flex Power Modules.

With the latest version 4.2 of its tools, Flex Power Modules currently supports Xilinx Virtex and Kintex Ultrascale and UltraScale+ FPGAs, but will also support a growing range of Xilinx FPGAs and Adaptive SoCs with subsequent updates.

The tool can be downloaded at www.flexpowerdesigner.com

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