In 1984 tech pioneers Ross Freeman, Bernard Vonderschmitt, and James V Barnett founded their ambitious startup Xilinx in San Jose. Strong innovations and sound business strategy have kept Xilinx afloat for an incredible 34 years, and today the company has offices in eight cities around the world and is valued at close to US$5 billion.
Xilinx is developing its presence in the Chinese marketplace and now has more than 200 employees in the country. It has partnered with tech giants Huawei, Alibaba Cloud, and Langchao; and acquired local AI chip company DeePhi Technology in June 2018.
Xilinx CEO Victor Peng spoke yesterday at the company’s second Beijing Xilinx Developer Forum: “With the explosive growth of AI and big data and the slowdown in Moore’s Law, the industry has reached a critical turning point. The cycle of chip design has been unable to keep up with the pace of innovation.”
Xilinx believes one solution is its recently-released, cutting-edge 7nm programmable chip Versal. The chip is based on Xilinx Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP) technology and built with 7nm FinFET manufacturing process technology, integrating the Arm Cortex-A72 and Cortex-R5, an AI engine and DSP engine. It supports adaptable interfaces and multiple protocol engines and accelerates AI inference by 2.5 times compared to GPU. Versal targets 5G wireless, cloud computing, and edge computing.
Xilinx Vice President Manish Muthal meanwhile praised the company’s new Alveo U250 Accelerator Card as a game changer. The card provides four times more compute power than GPU within 2ms latency. Xilinx’s Chinese partners plan to deploy applications based on the Alveo Accelerator Card.
Versal provides high performance, high bandwidth, low latency computing services. The Versal Platform combines Scalar Engines, Adaptable Engines, and Intelligent Engines, which enable most types of heterogeneous computing acceleration. The Versal product portfolio includes Versal Prime, Versal Premium and HBM Series, designed to meet different market needs.
The Versal family will ship in the second half of 2019. Alveo is expected to expand Xilinx’s partnerships with chip industry OEMs such as Dell EMC, Fujitsu Limited and IBM.
Author: Alex Chen | Editor: Tony Peng, Michael Sarazen