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S2C Newsletter
2013 Fall Issue

Chairman's Corner
Mon-Ren Chene
Chairman and CTO

Are you still debating if you should upgrade to vitex-7 2000T FPGA for SoC/ASIC prototyping? I highly recommend to do it now as the vitex-7 FPGA design flow has become quite mature with already 5 Vivado software updates from Xilinx. More importantly, the V7-2000T FPGA price has come down to an acceptable price range for mass adoptions. This is also good news for early V7-2000T adopters since it’s now possible to replicate a lot more platforms for concurrent developments. I summarized 5 good reasons to upgrade to vitex-7 2000T for SoC/ASIC prototyping below.

  • Low-Cost Rapid SoC Prototyping Hardware
  • Penstar Case Study – Co-Modeling using S2C ProtoBridge C-API Software
  • New Prototype Ready Interface Modules Added

  • • Reason 1 - 3X Larger Capacity.
      Each vitex-7 FPGA can potentially hold up to 20 Million ASIC gates and is about 3 times larger than the previous largest FPGAs. You can hold up to 80 Million gates on a single board with a Quad V7 Platform.
    • Reason 2 - Lowest Price per Gate.
      The often used price-per-gate indicator in ASIC emulation has never been smaller now (less than 0.2 cents per gate) with the new lower Vitex-7 2000T FPGA price.
    • Reason 3 - Higher Performance.
      One of our customers has increased their CPU core performance in FPGA from 75MHz to 100MHz by simply migrating to the vitex-7. DDR3 memories can now run at full speed at up to 1600Mbps.
    • Reason 4 - Integrated Gigabit Transceivers.
      The biggest FPGAs, such as the Virtex-6 760 and Stratix-4 820, did not have Gigabit Transceivers. But, vitex-7 2000T FPGA now has 16 GTX which can be used for many new SoC interfaces standards such as PCIe, SATA, V-by-One and SFP.
    • Reason 5 - Stable Software Flow.
      In the past 18 months, Xilinx Vivado software has used by over 30 of S2C customer sites and can productively handling very large designs.

    Therefore, I invite you to check again with your local S2C representatives about our new V7 TAI Logic Module pricing and see how our comprehensive SoC/ASIC prototyping solutions can accelerate your development cycle.

    Low-Cost Rapid SoC Prototyping Hardware

    “FPGA-based prototyping is a critical step for a successful SoC product launch and project manager ideally wants every hardware and software engineer to have one prototyping system on their desks. But, the rising cost of high-end FPGA-based prototyping systems, which may easily run from $100K and upwards, greatly limits the number of available FPGA-based prototyping systems for a SoC project can deploy," noted Toshio Nakama, CEO of S2C. “With less than one tenth the cost of a high-end FPGA-based prototyping system the K7 TAI Logic Module still provides a rich set of features for SoC and ASIC prototyping. The K7 TAI Logic Module allows project managers to deploy large number of FPGA-based prototypes for tasks like IP development, block-level verification, simulation acceleration, full SoC Verification and Software Development. Hardware design, system verification and software development processes can run concurrently to shorten overall project schedule.”

    The K7 TAI Logic Modules adopt similar form factor to S2C’s high-capacity V7 TAI Logic Module with 1, 2 or 4 vitex-7 2000T devices with capacity offering up to 80 million ASIC gates on a single board. Therefore, if a design outgrows the capacity of K7 TAI Logic Module, project managers can migrate to V7 TAI Logic Modules seamlessly. For larger SoC designs that cannot fit into a K7 TAI Logic Module, project managers can still utilize the K7 TAI Logic Modules for IP development, block-level verification, simulation acceleration and partial software development.

    Penstar Case Study – Co-Modeling using S2C ProtoBridge C-API Software

    “A big portion of our products is in the digital TV set-top boxes market and the market window is short. The ability to launch our SoC early in the market is critical to our success. The TS streams which needed to be tested were huge. and how to transmit the data and fully verify all parts of our design became a big challenge,” said Yu Tao. “FPGA prototyping was needed, but to design a complex FPGA prototyping board by ourselves is a challenge, and we also needed to transmit massive amounts of test data via PCIe from PC at high speed. We did not want to waste our engineering time on building the FPGA board nor on building the driver and software to allow fast communication from PC to FPGA. As a result, we decided to look for off-the-shelf solutions.”

    Using S2C’s rapid FPGA-based prototyping system and ProtoBridge’s C-API software, Penstar Technology was able to implement its Demux Design on FPGA in order to transmit large amounts of test stimuli, and to access the memory buffer from PC via C-API functions. “We were really happy because we not only saved on hardware and software/driver development costs but also reduced the overall design cycle,” said Yu Tao, CTO of Penstar Technology.

    New Prototype Ready Interface Modules Added

    S2C has added a number of new interface modules that can be used out-of-box on S2C TAI Logic Modules including V7, K7 and S4 series. These pre-engineered solutions enable users to focus on SoC prototype development rather than create solutions all over again that have been engineered and verified by S2C.

    USB 3.0 PHY Interface Module
    8-Lane PCIe Gen3 GTX Module
    2 Channel 4-Lane PCIe Gen3 GTX Module
    2 Channel CX4 GTX Module
    LCD & Touch Screen Module
    CSI-2 Camera Module
    1GB DDR3 Memory Module for K7 TAI Logic Module

    For more information, please contact your local S2C representatives.


    About S2C

    Founded and headquartered in San Jose, California, S2C has been successfully delivering rapid SoC prototyping tools since 2003. S2C provides:

    • Rapid FPGA-based prototyping hardware and automation software solution for ASIC/SoC design
    • Prototype Ready™ IP, Platforms, and Accessories
    • System-level design verification and acceleration

    S2C's value is our singular focus on SoC/ASIC development. Our highly qualified engineering team and customer-focused sales force understand our customers’ SoC development needs. S2C’s unique FPGA-based solution, using our patented TAI IP technology, enables designers to quickly assemble FPGA-based SoC prototypes on S2C FPGA boards. This gives customers an early start on software development, typically the long pole item in development schedules. Combining rapid prototyping methodologies with a comprehensive portfolio of Prototype Ready IP and advanced verification and acceleration solutions, S2C solutions greatly reduces the SoC design cycle.

    In addition to the headquarters in San Jose, CA, S2C currently has 4 direct offices located in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen China and Hsinchu, Taiwan. S2C is also the organizer of the annual SoCIP seminar and exhibition in China, which brings SoC designers from the Asia-Pacific region together with international silicon IP and SoC solution vendors. For more information, visit


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