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Specialist semiconductor distributor Silica has announced an exclusive portfolio of development tools and services to support the introduction of the new Xilinx Spartan-IIE FPGA family. Design resources available include a dedicated evaluation kit that will significantly reduce the time and resources needed to implement products based on this new range of enhanced devices.


Optimised for digital video applications, the Xilinx Spartan-IIE family encompasses five devices, ranging in density from 50,000 to 300,000 gates. Utilising a 1.8V core voltage and providing high-level system integration capability, key features include support for LVDS differential I/Os.


Target applications encompass a wide range of price-sensitive consumer digital convergence designs, such as set top boxes, DVD players, digital video and plasma displays. Characterised by exceptionally fast time-to-market requirements, constantly changing standards and the need for multiple product 'personalities,' these systems stand to realise significant cost benefits from the use of Xilinx's FPGA technology. Compared to a conventional ASIC, advantages include significant reductions in design resources, NRE (non-recurring engineering) charges, production and inventory costs, as well as the added insurance and flexibility of in-system reprogrammability.


Commenting on the introduction of the new FPGAs, Andre Goodison, Silica's European Franchise Director for Xilinx, said: "The combination of the new Spartan-IIE family and Silica's exclusive design tools further tips the balance in favour of FPGA design over conventional ASIC implementations. And although Spartan-IIE devices are optimised for the consumer digital convergence market, designers working in areas such as telecommunications also stand to benefit from the higher densities on offer, compared to the standard Spartan-II range."


The Spartan-IIE Evaluation Kit (ADS-XLX-SP2E-EVL) has been created by Avnet Design Services, the engineering arm of Silica's parent company, and offers a stable platform on which to develop and test products targeted to the new family. Exclusive to Silica customers, it is priced at 9 and is part of a comprehensive portfolio of readily accessible design tools and support services.


Other support services include Silica's pan-European team of Xilinx-trained field application engineers
and the Xilinx 4.2i Integrated Software Environment (ISE), which offers a streamlined, design methodology to create, synthesise, verify and implement a logic design.


Time-to-market issues are further addressed by a library of over 200 IP cores, ranging from standard building blocks, such as memory and multiplier generators, to application specific cores, such as microprocessors and forward error correction functions. Comprehensive design solutions, core integration, design optimisation, technology migration and conversion are available to Silica's customers through Avnet Design Services' Xilinx-dedicated FPGA Design Services team.


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Silica, a division of Avnet Electronics Marketing EMEA (Europe, Middle-East, Africa), is a highly specialised semiconductor distributor. Silica has sales & marketing offices throughout Europe and provides a broad portfolio of semiconductor products and solutions from world leading suppliers to all market segments in the electronics industry. The company's Web site is located at www.silica.com


Serving customers in 63 countries, Avnet Electronics Marketing is the largest operating group of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:AVT). Avnet Electronics Marketing markets, inventories and adds value to electronic components and provides world-class supply-chain management and engineering design services.

Avnet, with fiscal year 2001 sales of .8 billion (year ended June 30, 2001), is the world's largest distributor of semiconductors, interconnect, passive and electromechanical components, embedded subsystems and enterprise computing products from leading manufacturers.



Press contacts:

Eileen Preston

European Marcom Manager, Silica
Tel: +44 1628 606 284
Mobile: +44 7976 606 005
Eileen.preston@avnet.com

Jonathan Batty / Kay Dunican

Brodeur Worldwide UK
Tel: 01753 448851 / 448841
Email: jbatty@uk.brodeur.com / kdunican@uk.brodeur.com

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