Start Your Engines: Versal Premium Series Adds AI Engines for “Revved-Up” Signal Processing

By Joel Davies -

AMD-Xilinx gives us the rundown on the Versal Premium with AI Engines, the newest edition part of the 7nm Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP) portfolio for signal processing-intensive applications in the aerospace and defence (A&D) and test and measurement (T&M) markets.

We’re all revved up and ready to take the green flag on the introduction of the Versal Premium series with AI Engines! Next-generation radar and wireless systems demand high-performance signal processing and the ability to handle massive amounts of data moving in and out of compute devices. The new Versal Premium series with AI Engines is built for those requirements, optimized for signal processing-intensive applications in the aerospace and defense (A&D) and test and measurement (T&M) markets. Primary use-cases include radar applications, signals intelligence, wireless system testing and wireless device testing.

The Versal Premium series with AI Engines is part of our 7nm Versal adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) portfolio including the existing Versal Premium series devices currently shipping to customers. The Versal Premium series with AI Engines delivers a 4X increase in signal processing capacity compared to the last-generation Virtex UltraScale+ VU13P FPGA. It also eliminates I/O bottlenecks with up to 9Tb/s serial bandwidth, and offers significantly reduced size, weight and power through heterogeneous, power-optimized integration of hardened, ASIC-like cores such as 100G/600G Ethernet cores, 400G High-Speed Crypto Engines, DDR memory controller, and integrated PCIe Gen5 blocks.

Versal Premium with AI Engines combines highly advanced signal processing from the proven Versal AI Core series, currently shipping to customers in production volumes, with the massive digital signal processing (DSP) compute capacity and serial bandwidth capacities of the existing Versal Premium series. By combining AI Engines with DSP Engines, users of the new Versal Premium with AI Engines devices can realize major performance gains compared to prior generation 16nm Xilinx devices and competing products on the market today.  The below chart highlights the performance gains for CIN16, FP32, and INT8 acceleration.

By offering the heterogeneous integration of both AI engines and DSP engines, A&D and T&M customers are able to assign the right compute engine for the right task…from A&D radar applications such as adaptive beamforming to signal processing for RF machine learning applications like digital RF memory and direction-finding. In the T&M market, the new Versal Premium solution addresses the growing demand for wireless testing as part of the global 5G rollout for applications like 5G protocol and production testing, as well as semiconductor automated test equipment.

And if all that doesn’t get our customers’ motors’ running, the Versal Premium series with AI Engines deliver major performance gains and additional functionality at reduced power and with a smaller footprint. In radar beamforming applications, the heterogenous compute engines enable 67% smaller footprint and up to 43% lower power with 2X beamforming performance.

As with all members of the Versal ACAP portfolio, we provide development tools suited for a wide range of developers. We have Vivado ML for hardware developers and our Vitis and Vitis AI development platforms for software developers and AI and data scientists. Customers also have access to AI Engine tutorials and demo designs to help them get up and running more quickly.

The Versal Premium series with AI Engines is expected to begin shipping in the first half of next year, but don’t wait for the checkered flag. Customers can start test driving now by prototyping using the existing Versal Premium and Versal AI Core Evaluation Kits and devices for which documentation and tools are available now. To learn more and get started, visit Versal Premium series product page.

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