WEBENCH® FPGA Power Architect
Get FPGA power supplies in minutes with FPGA Power Architect. The advanced design tool incorporates the detailed supply requirements of the newest FPGA devices from Altera, Xilinx, Actel, and Lattice. High performance FPGA power supplies are complex, requiring the designer to meet unique multiple voltage levels with precise voltage, current, ripple, noise filtering, synchronization, soft start, and supply separation demands. The power supply designs delivered by WEBENCH incorporate comprehensive FPGA power requirements published by the FPGA manufacturers, giving the designer confidence that their power supplies will meet these constraints while saving critical time in the process.
WEBENCH FPGA Power Architect organizes these constraints:
- Family Overview
- General specifications for FPGA Series: I/O banks, PLL, and Transceivers
- FPGA Power Requirements
- Highlights of special details included in the vendor specifications: Power on Reset, Sequencing, etc.
- Transceiver Documentation
- Covers specific requirements for ripple, noise, or isolation specs
- FPGA Datasheet
- Final say on recommended operating conditions for the selected FPGA
- Pin Connection Guidelines and Literature (App Notes)
- Gold mine of critical advice included here
- Gold mine of critical advice included here
Creating a complete FPGA power supply design is easy:
- Select your FPGA(s)
- The tool automatically populates the FPGA's unique power requirements, identifying core, and I/O options for every potential load of that array
- Review load requirements and adjust with the inputs from your vendor power spreadsheet, add other loads if desired
- Turn the Optimizer dial to fine-tune your complete design
The power supply may involve one or more intermediate voltage rails between the input supply and the point-of-load regulators and you can tune the recommended power supply with the turn of a dial, reducing size, increasing efficiency or lowering complete system cost in seconds. You can also order components for prototyping, share the design with others, and easily print a complete project report including schematics, bill of materials (BOM), and performance characteristics.
Try WEBENCH FPGA Power Architect yourself
WEBENCH FPGA Power Architect Guided Tour (5:51 minutes)
Step by Step:
The FPGA Power Architect then collects and populates each of the necessary signals and their related voltage options and typical currents. The rules for these power rails from the vendor specification are presented as options selectable by the user.
The tool also does the research for unique constraints and includes
those in the options offered to the user. For example in this case,
there is a unique requirement to not allow 1.2V as a selection option.
The FPGA Architect also captures power rail soft start guidelines and dependencies, creating supplies that follow these rule definitions.
Many FPGA power rails require filtering of the individual supply rails in order to minimize peak to peak voltage ripple into those supplies. The need for these filters is added to thie individual signals.
Additional unique constraints like the ability to share a power rail after the addition of a filter are also captured and integrated in the WEBENCH design configurations.
Datasheet limitations like total voltage tolerance are incorporated for each FPGA and is configurable by the user.
Now, that WEBENCH has captured the requirements for the individual power rails for your selected FPGA, we attempt to make the creation of your optimized power solution as easy as possible. In the WEBENCH FPGA Power Architect interface, the user selects the preferred vendor FPGA from the list.
That selection populates the signal constraints and voltage and current rail template for that array. The user can further configure the selections by updating the pull downs or by unselecting an I/O Bank for example.
The supply rails that remain when the user cilcks on the green Add Loads button will be added to the next load configuration step.
When the user designs and configures their FPGA using the vendor's power budget estimation spreadsheet, the key current demands will be shown in the Power Supply Current columns.
The FPGA loads are preconfigured to have the correct power supply requirements including voltage ripple, post supply filters, and soft start.
The user can change any of the entries and also change voltages and currents, if desired. Additional supplies can also be added here.
As the optimizer dial is turned, new sets of system power architectures are added to the ball graph which are designed with the component selection algorithms tuned to the optimizer dial setting. For example, when you turn the dial to smallest footprint, every component selection is for the smallest part.
One system architecture has an intermediate rail and 4 supplies for the loads. FPGA Power Architect will attempt many options for the intermediate rail values and then optimize the selection of all of the individual power supply loads based on the best choice for each rail.
Each supply may have 50 or more solutions. This graphic shows the Visualizer output for each supply but only the best in each case will be presented back to the user.
FPGA Power Architect uses the Visualizer algorithms to determine the best supply for each node in the system. Thus, hundreds of different solutions are weighed to achieve the final optimized supply.
Each power architecture had different intermediate rails and components. This results in different size, efficiency, and total cost. One of the options shown has no intermediate rail at all. Others have one, two or three intermediate rails at different voltages. Each case results in a different tradeoff between small footprint, high efficiency and low BOM cost.
On the View/Edit page, there are pie charts which allow the user to examine the contributions of each supply in the system to the power dissipation, BOM price and footprint. By clicking on a supply, the user can get more details. The user can also click on the Alternate Solutions tab to choose another power supply solution, if desired.
In this way the user can determine if one of the supplies is making a large contribution to a problem and take corrective action. For example, if one supply is responsible for most of the footprint, the user can select another power supply solution with smaller footprint, if it is available.
Next click on the Create Project Design button to save the project and go to the next step.
Once the project is created and saved, it is opened in the WEBENCH environment. The system block diagram appears on the left. Each power supply design can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate block.
Then the designer can use all the WEBENCH features including viewing and changing the BOM, viewing charts of critical operating values such as efficiency vs load current, conducting electrical simulation, conducting thermal simulation (if available) and getting a prototype kit using the WEBENCH Build It feature (if available).
In the upper left is a summary of the system parameters such as the system efficiency, system BOM cost and system footprint.
All of the advanced tools and simulation features of WEBENCH® Power Designer are available to interrogate your design.
Every time you adjust any of the WEBENCH® FPGA Power Architect designs, the documentation is updated and completely synchronized. The complete design report is dynamically created and can be printed or exported at any time.
To share the project with another user, click on the Share Project button in the navigation header.
Enter the recipient's email ID and add notes. Then click on the Share This Project button. The entire project is shared at once. The recipient will receive an email with a link to the project and you will receive a confirmation after the design is received.