Featured Article 11 Aug 2015

Xilinx established operations in Dublin in 1995 and currently employs 300 people at its EMEA headquarters in the capital where it operates a research, development, engineering and IT centre, along with centralised supply, finance, quality, legal and HR functions. Xilinx also has operations in Cork and Belfast.

The company is a leading provider of FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), SoCs (system on chip devices) and 3D ICs (integrated circuits). These devices are coupled with a next-generation design environment and IP to serve a broad range of electronics system and customer needs. Its award-winning innovation involved the Irish-based engineering team using the most advanced semiconductor technologies to design a new class of programmable microchip that will enable breakthrough power reduction and increased computational performance. Initial applications are expected to include next generation mobile communications equipment and portable ultrasound devices for advanced medical diagnostics.

The concept of integrating FPGA with analogue data converters was patented by the Xilinx Ireland team. It combines leading edge 3D manufacturing technology with high-end analogue circuit design expertise. The architecture enables a high degree of configurability to meet the technical requirements of multiple end markets, including medical imaging, wireless backhaul and radio access.

According to Xilinx, the innovation provides an order of magnitude reduction in interface power and results in much lower equipment form factor and volume. It reduces the complexity of the electronic system design and results in a significant bill of materials (BOM) reduction. The technology also enables Xilinx to extend its addressable market by integrating some of the analogue system value into the FPGA.

According to the company, the innovation has received some of the highest accolades in the industry globally, including presentation at International Solid State Circuits Conference and publication in the Journal of Solid State Circuits. In addition, a number of invention disclosures have been filed and patents granted to members of the Xilinx Ireland team as a direct result of this R&D project.

“High quality research and innovation are essential pillars underpinning our technology leadership and market position,” says Xilinx Inc CEO, Moshe Gavrielov. “Our operations in Ireland are contributing strongly to our ambitions and achievements on a global basis. I’m very pleased that Xilinx Ireland won the inaugural US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards as one of Ireland’s top multinational innovators.”

“Ireland is an important strategic base for our company where we carry out some of our corporation’s most important engineering and development work,” says Kevin Cooney, managing director of Xilinx EMEA. “This award is a great tribute to the skills and achievements of our team here in Ireland and is an affirmation of the innovative and research driven approach that we have fostered throughout our organisation.”

Article from Innovation Ireland Review - Summer 2015

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