In addition to FPGAs, the strength of Xilinx SoCs should not be underestimated.

By Xilinx


In recent years, the development of the Internet of Things has brought new vitality to the industrial and medical fields. As a result, innovations in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the Medical Internet of Things (HcIoT) have also emerged. The rise of these emerging fields provides opportunities for the development of FPGAs. As a leader in the FPGA industry, how does Xilinx perform in the industrial Internet of Things and medical IoT?

Mr. Chetan Khona, Marketing Director, Xilinx Industrial, Vision, Medical and Scientific (ISM)

SoC drives industrial business

In Xilinx’s earnings report last year, Xilinx’s revenue in FY 2019 increased 24% year-on-year to $3 billion. Among them, the industrial and medical sectors account for 27% of total revenue. Chetan Khona, Director of Marketing, Xilinx Industrial, Vision, Medical and Science (ISM), said: "The ISM division is also the fourth largest business unit of Xilinx, which is designed to create flexible, smart factories, hospitals and cities. ”

According to Chetan Khona, in today's industrial IoT and data acceleration, FPGA stands in the middle of the stage, but the Zynq SoC that really drives Xilinx's business in the industrial field. He believes that size and price are important for industrial and medical users, and the Xilinx SoC product line can provide them with higher value in this area.

This view is also reflected in Xilinx's revenue report. From the ISM revenue announced by Xilinx, although the traditional FPGA has maintained a certain growth, in the past two years, after the Zynq and Zynq UltraScale+ SoC are put into production, the revenue of the Xilinx ISM department has been significantly accelerated. 2.5 times. It can be said that SoC products bring great value to the Xilinx ISM department.

Data brings opportunities and challenges to IIoT and HcIoT

As mentioned above, IIoT and HcIoT are bringing new inspiration to the industry. The explosion of data brought about by the rise of the Internet of Things has also brought new strengths to Xilinx. What are the benefits of data and how to use it has become a question worth considering now.

For the industrial Internet of Things field, data can be used for predictive maintenance, which can reduce plant downtime as much as possible to protect profit and profit. Second, data can be better analyzed by asset analysis. The buying habits create new revenue streams; the second is connectivity, and connectivity is the Internet of Things, which is the foundation of the Industrial Internet. By updating software and hardware through Xilinx solutions, you can extend the life of your product and reduce the cost of replacement.

For the medical Internet of Things, the data can better improve the efficiency of hospitals and clinics, and thus improve the utilization of time, improve the service to patients, and ultimately improve the quality of life of people.

The data explosion has brought considerable prospects to the semiconductor industry, but at the same time, the application of data has brought many challenges. First and foremost is the privacy issue caused by data, especially with the change of time and the growth of computing power, security will face greater challenges. In addition, delays and responsiveness issues affecting security; data management costs including transmission, storage, and processing; and reliable Internet connectivity are all data issues to be addressed in the IoT revolution.

Taking the medical Internet of Things as an example, more than 100 million medical IoT devices have been installed worldwide, and will grow to 161 million by 2020. But at the same time, some medical executives said that the current obstacles hinder medical organizations from adopting the Internet of Things: privacy issues accounted for 59%, the original system set problem accounted for 55%, and security issues accounted for 54%. It can be seen that the improvement in data processing and security has brought a very large development space for the semiconductor industry.

In response to the above challenges, Xilinx has to help users use data as efficiently and efficiently as possible. At the same time, this is the core strategy of the company's ISM department.

Xilinx Industrial and Vision Solutions Overview
To ensure that FPGAs and SoC users can maximize the computing power and efficiency they can achieve on existing devices, Xilinx offers a variety of resources.

According to Chetan Khona, the world-class industrial and medical IoT solution stack, the use of Alveo accelerator cards for industrial PC acceleration, complementary edge and cloud collaboration are the three secret weapons of the ISM department.

For world-class industrial and medical IoT solution stacks, Xilinx offers a full range of solutions, including support for customers by providing secure connectivity, control, vision, circuitry, software and artificial intelligence. Develop the products they need for better applications. At the same time, Chetan Khona also said that Xilinx is not an expert in all fields, so we also use the expertise, technology and knowledge of a very wide range of ecosystems to help users get the solutions they need.

As we all know, industrial real-time and deterministic control and interface, industrial life cycle, quality, reliability, safety, temperature and power consumption are the industrial advantages of Xilinx tradition, but this does not make Xilinx different from other companies. The advantage of competition. To this end, Xilinx combines AI latency with performance and traditional advantages, combining SoC with artificial intelligence to ensure high device integration and high cost effectiveness.

In terms of artificial intelligence, Xilinx has improved its capabilities in edge computing by acquiring Shenjian Technology. This capability enables Xilinx to achieve artificial intelligence that supports high throughput and low latency; it can match the rapid pace of artificial intelligence innovation; it can accelerate the overall application, and at the same time, with the comprehensive AI software platform, Xilinx can Innovate in industrial and medical IoT on AI edge computing.

In addition, according to Chetan Khona, we also learned that the Xilinx ISM department also pays attention to the integration of cloud and edge computing. Chetan Khona's introduction: "For industrial and medical Internet, the delay in the way data is processed in the cloud is very high, which is not conducive to the development of massive data transmission."

To improve this situation, data can be reasonably distributed to the cloud and edge for processing, and Xilinx works with Amazon Cloud Services. Chetan Khona said: "Using the functionality of Amazon's Greengrass framework, the cloud can be moved to the edge. In this way, the system greatly reduces data transmission during runtime, and the latency is greatly reduced. Xilinx is also working with Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google, and IBM."

Development route

Based on the strategic three elements of the ISM department above, Xilinx introduced Zynq and Zynq UltraScale+ SoC. With Zynq and Zynq UltraScale+ SoCs, integrating general-purpose processing DSPs, GPUs, and analog, security, and security processors into the same product provides new options for industrial and medical IoT.

In addition to our well-known FPGAs, SoCs, MPSoCs, and RFSoCs, we also saw Zynq SoCs and Zynq UltraScale+ SoCs in Xilinx's industry roadmap. At the same time, ACAP as the next development factor of Xilinx, in its first product series Versal products, we also found the product for the industrial field - AI Edge. According to reports, AI Edge emphasizes low power consumption and high performance, and can be used in system vision, ultrasound equipment and ultrasonic handheld devices.

According to Chetan Khona, Edge AI is both a capability and a sub-series of Versal. Currently, both the Zynq SoC and the Zynq UltraScale+ SoC have deployed Edge AI, and in the future it will be a sub-series of Versal, with industry-leading performance per watt. Chetan Khona believes that after the deployment in this area is completed, the Zynq UltraScale+ SoC will be the most successful of the Xilinx products in the Industrial IoT and Medical IoT.

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