Dave Strenski of Cray and Jim Simkins, Richard Walke and Ralph Wittig from Xilinx have published an updated version of Strenski’s earlier article on floating-point performance in FPGAs.
Strenski’s analysis indicates that the biggest, baddest Xilinx FPGAs today (for floating point that would be the new Virtex-5 SX240T) have significantly higher peak performance than the biggest, baddest quad-core AMD Opteron. The article doesn’t delve into the relative power consumption of the FPGA vs the Opteron. That’s where the real story lies.
Ed is in geek heaven with his new ML507 board from Xilinx. This is a board designed to be a development and prototyping vehicle for all kinds of embedded applications. It’s got a PCI Express interface, video inputs and outputs, audio, network interface, all kinds of connectors. Too big to re-install the computer’s cover after installing it in a slot… but who cares?
If you are thinking about development using Xilinx FPGAs with an embedded PowerPC, then get yourself an ML507. And get a compatible C-to-hardware compiler while you’re at it.