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Home > FPGA Technology > FPGA > Xilinx Spartan 6 vs Spartan 7 FPGA Faceoff: Your Guide to Selection - FPGA Technology

Xilinx Spartan 6 vs Spartan 7 FPGA Faceoff: Your Guide to Selection

Date: Sep 15, 2023

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In the modern field of electronics, Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) play a crucial role in various applications due to their offered flexibility and programmability. Their applications span from telecommunications to embedded systems and more. Xilinx is one of the leading FPGA manufacturers, having released several generations of FPGAs, including the Spartan series. In this article, we will compare two significant members of the Spartan series: Xilinx Spartan-7 and Xilinx Spartan-6. We will discuss their specifications, performance, and pricing to assist you in making an informed decision when choosing an FPGA for your project.

2、Introduction to Spartan-7 and Spartan-6

EDGE Spartan 7 FPGA Development Board

2.1、Xilinx Spartan-7 FPGA

Spartan-7 FPGA is part of Xilinx's 7 series, striking a balance between cost, power consumption, and performance. Manufactured using 28-nanometer technology, this FPGA offers various sizes and configurations to meet the requirements of different applications. Spartan-7 devices are known for their low power consumption, making them suitable for battery-powered and power-sensitive applications.

Spartan-6 FPGA Embedded Kit

2.2、Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA

Spartan-6 FPGA belongs to Xilinx's 6 series and is widely chosen for its cost-effectiveness and versatility, serving various applications. Manufactured using 45-nanometer technology, Spartan-6 devices offer good value for the price. They find extensive use in industrial automation, automotive, and consumer electronics sectors.

3Detailed Technical Specifications Comparison

Let's delve into the technical specifications of Spartan-7 and Spartan-6 FPGAs to understand their similarities and differences.

Technical Specifications

Spartan-7 FPGA

Spartan-6 FPGA

Process Technology

28 nanometers

45 nanometers

Number of Logic Cells

Up to 267,200

Up to 147,443

Number of Lookup Tables (LUTs)

Up to 533,440

Up to 294,886

Number of DSP Slices

Up to 740

Up to 1,344

Block RAM Capacity

Up to 4,860 kilobits

Up to 4,860 kilobits

Clock Management Tiles

Up to 36

Up to 24

I/O Ports

Up to 500

Up to 500

Maximum Operating Frequency

450 megahertz

550 megahertz

High-Speed Transceiver Speed

Up to 16.3 Gbps

Up to 3.2 Gbps

4、Performance Comparison

Based on the specification comparison, it is evident that Spartan-7 FPGA offers more resources in terms of logic cells, lookup tables, and DSP slices. However, Spartan-6 FPGA has a slightly higher maximum operating frequency, which may be advantageous for applications requiring fast signal processing. On the other hand, Spartan-7 FPGA provides higher high-speed transceiver speeds, making it suitable for applications involving high-speed data communication.

5、Application Domain Comparison

Application Domain

Spartan-7 FPGA Applications

Spartan-6 FPGA Applications


Communication infrastructure, wireless communication

Communication equipment, base stations

Industrial Automation

Industrial control systems, PLC

Controllers, sensor interfaces


Driver-assistance systems, automotive control

In-car entertainment systems, vehicle body control

Consumer Electronics

Smart home, entertainment devices

Digital cameras, televisions

Medical Devices

Medical imaging, patient monitoring devices

Medical diagnostics, laboratory equipment


Avionics, aerospace control systems

Instrument panels, communication equipment

Military and Defense

Military communication, drone control

Military radar, communication equipment

Data Centers and Cloud Computing

Data accelerators, network acceleration

Data analysis, cloud servers

From Spartan 6 to Spartan 76、Spartan-7 FPGA Price

The price of Spartan-7 FPGA varies depending on the model and packaging type. In general, Spartan-7 FPGAs are relatively more affordable compared to higher-end FPGAs in the Xilinx series. The price for the smallest Spartan-7 device typically starts at around $10, while larger and feature-rich devices can go up to several hundred dollars.

7、Spartan-6 FPGA Price

Spartan-6 FPGA has been on the market for a long time, making it competitively priced. Depending on the specific model and package, Spartan-6 FPGA prices typically range from $5 to $50. This places them at a lower price point compared to Spartan-7 FPGAs.

8、Spartan-6 FPGA Datasheet

Spartan-6 Family Overview


9、Spartan-7 FPGA Datasheet

7 Series FPGAs Data Sheet:Overview(including Spartan-7


In conclusion, the choice between Xilinx Spartan-7 and Spartan-6 FPGAs depends on the specific requirements of your project and budget considerations. If you need a solution with low power consumption and abundant logic resources, Spartan-7 FPGA is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if your project demands higher clock speeds and cost-effectiveness, Spartan-6 FPGA is recommended.

Both of these FPGAs offer various features and can be programmed using Xilinx's Vivado development environment, providing the flexibility and versatility that FPGAs are known for. Before making a decision, it is essential to thoroughly evaluate the project's requirements, consider technical specifications, and factor in cost considerations to select the FPGA that best aligns with your goals.

We hope that the information provided above serves as a valuable reference for your FPGA selection process.

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  • What is Spartan-7?
  • Spartan-7 is a family of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) developed by Xilinx, designed for various applications in electronics and embedded systems.
  • When was Spartan-7 released?
  • Spartan-7 was released by Xilinx in 2018
  • Is Xilinx Spartan 6 obsolete?
  • As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Xilinx Spartan-6 was still available but considered an older FPGA family. It may have become obsolete or less commonly used in favor of newer FPGA families since then.
  • What is the clock speed of the Spartan 7?
  • The clock speed of Spartan-7 FPGAs can vary depending on the specific model and configuration, but they typically support clock speeds ranging from tens of megahertz (MHz) to a few hundred MHz or more, depending on the application and design constraints.
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