Introduction - 2020.2 English

Xilinx Power Estimator User Guide (UG440)

Document ID
Release Date
2020.2 English

The Xilinx® Power Estimator (XPE) spreadsheet is a power estimation tool typically used in the pre-design and pre-implementation phases of a project. XPE assists with architecture evaluation, device selection, appropriate power supply components, and thermal management components specific for your application.

XPE considers your design resource usage, toggle rates, I/O loading, and many other factors which it combines with the device models to calculate the estimated power distribution. The device models are extracted from measurements, simulation, and/or extrapolation. The accuracy of XPE is dependent on two primary sets of inputs:

  • Device usage, component configuration, clock, enable, and toggle rates, and other information you enter into the tool
  • Device data models integrated into the tool

For accurate estimates of your application, enter realistic information which is as complete as possible. Modeling a certain aspect of the design too conservatively or without sufficient knowledge of the design can result in unrealistic estimates. Some techniques to drive the XPE to provide worst-case estimates or typical estimates are discussed in this document.

XPE is a pre-implementation tool for use in the early stages of a design cycle or when the Register Transfer Level (RTL) description is incomplete. After implementation, the XPower Analyzer (XPA) tool (in the ISE® Design Suite) or Report Power (in the Vivado® Design Suite) can be used for more accurate estimates and power analysis. For more information about XPA, see the XPower Analyzer Help. For more information about the Vivado power analysis feature, see the Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Power Analysis and Optimization (UG907).

XPE is a spreadsheet, so all Microsoft Excel functionality is fully retained in the writable or unprotected sections of the spreadsheet. XPE has additional functionality oriented towards ease of use. The drop-down menus and the comment-enabled cells are helpful features to guide you.

Figure 1. Xilinx Power Estimator Spreadsheet

The XPE spreadsheet also includes the Quick Estimate Wizard, the Memory Interface Configuration Wizard, the Memory Generator Wizard (for block memory and distributed memory), and the Transceiver Configuration Wizard. These wizards help novice and expert users to quickly enter the important configuration parameters, which will then generate relevant lines in the I/O, Logic, Block RAM (BRAM), Transceiver, and Other sheets, helping with accurate power estimation.

Video: The Vivado Design Suite QuickTake Video Tutorial: Using the Xilinx Power Estimator shows how the Xilinx Power Estimator can help you determine power and cooling specifications for SoC and FPGA designs early in the product’s design cycle, often even before the logic within the SoC or FPGA has been designed.