A popular producer of programmable logic devices.

Founded in 1984, Xilinx was one of the first companies to take programmable logic devices beyond the realm of MSI PLDs and PLAs. Since then, they have become a popular source for FPGAs and CPLDs as well as predesigned logic intellectual property. Xilinx distributes free design tools (Webpack ISE) for experimenters, students, and others needing to implement low gate count designs, and will provide free design support and services for large customers. Their devices range from small CPLDs (50 gates) to ridiculously large FPGAs (10 million gates), and include support chips such as configuration memories and JTAG loaders.

Competitors include Altera, Cypress, and Atmel.

Source: Xilinx Corporate Backgrounder, http://www.xilinx.com/company/press/grounder.pdf

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