Academic Company Events Community Support Solutions Products & Services Contact NI MyNI
54 ratings:
 3.37 out of 5   

Archived: What is the Definition of Logic Cells, Logic Slices, Configurable Logic Blocks and Gates in Regards to FPGA Devices?

This document has been archived and is no longer updated by National Instruments

Hardware: Reconfigurable I/O (RIO)>>R Series>>PXI-7831R

The NI R Series Multifunction RIO User Manual says that it has a combination of logic slices and logic cells. What do these terms mean?

The Virtex II FPGA:
A logic cell consists of a lookup table, a flip flop, and connection to adjacent cells. The lookup table uses combinatorial logic to implement a 4-input expression (and, or, nand, addition, etc.)

A logic slice consists of 2 logic cells. Xilinx counts closer to 2.25 logic cells per slice because they can do more per configurable logic block (CLB) than other architectures.

A configurable logic block (CLB) consists of 4 slices. This combined architecture gives benefits in the final system such as increased performance of logic execution.

The Xilinx FPGA also includes other components such as 44 memory blocks, each providing 2 KB of storage, and multipliers.

The number of gates is number representing the combination of memory banks, cells, multipliers, etc. It is important to note that the efficiency of a gate in an FPGA is not equivalent to that of a gate in an ASIC. For example, a 1M gate FPGA is roughly equivalent to a 100K gate ASIC.

The Virtex-5 FPGA:
The definition of a logic slice and block is slightly different for the Virtex-5 and Spartan-6 chips. The Virtex has 2 slices per CLB and has four 6-input look up tables. Additionally, the Virtex-5 has 4 flip-flops per slice.

The Spartan-6 FPGA:
The Spartan-6 also has different resources from both of the Virtex chips.  A CLB on a Spartan-6 has two slices, eight look up tables, and 16 flip flops total.

Related Links:
Product Manuals: NI R Series RIO User Manual
White Paper: Advantages of the Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA
Knowledgebase 5TTGLNX0: How Many Slices Does My FPGA Chip Have?


Report Date: 07/31/2003
Last Updated: 01/10/2017
Document ID: 2ZUA4DFL

Your Feedback! poor Poor  |  Excellent excellent   Yes No
 Document Quality? 
 Answered Your Question? 
  1 2 3 4 5
Please Contact NI for all product and support inquiries.submit