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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Zynq UltraScale+FPGA SoC and IP prototyping platform

By Nick Flaherty

PRO DESIGN is launching three new modules based around the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ FPGA to provide an embedded processing platform for the development and verification of SoC and IP designs.

The proFPGA product family is a complete, scalable, and modular multi-FPGA Prototyping solution. 
The new members of this flexible system concept are the ZU11EG, ZU17EG and ZU19EG FPGA modules, which can easily be mounted on the proFPGA uno, duo or quad motherand mixed with other proFPGA modules using Virtex-7, Virtex UltraScale, Virtex UltraScale+ or Kintex UltraScale modules. 

The latest Zynq devices combine FPGA logic with two ARM Multi-Core Processors (Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and Dual-core ARM Cortex-R5) and several on-board USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, Display Port and debug to offer a complete embedded processing platform. Further, the boards already include an on-board DDR4 SODIMM module and a single quad SPI flash.

Nearly all SoC and ASIC designs contain some types of ARM processors. Instead of implementing these ARM cores in the FPGA and occupying important FPGA resources the user can take the proFPGA module which already has two embedded ARM multi-core processors with verified interfaces and memory. 

The module also offers a direct ARM debug interface from which the user can benefit by using the proven ARM® debug environment in combination with the proFPGA prototyping system and by putting the focus on the actual verification of his design.

The new proFPGA modules offer a total of up to 5 extension sites with 531 standard I/Os and 16 multi-gigabit transceivers (MGTs) for extending the board with standard or user specific extension boards, or for easily connecting it to other proFPGA FPGA modules to expand the capacity. The well-designed board is optimized and trimmed to guarantee best signal integrity and highest performance. It allows a maximum point-to-point speed of up to 1.2 Gbps over the standard FPGA I/Os and up to 16.3 Gbps over the MGTs.

"In today's ASIC and SoC designs you almost find always multi-core processors. The verification of these in combination with user designs and required firmware becomes essential and extremely complex. We are proud that with our new proFPGA Zynq UltraScale+ FPGA modules we can provide a complete embedded processing platform at an early stage of the development process which helps our customers to master this challenging task", said Gunnar Scholl, CEO of PRO DESIGN.

The platform comes with the proFPGA Builder software, which provides features such as advanced clock management, integrated self- and performance tests, automatic board detection, I/O voltage programming, system scan and safety mechanism and remote system configuration which only takes seconds, features which simplify the usage of the proFPGA system tremendously.

The proFPGA Zynq UltraScale+ ZU11EG, ZU17EG and ZU19EG FPGA Modules are available from February 2018.

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