Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC28. May '14
The FPGA-s are getting hotter topic every day. Unfortunately there are few FPGA manufacturers nowadays and they're reluctant to give out specs to build open-source VHDL/Verilog to bitstream compilers.
However I do recognize the need for such technology and hopefully one day there will be enough competition in this particular field which means that better (open-source) tools will be available.
In Advanced Embedded Systems Project course we were given Xilinx boards to develop an application using FPGAs.
Xilinx has several product series:
Spartan is FPGA based on 45nm technology
Virtex is FPGA based on 28nm tech
Zynq incorporates dual-core ARM processor onto the same die with Atrix-7 programmable logic (PL)
In this post I wanted to introduce some boards for beginners. As Spartan and Virtex boards don't include ARM processor by default I am going to focus on Zynq-7000 boards, namely Zedboard and ZYBO.
Zedboard is shipped with Zynq-7000 All Programmabe SoC XC7Z020-CLG484-1 which combines two ARM Cortex A9 cores and Xilinx programmable logic in a single device 1. Digilent sells this device for 495USD, but students get a discounted price of 319USD which includes device-locked license for ISE. Shipping to EU probably adds another 59USD totaling in 378 USD which is approximately 277 EUR. With import taxes it adds up to about 341 EUR.
Dual-core ARM Cortex A9 @ 667MHz
NEON single and double precision extensions
512MB DDR3 RAM
256MB Quad-SPI Flash
Built-in USB-UART bridge
USB OTG port
HDMI output (1080p at 60Hz /w audio)
128x32 pixel OLED display
9x programmable LED-s
8 DMA channels with 4 of them allocated to PL
The XC7Z020 SoC contains Atrix-7 PL which has:
85k logic cells
~1.3 million ASIC gates
53,200 look-up tables (LUT)
560 kB of BRAM organized to 140 units, each containing 2048 by 18-bit storage
220 DSP slices (Multiplier-Accumulator) organized to 18 x 25
In the lab I managed to get Xillinux 2 booting on it.
Digilent's ZYBO 3 features Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC ZYNQ XC7Z010-1CLG400C. The price for students is 125 USD for the board + 20 USD for accessories and Vivaldo voucher + 59 USD shipping to EU = 204 USD which is approximately 150 EUR. With import taxes it adds up to 188EUR.
The ARM cores are the same as Zedboards's, it's the PL that differs:
28k logic cells
~430k ASIC gates
17,600 look-up tables (LUT)
240 kB of BRAM organized to 60 units, each containing 2048 by 18-bit storage
80 DSP slices
More details will follow once I get this board.