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How Xilinx Evaluation Board Impacts PCB Assembly

When developing a printed circuit board, it is crucial you understand the purpose and intended use of the boards you are fabricating. This is the best way to make your PCB design to meet the performance and objectives for their utilization. However, these objectives may vary based on the type of board you are fabricating.

Let us look at what the Xilinx evaluation board does and how it affects PCBA development.

What is Xilinx Evaluation Board?

The Xilinx evaluation board helps to determine the suitability of a semiconductor component for an application. This board evaluates the performance and features of system solutions that demonstrate tested solutions for an application design. Also, the Xilinx evaluation board is specifically built around some parts.

These boards are primarily designed for design, evaluation, and testing purposes. Xilinx evaluation board offers all the fundamental components of design, IP, hardware, and tools that enable development. Also, evaluation boards aid the evaluation of some critical components. Therefore, these boards comprise a complex semiconductor like microprocessor unit (MCU) and sensor.

In addition, there are different types of output and input connectors and graphical displays. Xilinx designed an evaluation board to help evaluate components in a particular application. For instance, an evaluation board can interface with a power converter module. Furthermore, the use of evaluation boards enables a designer to assess the capabilities of a new product before including it to a new design.

The Xilinx evaluation board is a convenient way of developing a breadboard of a system without much custom hardware design. Also, you need to start with the basic requirements. The two most crucial requirements are processing capability and I/O.

Also, evaluation boards differ based on what they are evaluating. When choosing an evaluation board, you need to know the part you want to have first. Then, you can choose an evaluation board that has this part. Also, the major focus of an evaluation board is on the component.

When to Use the Xilinx Evaluation Board

  • You will need evaluation boards when you need to design a project quickly since it takes time to fabricate circuit boards. Also, you can develop most of your software before you get the PCB.
  • Also, evaluation boards are ideal when you need to build prototypes. Utilizing many evaluation boards can help to design an entire circuit before you start designing a circuit board. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to have it working at first shot.
  • Xilinx evaluation boards are handy when there is a complex design to work with. Also, this evaluation board offers a starting point. Then, you can modify the software to execute what you need.
  • Also, an evaluation board can help you test the capability of a particular chip.

Xilinx Evaluation Board Hardware

Xilinx evaluation board is suitable for high-performance RF application and rapid prototyping. Also, this evaluation board is fully tested and assembled. The following sections define the various connectors on this board and the proper evaluation setup.

Input/output connectors

VIN test bus

The VIN test bus links the VIN pin to the positive input supply voltage. Connecting the power supply to this bus can keep the wires short to reduce EMI transmission.

GND Test Bus

This is the power ground connection for the part through the GND pin and also the bypass capacitors. Also, you can link ground connections from external equipment to the GND test bus.

EN Test Bus

The EN connector enables or disables the converter through the EN pin. Also, avoid leaving the EN pin floating.

VOUT Test bus

The resistive voltage divider network sets the output voltage at the VOUT test bus. Also, you can attach a load from the VOUT test bus to the GND test bus.

SW Test Point

This point helps to monitor the switching frequency and switch node behavior. Also, link a BNC cable to the test point. This helps to measure the switching frequency.

Evaluation Setup

For proper operation of the evaluation board, you need to:

  • Connect positive supply to VIN
  • Link the input supply ground to GND
  • Integrate a voltage between 2.5V and 5.5V to the VIN test bus.
  • Connect the load between GND and VOUT

Performance Evaluation

Line regulation

You can observe and measure line regulation by monitoring the output voltage.

Load regulation

You can observe and measure load regulation by monitoring the output voltage while sweeping the load between GND and VOUT. Also, you can utilize short low resistance wires to minimize voltage, particularly for heavy loads.

Load Transient

Evaluate the load transient performance by producing a fast current transient on the output. Also, observing the behavior of the evaluation board.

Oscillator frequency

Connect an oscilloscope to the SW pin to measure the oscillator frequency.

Line transient

Generate a high speed voltage transient on the input and check the behavior of the evaluation board at VOUT. With this, you can evaluate the performance of the line transient.

Inductor current

You can access the inductor current by getting rid of one side of the inductor from the pad. Then, connect a current loop in the series. Also, place an oscilloscope current probe on the loop to sew the waveform.

Efficiency

You need to compare the input power to output power to measure efficiency.

What is the Difference Between an Evaluation Board and a Development Board?

Evaluation boards and development are interchangeably used. An evaluation board primarily focuses on a component. On the other hand, a development board focuses on the functionality of the entire board. The design and manufacturing of an evaluation board include several types of interconnections. Also, evaluation boards utilize much space. These boards offer test points to help analyses and evaluation.

On the other hand, development boards feature additional circuitry to optimize the functionality range. Also, designers can manufacture a development board as a production board. The evaluation board determines the suitability of a semiconductor component for an application. A development board is the manufactured version of the evaluation board.

Conclusion

The Xilinx evaluation board offers great advantages and features for PCB assembly. Also, this evaluation board is widely used across industries like wireless communications and test & measurement.