Working with PCB electronics has been a tough, tedious process for decades. Computers have been getting faster and cheaper. However, there was no corresponding increase in the ability to connect microcontrollers to peripherals. The only way to get any IO from a computer into a circuit for many years was with an expensive controller. Also, you can get it using a servo board that sits between the computer and the circuit.
Nowadays, boards like Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Boards make connections much more simple and inexpensive. This article will discuss how these boards work and their benefits in detail.
A Brief Overview
Xilinx Spartan FPGA
5-series development tools, loaded onto the board through an onboard bootable DVD drive. Additionally, the boards require power from a 5-volt wall wart or USB connection. The cards have DB9 serial ports that allow access to the JTAG interface of the FPGA to program it with new code.
These boards are mainly essential for prototyping great designs for use in the real world. They are also great for learning how to program FPGAs because they have an IDE that makes programming easy. The boards are probably the best way to learn FPGA programming right now because of these reasons.
But, even though they are very powerful, sometimes it isn’t easy to find where each component is on the board. This can be especially annoying when figuring out which pin connects to which component on certain boards.
Using the second-generation ASMBLY FPGA, the Virtex-5 Series includes 12 different boards. There are three variants of the Virtex-5.
1. Development board for developing and debugging software solutions
2. Design target for application design teams
3. Hardware target for designers
These boards provide complete flexibility with support from third-party licenses through top manufacturers like RayMing PCB and Assembly. It includes device drivers and custom RTOS applications. This article will discuss the various features of this FPGA family.
Virtex-5 FPGA Logic
The boards with a 205 MHz VTT FPGA contain a QFP208 package. Virtex-5 is the successor of the Xilinx XC4S50, which created some of the world’s most remarkable innovations. The Virtex-5 series combines high speed (190 million ASIC gates) with large (2 Mbit) resources.
They are available in five different packages: QFP100, QFP160, QFP176, QFP208, and BGA288. Depending on the operating voltage of the FPGA, the logic capacity ranges between 95M and 174M. The architecture of the Virtex-5 logic consists of several components that are on into the chip. Controllers, digital inputs and outputs, memory, and peripherals are all implemented in a single package.
Virtex-5 Boards: A Comparison
The following matrix compares the features of the five boards: QFP208 – BGA288 – QFP160 – QFP100 – QFP176. These first four boards contain an 80 MHz version of Virtex-5 FPGA and share many features with the low-power 50 MHz version. The fifth board, the BGA288, contains a high-power version of Virtex-5 FPGA with an operating speed of 200 MHz.
Virtex-5 FPGA Boards #1
The first board of the Virtex-5 series is the DE2 board. It is an ideal development platform for applications that need high performance or that need Ethernet capabilities. DE2 board contains an Altera MAXII CPLD for prototyping Ethernet circuits. The QFP176 contains a 50 MHz version of the Virtex-5 FPGA. The DE2 boards support JTAG and USB programming. In addition to these standard programming interfaces, developers have access to Xilinx’s WebPack IDE.
This DE2 board is an excellent platform for developing embedded Ethernet-based embedded applications. The applications that require a high level of integration or high-performance capabilities. A custom RTOS application coupled with a Linux driver allows the board to run multiple TCP/IP connections through its Ethernet ports.
The DE2 board is a fully integrated, high-performance prototyping board that contains all of the essential components. In addition to the FPGA and CPLD also include I/O functionality in LEDs, switches, connectors for adding daughter cards, and a USB connection. The DE2 board has a physical size of 8.9 cm x 6.5 cm (3.5 x 2.5 inches).
Integrated Block Memory
The board supports the high-speed logic of the Virtex-5 FPGA through its integrated memory. This integrated memory of the Virtex-5 FPGA stores the configuration bits of the FPGA, device drivers, and user applications. The QFP176 version of the DE2 board contains 550 Mb (312 MHz) block memory. On the QFP208 version, this increases to 1 Gb (600 MHz).
This high-speed memory allows the DE2 board to support a large program file without performance degradation. In addition to the 550 MHz memory, the DE2 board also contains an FPGA configuration ROM of 100 Mb. This allows it to support all of the Virtex-5 FPGA’s configuration memory. Furthermore, the True dual-port RAM cells of the Virtex-5 enable the board to support both high-speed data parallelism and fast burst models. Additionally, the Multirate FIFO support logic allows designers to use the external memory of the system efficiently.
The DE2 board is a good platform for any Virtex-5 FPGA application that requires a small form factor and a high level of integration. It contains all the necessary components for developing embedded applications. The board includes a CPLD and an integrated voltage regulator. In addition to providing a high level of integration, this board is also relatively easy to develop.
The DE2 board uses the Phase Locked Loop (PLL) technology of the Virtex-5 FPGA to provide high-performance clocks. This board uses three of the seven PLLs on the Virtex-5 to generate clocks with various speeds and frequencies. The clock generator supports all common clock formats, including LVDS, LVPECL, sine wave, and square root.
This clock generator also provides several features that allow it to generate clean signals with low jitter. For example, it features a clock auto-sense feature that monitors the input signal and performs a low-jitter fine adjustment if necessary. Additionally, the PLL supports programmable dividers and attenuators for generating any required frequency. The Virtex-5 FPGA also includes Automatic Clock Control (ACC), which drives the PLL from an external source. This feature enables the clocking of PLL from a microcontroller’s internal clock. In addition, it allows the board to work as a versatile debugging tool.
The DE2 boards support a wide range of clock frequencies. On the QFP100 version, the backside bus uses a sine wave clock. Therefore, on the QFP100 version, when instruction takes longer than 20 ns to execute, the Virtex-5 will drop out of Active mode and execute in Standby mode until an issued FPGA instruction takes less than 20 ns. The QFP160 board supports a wider range of frequencies, allowing the user to have more flexibility when designing the system.
This DE2 board contains two interfaces for programming the Virtex-5 FPGA: USB and JTAG/SWD (Serial Wire Debug). The USB interface allows developers to program their designs with Xilinx’s WebPACK tool. This web-based tool supports design entry, simulation, and synthesis. It also provides an integrated programming environment with support for most debug features. WebPACK programming interface also supports the ability to download precompiled bitstreams.
The DE2 board has a standard JTAG/SWD interface that can program and debug the FPGA. Additionally, the DE2 board also has a connection for an external flash programmer to support in-system programming. This allows it to be easily integrated into an existing development platform or reflashed when the FPGA needs reprogrammed.
In sum, the DE2 board contains various features that make it a suitable development platform for a wide range of applications. For example, it has two Ethernet ports and an integrated memory block to support high-speed parallel communications. In addition to these standard features, it also has high-performance components such as an onboard PLL. This allows it to generate large clocks while providing low jitter.
ChipSync Source-Synchronous Interfacing Logic
The DE2 board supports source-synchronous, 32-bit data transfers that we require in many communications applications. In addition, it is capable of both half-duplex and full-duplex I/O.
The DE2 board interfaces to Virtex-5 FPGAs via a QFP100 or QFP160 connector. These Virtex-5 family of FPGAs includes an Avalon bus interface that allows for the configuration of the interface. The buses can vary the width of the data transfers and support various I/O protocols.
This board supports data transfers on both edges of the clock signal. Alternatively, it can support slow data transfers synchronized with the rising edge of the clock. The Virtex-5 FPGA allows the user to select a single mode of operation, which provides a single edge of data transfer. To support more complex communication protocols, the DE2 board also supports multiple synchronized clock edges.
The Virtex-5 FPGA allows the user to configure data transfers in different modes. It supports programmable fine increments for both rising and falling edges. It also supports both maximum and minimum delays on the clock edges.
The DE2 board supports these features by using programmable registers to synchronize both edges of the data transfer to any edge of the FPGA’s clock.
It is capable of 32-bit, source-synchronous data transfers at speeds up to 800 MHz. In addition, the board supports half-duplex and full-duplex I/O with optional 8b/10b encoding or Manchester encoding.
Select IO Technology
The DE2 board supports two different ways to configure the data transfers. It can either download precompiled bitstreams over the USB interface or reprogram the FPGA through JTAG/SWD programming.
Precompiled bitstreams versions of the FPGA’s configuration memory that the manufacturer precompiles. It creates these bitstreams by Xilinx’s WebPACK tool. You can download it via USB or program it into the internal flash memory of the DE2 board using an external programmer.
JTAG/SWD programming uses an active-high JTAG pin to provide power, clock, and configuration signals for the FPGA. Developers can use the DE2 board to program this FPGA to their design. They can also use JTAG/SWD programming to check that the FPGA operates properly before soldering it into a system. We can use the JTAG pin in data or clock mode, and additional pins allow additional configuration pins.
Digitally Controlled Impedance (DCI)
The DE2 board also supports digitally controlled impedance by using a DCI feature of Virtex-5 FPGAs. DCI is an optional feature that allows the user to vary the values on matched transmission lines. It will enable greater flexibility in many applications.
The DE2 board uses this feature by alternating between two pairs of transmission lines. During the first clock cycle, it changes one pair of lines to a high impedance state. Then, in the next clock cycle, it changes the other pair to a high impedance state.
The Virtex-5 FPGA allows the user to configure the transmission lines in different modes. It supports up to two pieces of slow-rise-delay logic, which we can use to support high-speed burst data transfers. The DE2 board supports up to four pieces of logic.
The DE2 board can support full-duplex (simultaneous data and clock) I/O at speeds up to 1200 MHz.
Virtex-5 boards have integrated 24-channel analog performance monitor that allows users to monitor system performance. The user can set the test conditions and can observe the results of their application. On-Chip temperature and On-Chip power supply measurements work together with the onboard power supply for variable voltage on the DE2 board. They provide temperature and voltage information on the board. There are three different on-chip temperature sensors for monitoring chip temperature based on two different measurement tools.
Thermocouple and Diode. The on-chip power supply voltage monitored and measured by Power Supply and Power Consumption Monitors provides accurate current and voltage information.
The DE2 board has a 32-bit RISC processor that users can program either in Verilog or VHDL. It also includes additional features that allow users to use ULD, LUT, and call for external functions.
In addition to the RISC processor, the DE2 board has a 32-bit microprocessor. This microprocessor is a state machine that controls almost every action on the DE2 board. For example, state machines can set up and analyze data transfers before performing them. They can also control the state machine’s response to error conditions such as specific asynchronous events.
The DE2-115 board comes with a comprehensive set of software drivers. They allow users to configure and monitor the FPGA configuration. These drivers work with Xilinx’s WebPACK tools, which enable users to download their designs using a USB interface. The software includes tutorials that walk the user through creating hardware applications using both C and Verilog.
Application of the Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Boards
We can apply the DE2 board in a variety of ways. It has a high-speed digital I/O, which allows it to communicate with other devices at high speed. We can use the FPGA to control the overall system, and the mini-RISC processor can control everything else on the board.
1. Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
The DE2 board’s RISC processor can control some specific hardware on customers’ production lines. It can control some of the automatic processes in the manufacturing process. They include some of the machining, stamping, and assembly functions.
This allows manufacturers to get their products out faster than if you programmed them by hand. In addition, since the RISC processor has fewer components than a traditional microcontroller, it also helps to reduce costs on complicated boards that require thousands of manual steps.
2. Instrumentation and Measurement Equipment
We can use the DE2 board in various measurement equipment. For example, voltmeters, ammeters, power supplies, logic analyzers, frequency counters, and spectrum analyzers. Additionally, we can use the RISC processor to control specialized hardware on the board. It can also monitor specific design parameters to ensure that the design is operating within the correct parameters.
3. Test Equipment
Many companies use DE2 boards in their equipment to test the designs before you ship them to the customer. We can reprogram the RISC processor to control specific hardware on the board and check for errors in the design. This can prevent defects from occurring in design, which reduces manufacturing time and costs.
4. Embedded Systems
Since DE2 boards are small, we can use them in more compact systems than traditional CPUs. The mini-RISC processor can run at full speed, which allows it to perform its tasks faster than a traditional microcontroller. It requires fewer components to make it work, which also helps reduce manufacturing costs.
5. Cloud Computing
Virtualized systems are becoming more popular, and we can use the DE2 board in the cloud computing field. It uses virtualization, which allows running multiple software images on top of each other simultaneously. This is useful because it enables the system to update more frequently than traditional processors. It also helps to reduce costs since it reduces the amount of hardware that one needs.
6. Industrial Monitoring and Control
The RISC processor can monitor and control machines’ temperature, pressure, and humidity in process lines at manufacturing facilities. It can also monitor and control systems requiring high accuracy (such as medical equipment and nuclear reactors). The RISC processor can control the hardware on these systems to ensure that they’re operating within controlled parameters.
7. Communication Devices
The RISC processor can control hardware on communication devices, such as cell phones and radios. It can help control the hardware and ensure that specified limits aren’t exceeded (such as the volume on a radio). The board also help to synchronize data transfers more quickly than traditional CPUs.
8. Industrial Automation
Industrial automation is becoming one of the most popular uses for FPGA boards. We can use the DE2 board to control factory production lines that require a large amount of hardware, such as conveyor belts and hand tools. It can also monitor and control systems that require high accuracy, such as medical equipment.
Benefits of Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Boards
The DE2 board has many benefits over other FPGA boards. It has a RISC processor, which helps to speed up its performance. The board also uses digital I/O, allowing users to communicate with other devices using high-speed digital lines. It can control complex equipment, such as factory production lines or medical equipment. The board also monitor and control systems that require very high accuracy, such as nuclear reactors.
Xilinx’s latest generation of the DE2 board uses a new version of Virtex-5 FPGA, which provides a 32-bit RISC core with a clock rate of up to 2 GHz. It has 160 DSPs and 60 MAC blocks. This Virtex-5 Family includes 400 series, 600 series, 700 series, 800 series, 900, and 1000s. The DE2 Compact Board features two high-speed serial ports, eight Ethernet channels, four USB2.0 ports, one PCI Express (PCIe) expansion slot, and a module bay that accepts MXM modules for memory or other interface functions. This allows the boards to connect to additional peripherals without the need for soldering or rewiring.
The Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Boards are part of a family of FPGA boards available from Digilent Technologies. It is a larger version of the Virtex-5 DE2 FPGA board.
The Virtex-5 FPGA Family and the Virtex-6 FPGA Family are Xilinx’s newest generations of their FPGA boards. It includes 5000 through 5568, and the Virtex-5 Family includes 1006 through 9231. In addition, both families include their respective MAX 10 and MAX 12 devices and several Enhanced Device Offerings (EDO).
Limitations of Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Boards
It has several limitations, such as the small amount of memory available for programming. The RISC processor also has a small physical area, limiting the number of components that can make it work. It also doesn’t have much room for input/output lines and memory bits. However, we expect this since the DE2 board is relatively small and inexpensive compared with other FPGA boards.
The DE2 board is an expansion module for the DE2 Compact FPGA board. It’s a low-cost, high-performance RISC processor with 1 Mbps serial ports, two PCIe slots, and one memory slot. It provides essential functions such as an interface to the host computer and I/O lines to program the FPGA. The DE2 is also known as MCP1167 or XC73B3.
Examples of Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Boards
- Made In Japan
- RoHS compliance
- Tested all I/
- Compact size 1.693″ x 2.126″ (43 x 54 mm)
- High-quality eight-layer PCB (Immersion gold)
- 3.3 V single power supply operation with onboard 1.0 V/2.5 V regulators
- Configuration device (16Mb for LX30/50, 32Mb for LX85/100)
- JTAG buffer for stable download and debug
- Two User LEDs
- JTAG port (7 pin socket)
- Power-on Reset IC for FPGA configuration
- Two Status LEDs (Power, Done)
- One User Switch (Push-button)
- 50 MHz Oscillator (50 ppm) or External inputs
- Separable VCCO
- SDRAM 256 M (4 Mb x 16 x 4 banks)
- 128 user I/O (with two 80pin HIROSE connectors)
[XCM-109] Xilinx Virtex-5 FFG676 FPGA board
· XC5VLX110: 64 DSP48Es, 6 PLLs, 12 DCMs, 4,608 Total/sum block RAM Bits, 128 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Board), 440 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Device), 1,120 Maximum Distributed RAM Bits, 110,592 Logic Cells, and 17,280 Slices
· XC5VLX85: 48 DSP48Es, 6 PLLs, 12 DCMs, 3,456 Total/sum block RAM Bits, 128 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Board), 440 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Device), 840 Maximum Distributed RAM Bits, 82,944 Logic Cells, and 12,960 Slices
· XC5VLX50: 48 DSP48Es, 6 PLLs, 12 DCMs, 1,728 Total/sum block RAM Bits, 128 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Board), 440 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Device), 480 Maximum Distributed RAM Bits, 46,080 Logic Cells, and 7,200 Slices
· XC5VLX30: 32 DSP48Es, 2 PLLs, 4 DCMs, 1,152 Total/sum block RAM Bits, 128 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Board), 400 Maximum user/operator I/O pins (Device), 320 Maximum Distributed RAM Bits, 30,720 Logic Cells, and 4,800 Slices
Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Boards are reliable and cost-effective. They’re ideal for prototyping, testing hardware in software applications, and for integrating into other devices. They are also suitable for industrial automation applications, digital signal processing (DSP), telecommunications, radar systems, and medical equipment.