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ARM/FPGA board family adds COMs and an SBC

Apr 28, 2014 — by Eric Brown 1,978 views

Avnet released two new, Linux-ready MicroZed COMs, one of which supports industrial temperatures, as well as the first MicroZed SBC, all based on Zynq SoCs.

Xilinx manufacturing partner Avnet unveiled its first MicroZed computer-on-module last August, two months after shipping its larger, more I/O rich ZedBoard single board computer.

MicroZed with Zynq-7020

In November, Avnet followed up with a MicroZed 7020 module that advanced from the earlier Xilinx Zynq-7010 system-on-chip to the Zynq-7020, which offers a more powerful FPGA. In March of this year, Avnet announced a Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC Mini-Module Plus that offers a Zynq-7100 SoC with even faster FPGA circuitry.


Now Avnet is returning to the lower-end Zynq-7010 and -7020 with two new specialized versions of the MicroZed module, as well as an SBC version. In both Xilinx SoCs, a pair of 667MHz ARM Cortex-A9 cores connect with varying levels of FPGA programmable logic via a high-speed interconnect.

MicroZed SBC with daughter card
(click image to enlarge)

Here’s an overview of the three new MicroZed products…

Industrial MicroZed System-on-Module (SOM)

Available with both Zynq-7010 and -7020 SoCs, the industrial MicroZed adds industrial temperature support (-40 to 85°C), but otherwise appears to be identical to the originals. The module is designed for weather stations, data loggers, airplanes, factory automation, and other harsh environment applications, says Avnet.

MicroZed SOMs
(click images to enlarge)

MicroZed Cost-Optimized (CO) SOM

The “CO SOM” is almost identical to the original Zynq-7010 based MicroZed, but is designed to support standalone operation, including the capability to “self-power expansion connectors for placement of application-specific expansion modules,” according to Avnet. Whereas the original is sold as an evaluation kit that targets new users and includes additional licensing, documentation, and tutorials, the new version is aimed at final product development.

“The cost-optimized MicroZed has some minor jumper and connector changes that are not required for system-on-module use (they are there for the stand-alone development kit use),” wrote Jim Beneke, VP, Global Technical Marketing at Avnet Electronics Marketing, in an email. “Thus designers wanting to use MicroZed in a pure production mode, where it will always be plugged into a carrier card, can purchase the cost-optimized version and save about 7 percent.”

MicroZed Single Board Computer (SBC)

The SBC version is far more like a MicroZed COM than it is like the Zynq-based ZedBoard SBC. The only real-world ports are a gigabit Ethernet port, a micro-USB 2.0 port, and a microSD slot.

Although the SBC is very similar in design to the SOM models, the SBC version provides I/O connectors on its top side, where a daughter card can be stacked, whereas the SOMs need to be piggy-backed on some sort of carrier board. Hence, the SBC version is well suited to use in small form-factor devices, suggests Avnet. The MicroZed SBC is available with either the Zynq-7010 or -7020 SoCs, and with either commercial or industrial temperature support.

MicroZed SBC, top (left) and bottom
(click images to enlarge)

At publication time, Avnet had yet to post product pages for the two new MicroZed SOMs, although it would appear that the differences from the original MicroZed SOMs are minor. Details on the new SBC are available in the block diagram and specifications list below. As with all of Avnet’s Zynq-based products, Linux is the main supported operating system.

MicroZed SBC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Zynq-7020 version of the MicroZed SBC include:

  • Processor — Xilinx Zynq-XC7Z020 (Zynq-7020) CPU/FPGA SoC:
    • 2x 667MHz ARM Cortex-A9 cores
    • 2x NEON coprocessors
    • Integrated FPGA subsystem
  • Memory:
    • 1GB DDR3 RAM
    • 128Mb QSPI (Quad SPI) flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • Micro-USB 2.0 port
    • JTAG port
    • UART via 2×6 Digilent Pmod interface with 8x PS MIO connections
    • PS JTAG pins via board-to-board connectors
    • 100x user I/O (2x 50-pin connectors), also configurable as up to 48 LVDS pairs
  • Other features — 33.33MHz oscillator; user LED; user push switch
  • Operating system — Linux-ready; Android-compatible

Further information

Orders for the Industrial MicroZed SOM, MicroZed CO SOM, and MicroZed SBC are now being accepted at Avnet’s web store. High volume pricing and estimated ship dates are as follows:

  • Industrial MicroZed — Now shipping with Zynq-7010 ($221) and -7020 ($295)
  • MicroZed CO — Shipping in 3Q 2014 with Zynq-7010 ($169) and -7020 ($245)
  • MicroZed SBC –– The commercial temperature version based on the Zynq-7010 is available in 2Q 2014 for $169. All other models ship in the third quarter. These include the industrial version with the -7010 ($199), as well as commercial and industrial models based on the -7020, available for $224 and $259, respectively.

More information on the MicroZed SBC may be found at Avnet’s MicroZed SBC product page. More on the Industrial MicroZed and MicroZed CO may be found in their announcement, and should eventually appear at the MicroZed website.

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