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ARM/FPGA COM runs Linux on Zynq-7000 SoC

Mar 24, 2014 — by Eric Brown 2,936 views

Avnet announced a COM based on Xilinx Zynq-7000 ARM/FPGA SoCs, and supported by an optional baseboard, power module, FPGA mezzanine card, and Linux BSP.

Avnet Electronic Martketing’s “Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC Mini-Module Plus” incorporates the Xilinx Zynq-7000 system-on-chip, which integrates and links dual 1GHz Cortex-A9 cores and FPGA circuitry via an AXI interconnect. The module is said to “complement” the previously announced, and still available, Zynq-7000-based 7Z045 Mini-Module Plus, which is software and hardware compatible with the new COM. While Avnet’s 7Z045 module uses the Zynq-7045, also found on PLDA’s SODIMM-style SoMZ-7045 COM, the new module also supports a more advanced Zynq-7100 SoC.

Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC Mini-Module Plus (left) and simplified model of development system with baseboard (right)
(click images to enlarge)

Both the Zynq-7045 and Zynq-7100 offer beefier FPGAs than are available on the more commonly seen Zynq-7010 or Zynq-7020 models, which are found on products such as Avnet’s MicroZed and ZedBoard SBCs. As explained in Avnet’s comparison chart [PDF] for its Zynq-based devices, the Zynq-7100 provides 444K FPGA logic cells, compared to 350K for the Zynq-7045 or 85K for the Zynq-7020. The ARM subsystem remains the same on all the Zynq models.

Zynq-7000 Mini-Module Plus Baseboard II with processor and power modules
(click image to enlarge)

Avnet’s new 102 x 57mm Mini-Module Plus is equipped with 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, as well as 32MB of QSPI flash and 128MB of parallel flash for the SoC’s FPGA. Real-world interfaces appear to include a gigabit Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 OTG port, and a microSD card socket.


The module also features a USB-UART port, a system clock, and eight gigabit transceivers (GTX ports) with 132 user I/O pins for FPGA signals. The I/O pins can be configured as single-ended signals as well as LVDS (low-voltage differential signaling) pairs, says Avnet.

The module is designed to run Linux. Avnet confirmed via email that “PetaLinux is Xilinx’s officially supported tool chain for Linux development; and it’s available for download from our Design Resource Center.” Also available is the Xilinx ISE Design Suite, Embedded Edition.

Zynq-7000 Mini-Module Plus specs

Specifications listed for the Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC Mini-Module Plus include:

  • Processor — Xilinx Zynq-7045 or Zynq-7100 (2x Cortex-A9 cores @ up to 1GHz, with FPGA (350K or 444K logic cells, respectively)
  • Memory:
    • 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
    • 128MB of parallel flash (for FPGA)
    • 32MB of QSPI flash
    • 8KB of I2C EEPROM
    • Micro-SD slot
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 OTG port
    • USB UART
    • JTAG programming/configuration port
    • PJTAG header (for FPGA)
    • 8x GTX ports with 132x user I/O pins (for FPGA)
  • Other features — RTC; programmable LVDS clock source (GTX ref. clock); 200MHz LVDS oscillator (system clock)
  • Dimensions — 102 x 57mm (4.0 x 2.3 inches)
  • Operating system — Linux (PetaLinux)

Mini-Module Plus Baseboard II

The Mini-Module Plus Baseboard II carrier board integrates connectors for the Mini-Module Plus COM, as well as a choice of various 12V DC power modules. There’s also an LPC (low pin-count) connector for an optional FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC), although no further details were provided. The entire kit with processor and power modules is called the Mini-Module Plus Development System (MMP).

The Baseboard II includes a DisplayPort, as well as a variety of onboard USB, JTAG, and PMOD connectors. There’s also a PCI-Express x4 edge connector for expansion. The module’s GTX signals are available as a general-purpose MGT interface via SMA connectors. The board also integrates LEDs, push-button switches, DIP switches, and clock sources.

Block diagrams: Zynq-700 Mini-Module (left) and Mini-Module Plus Baseboard II (right)
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Zynq-7000 Mini-Module Plus Baseboard II and Power Module include:

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