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ARM/FPGA module runs Debian on Arria 10 SoC

Mar 10, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,769 views

The Reflex CES Arria 10 SoC SoM runs Linux on the ARM/FPGA Arria 10 SoC, and is available with SBC and PCIe-style carrier boards.

The Arria 10 SoC SoM has been listed on the Intel FPGA site — the new name for Altera — since October, when iWave’s similarly Arria 10 equipped Arria 10 SoC Module appeared. Enclustra’s Arria 10-based Mercury+ AA1 module was unveiled in January. Reflex CES recently began shipping the Debian Linux driven Arria 10 SoC SoM, along with two optional carrier boards.

Arria 10 SoC SoM, front and back
(click image to enlarge)

The 95 x 86mm module, which is larger than either the iWave or Enclustra modules, is available separately, or as part of an SBC-like Achilles Instant-DevKit or PCIe Carrier Board. Schematics appear to be available for the carriers, and Reflex CES also provides reference designs.

Arria 19 SoC SoM module as part of optional Achilles Instant-DevKit (left) and PCIe Carrier Board
(click images to enlarge)

Intel/Altera’s Arria 10 SX SoC is a faster, newer sibling to the Cyclone V SX, but falls well below the new Stratix 10, which combines 4x Cortex-A53 cores with a Stratix V level FPGA. The Arria 10 SoC is based on the earlier, 28nm Arria V SoC, but runs on up to 40 percent lower power despite offering faster dual Cortex-A9 cores.

Arria 10 SX SoC architecture
(click image to enlarge)

The Arria 10 SX SoC’s FPGA delivers up to 660K LEs compared to 350LK to 462K LEs on the Arriva V SoC. There’s also an Arria 10 FPGA, which is similar to the SoC, but lacks the dual-core ARM HPS subsystem. The Arria 10 SoC offers a 2400Mbps DDR4 SDRAM interface, and an IEEE 754-compliant hard floating-point with 1,500 GFLOPS of DSP performance.

Arria 10 SoC SoM


The Arria 10 SoC SoM clocks the SoC’s dual Cortex-A9 cores to 1GHz instead of the maximum 1.5GHz. It supports up to 4GB DDR4-1866 RAM each for the ARM and FPGA subsystems, for 8GB total. You also get 32GB of eMMC.

Arria 10 SoC SoM (left) and Achilles Instant-DevKit block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

The module offers ARM-linked I/O including dual GbE ports, a USB OTG port, a UART, and an I2C slave interface. FPGA-driven I/O includes a USB 3.0 device port, a UART, and a PCIe Gen3 x8 edge interface. There are also FMC (LPC and HPC) interfaces, 24x transceivers, and LVDS and LVCMOS connections

Achilles Dev Kits

The 140 x 100mm Achilles Instant-DevKit expands upon the Arria 10 SoC SoM with dual GbE ports, a micro-USB 3.0 port, and a Mini-USB OTG port. The board also provides I2C and UART interfaces, a USB Blaster II, and a PMBus interface for power management.

A heatsink and fan are standard, and a heatspreader is optional. The Instant-DevKit runs on an external AC power supply, and a battery holder and an RGB LED are also available.

Two block diagrams for PCIe Carrier Board
(click images to enlarge)

Alternatively, you can choose the 168 x 111mm PCIe Carrier Board with PCIe x8 signaling via an edge connector. The board offers the same GbE, USB ports, and USB Blaster as the starter kit, and adds a WiFi module and an LCD connector.

The PCIe carrier also provides a QSFP+ quad optical cage and 2x SFP+ single optical cages. The board can be powered on its own with an AC power supply or via PC’s PCIe slot.

Other Arria 10 SoC based products from Reflex CES include an Arria 10 SX FMC PCIe board. Other Arria 10 GX (FPGA-only) boards include the XpressGXA10-LP1150 PCIe and Arria 10 GX FMC PCIe. The French embedded firm has previously introduced an FPP25 prototyping system for Xilinx FPGAs, among other FPGA related products.

Further information

The Achilles Arria 10 SoC SoM, as well as the Achilles Instant-DevKit and PCIe Carrier Board, are available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found on the Achilles Arria 10 SoC SoM, Achilles Instant-DevKit, and PCIe Carrier Board product pages. Reflex CES will be demonstrating the products Mar. 14-16 at Embedded World in Nuremberg.

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