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COM duo expands upon quad -A53/FPGA Zynq UltraScale+

Jan 24, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,821 views

Enclustra unveiled two Linux-ready COMs based on the quad-core Cortex-A53 based Zynq UltraScale+ ARM/FPGA SoC with DDR4 RAM up to 8GB.

Enclustra’s SODIMM-style Mars XU3 and larger Mercury+ XU1 computer-on-modules run Linux on the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. They follow Enclustra’s announcement earlier this month of a Linux-friendly Mercury+ AA1 COM running on an Intel/Altera Arria 10 ARM/FPGA hybrid. Enclustra offers several SODIMM-style Mars and larger Mercury COMs equipped with Altera and Xilinx FPGAs or FPGA/ARM hybrid SoCs, including the Altera Cyclone V based Mercury SA1.

Mars XU3 (left) and Mercury+ XU1
(click images to enlarge)

Xilinx announced the quad-core Cortex-A53 Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC EG hybrid ARM/FPGA SoC in early 2015 as a follow-on to its popular Zynq-7000 line of Cortex-A9/FPGA SoCs. The UltraScale+ EG reached production shortly before the company’s June announcement of a dual-core CG version.

The Mars XU3 and Mercury+ XU1 modules follow two other recently released Zynq UltraScale+ EG COMs. In 2016, Trenz launched a 76 x 52mm TE0808 UltraSOM+ COM, and Iveia launched an 85.7 x 54.0mm Atlas-II-Z8, both of which support Linux. Iveia is also prepping an Atlas-III-Z8 model, which offers two additional banks of I/O.

Trenz TE0808 UltraSOM+ (left) and Iveia Atlas-II-Z8
(click images to enlarge)

Like the Arria 10-based Mercury+ AA1, the new Mars XU3 and Mercury+ XU1 are available in commercial and industrial (-40 to 85°C) temperature versions, and can be purchased with baseboards. They are similarly available with Linux BSPs from Ant Micro, while the Mars XU3 also offers Android and eCos BSPs from the same source. VxWorks is also supported.


Like the Mercury+ AA1, the UltraScale+ modules are aimed at embedded computing, data acquisition, high-speed communications, digital signal processing, image processing, and drive/motion control. They are similarly available with an optional Universal Drive Controller IP Core that avoids the “need for an extra drive controller chip that would consume precious PCB space and unnecessarily extend the project BOM,” says Enclustra.

The Swiss manufacturer is also working on a 56 × 54mm Mercury XU5 module equipped with the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, but it appears to be farther away from production. The feature set is fairly similar to that of the other two modules.

Xilinx’s 16nm FinFET fabricated Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC competes directly with the Intel/Altera Stratix 10. It features a faster, 1.5GHz quad-core CPU, and more powerful Mali-400 MP2 GPU and FPGA compared to the Zynq-7000.

Depending on the FPGA level chosen, the UltraScale+ EG ranges from 103K to 1,143K logic cells, 94 to 1,045 flip-flops, and 47 to 523 LUTs. There are also non-MPSoC versions without the ARM block.

Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The UltraScale+ adds two 600MHz Cortex-R5 MCUs with vector FPUs and memory protection units for improved real-time processing. Options include an H.265/264 video codec and a DSP.

Mars XU3

Enclustra’s SODIMM-style, 67.6 × 30.0mm Mars XU3 module is available in four SKUS that mix and match 1GB and 2GB DDR4 RAM with 0 to 70°C and -40 to 85°C support. Users can load up to 4GB of DDR4 on their own, and 64MB QSPI and 4GB eMMC flash are standard. The 3.3V module has an onboard GbE controller.

Mars XU3 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The block diagram shows dual USB 2.0 PHYs, but the product page also mentions USB 3.0 support. Interfaces include 108x user I/Os, including 52x 1.8V system, 18x 3.3V system, and 24x FPGA interfaces. Other features include a PCIe Gen x4 (4 MGTs) interface, JTAG, I2C, 4x LEDs, and an RTC.

Mercury+ XU1

The Mercury+ XU1 is available with more extensive documentation than the Mars XU3. The 74 × 54mm module backs up its Zynq Ultrascale+ with up to 8GB DDR4 with 19.2 GByte/sec memory bandwidth. SKUs include two -40 to 85°C versions with 2GB RAM, and a 0 to 85°C model with 4GB RAM. The modules also offer set allotments of 64MB QSPI flash and 8GB eMMC flash.

Mercury+ XU1, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Mercury+ XU1 embeds 2x GbE controllers and an RTC, and offers a variety of ARM- and FPGA-linked I/O via 3x 168-pin Hirose FX10 connectors. The module supports 2x USB 3.0, as well as USB 2.0 host and OTG ports.

Mercury+ XU1 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

A PCIe Gen2 x4 interface is onboard, along with 16x 6/8/12.5Gbps MGTs. A total of 294x user I/Os include 14x ARM peripherals, 80x MGTs, and 200x FPGA interfaces. The Mercury+ XU1 runs on 5-15V power, and is touted for low power consumption due to its high-efficiency DC/DC converters.

Enclustra carrier boards

Each of the Enclustra COMs supports different carrier boards. The Mars XU3 offers a choice of two 120 × 80mm Pico-ITX boards: a basic Mars EB1 and a more FPGA-oriented Mars PM3. Both boards are available in commercial or extended (-25 to 85°C) models, and start at $268 in single units.

Mars EB1 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Mars EB1 baseboard is equipped with a microSD slot, Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 port, and 4x micro-USB 2.0 device ports. There’s also an HDMI 1.3 port and dual “mini camera links,” says Enclustra. Other features include a 40-pin expansion header, and other headers, buttons, and LEDs. You can power up via a 5-15V input or micro-USB.

Mars PM3 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Mars PM3 Pico-ITX carrier advances to a GbE port and a USB 3.0 Cypress EZ-USB FX3 device controller with Slave-FIFO interface. There are also USB 2.0 host. micro-USB 2.0, mini-HDMI, and SD connections. The board offers more connectors for FPGA interfaces, including 72-pin FMC low pin count connector and optional 40-pin I/O header.

Mercury+ PE1 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Mercury+ XU1 module is available with a larger, 160 × 111.2mm Mercury+ PE1-300/400 carrier board. The board is equipped with dual GbE ports, USB 3.0 device, micro-USB 2.0 device, and 4x USB 2.0 host ports. A microSD slot and an option for additional eMMC flash are also available.

The Mercury+ PE1 board features a PCIe Gen2 x4 interface with miniPCIe and mSATA slots and an optional SIM card holder. The PEI-400 model has 2× FMC LPC connectors while the PEI-300 instead has a single FMC HPC connector. Dual 40-pin and dual 12-pin Pmod headers are also available. The board has a 5-12V supply.

Further information

The Mars XU3 module will be available starting at $157, tiering down to $112 in 10K+ volume for the 1GB commercial range SKU. The Mercury+ XU3 will start at $800 with 2GB RAM, dropping down to $520 at 10K. No availability dates were listed. More information may be found on Enclustra’s Mars XU3 and Mercury+ XU1 product pages.

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