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Dev kit and module run Linux on Zynq Ultrascale+

Apr 20, 2021 — by Eric Brown 740 views

Topic Embedded has launched a “Florida Plus” dev kit that runs Linux on its Zynq Ultrascale+ based Miami MPSoC Plus module. Meanwhile, Aries announced it has begun distributing Topic’s Zynq-based Miami modules.

Netherlands-based Topic Embedded Systems has been around for 20 years doing FPGA work, with the last decade focused primarily on manufacturing Linux-driven Xilinx Zynq based modules. Last week, Topic announced an open-spec Florida Plus Development Kit that showcases its top-of-the-line Miami MPSoC Plus compute module, which features the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC.

Florida Plus Development Kit (left) and Miami MPSoC Plus
(click images to enlarge)

The day before the announcement, Germany based Aries Embedded announced it will distribute Topic’s Zynq-based Miami modules in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Aries does not offer Zynq modules of its own, but it manufactures Linux-powered modules and dev kits based on Intel/Altera FPGA/Arm hybrid SoCs, such as its C-Vision-Kit based on its Cyclone V SoC based MCV module. Aries also offers a M100PFS module built around Microchip’s RISC-V based PolarFire SoC.

In addition to the UltraScale+ equipped Miami MPSoC Plus and Miami MPSoC modules described below, Topic Embedded manufactures three modules based on the earlier Zynq-7000 series. These include the Miami Zynq Plus, Miami Zynq, and compact Miami Zynq Lite.


Miami MPSoC Plus

The 95 x 68.5mm Miami MPSoC Plus module that plugs into the Florida Plus kit uses the same, Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC ZU6/ZU9/ZU15 EG models as Topic’s smaller, 70 x 68.4mm Miami MPSoC sibling, which is not supported by the Florida Plus. The three SKUs offer higher-end FPGA fabric. Other modules that feature the ZU11EG (469K logic cells), ZU17EG (600K), and ZU19EG (747K) UltraScale+ models include iWave’s iW-RainboW-G35M.

Miami MPSoC Plus (left) and spec list
(click images to enlarge)

The Arm block is also the same between the two Miami MPSoC models, featuring the Zynq UltraScale+’s 4x 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores running Linux. The SoC also provides dual 600MHz Cortex-R5 MCUs supported by FreeRTOS.

Although the FPGA processing power is the same on both Miami MPSoC modules, the Plus model offers 16x pairs of FPGA-driven gigabit transceivers, DSP and BRAM/URAM slices, and LUT-based logic compared to 4x pairs on the smaller module. Unlike the standard model, the Plus also provides 3x pairs of gigabit transceivers for USB 3.0, Ethernet, DisplayPort, and PCIe linked to the Arm CPU.

Miami MPSoC

The Miami MPSoC Plus defaults to 4GB DDR4, with options for 2GB and 8GB, instead of 2GB on the standard model. The Plus also provides up to 64GB pseudo-SLC or MLC flash compared to 8GB eMMC. Both models supply 64MB QSPI NOR flash.

The larger size on the Miami MPSoC Plus is required to house a third Samtec B2B connector compared to two. The Plus also adds a GbE PHY, with support for up to 50GbE via an external PHY.

Other features on the Plus module can be seen in the spec list above. The module has an “industrial grade” temperature range and various ruggedization compliances including MIL-STD-202G-rated shock and vibration resistance. The BSP includes mainline Linux 5.4 support, and the module optionally supports Topic’s Dyplo (Dynamic Process Loader) OS for the FPGA.

Florida Plus Development Kit

The Florida Plus kit can be purchased with the ZU9 version of the Miami MPSoC Plus pre-installed on the carrier board. The board is equipped with a GbE port plus USB Type-C device and host ports. There is also a micro-USB debug port and a JTAG interface.

Florida Plus Development Kit block diagram (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

Other features include 2x FMC and 2x PMOD connectors. Audio I/O is available via PMOD, and video via a PMOD or FMC expansion board. Other PMOD interfaces include 2x CAN, I2C, and SPI.

The Florida Plus kit provides WiFi/Bluetooth connected via a MIO interface that is also shared by the SD slot. You also get 2x SMA antenna mounts: one for WiFi/BT and one for “Sync-E clock source.” An M.2 slot supports SSD storage, including NVMe. The board has a 12V/5A DC input, a power fuse, an RTC with battery, and a 0 to 70°C range.

The kit is delivered with a power adapter, 32GB SD card, and a micro-USB cable. Other features include software and FPGA reference designs, schematics, and PCB layout files.

Further information

The Florida Plus Development Kit is available now with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found on Topic Embedded Systems’ Florida Plus announcement and an in-depth product guide (PDF).

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