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Zynq-based, Linux-enabled SDR module sells for $549

Jan 27, 2017 — by Eric Brown 4,272 views

Avnet launched a cheaper, single-channel version of its dual-channel PicoZed SDR COM. The Linux-driven Zynq-7020 COM supports a 70MHz to 6GHz RF range.

Avnet’s PicoZed SDR 1×1 SOM is a more affordable, single-channel version of the dual-channel PicoZed SDR 2×2, a software defined radio version of the PicoZed computer-on-module. This $549, single-channel module supports the same 70MHz to 6GHz RF range, with tunable channel bandwidth of <200kHz to 56MHz, but it lacks the wideband 2x2 MIMO receive and transmit paths of the dual-channel 2x2.

PicoZed SDR 1×1, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like the PicoZed SDR 2×2 device, the 1×1 model aims to speed the development of RF-to-baseband signal processing cores for wireless communications systems that use SDR to change modulation schemes, frequency bands, and system protocols on the fly. The device is aimed at applications including defense/aerospace, security/surveillance, portable systems, and 3G/4G communications. The module ships with schematics, BOM, HDL, Linux drivers, and application software.

Like the PicoZed SDR 2×2, the PicoZed 1×1 measures 100 x 62mm. and runs Linux on a Xilinx Zynq-7000 with dual Cortex-A9 cores. However, it uses a Zynq-7020 clocked at 667MHz, with lesser FPGA capability than the Zynq-7035 on the 2×2, which runs its two Cortex-A9 cores at 800MHz. The 1×1 is further equipped with an AD9364 RF Agile Transceiver rather than the AD9361 on the 2×2. While the AD9361 is a 2 Rx, 2 Tx device, the AD9364 is limited to 1 Rx, 1Tx operation.

PicoZed SDR 1×1 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Like the the PicoZed SDR 2×2, the 1×1 model ships with 1GB of DDR3L RAM, 256Mb QSPI flash, and a microSD slot. It similarly provides PHY for GbE and USB 2.0 OTG ports, and offers U.FL RF connectors and an LVDS interface. However, it features only 84 FPGA I/Os instead of 209. The new model shares the same MIL-STD 202G methods protecting for thermal, vibration, and shock.


The PicoZed SDR 1×1 ships with a bootable microSD card featuring an Analog Devices Linux reference design for the Zynq. It also supports other Linux distros, Android, FreeRTOS, eCos, and VxWorks, among other OSes.

Supported SDR prototype and development environments include Analog Devices Linux Applications and MATLAB and Simulink for data streaming and Zynq targeting. These simulation and code generation tools integrate “seamlessly” with Xilinx Vivado Design Suite, says Avnet. The dual Cortex-A9 cores are also supported via libiio, an API with C, C++, C# and Python bindings.

PicoZed SDR 1×1 block diagram (left) and PicoZed SDR FMC Carrier Card
(click images to enlarge)

The PicoZed SDR 1×1 is compatible with the PicoZed SDR FMC Carrier Card. The 12V powered board extends the module with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and HDMI, micro-USB 2.0, and JTAG ports.

Other features include a PCIe Gen 2 interface and FPGA related interfaces such as an FMC connector, an SFP+ cage, and a general purpose SMA interface. A microSD slot is loaded with an 8GB card with Wind River Pulsar Linux.

Further information

The PicoZed SDR 1×1 is available to customers in the Americas, EMEA, Asia, and Japan for $549 ($499 at volumes of 1000+). More information may be found at Avnet’s PicoZed SDR 1×1 product page. The PicoZed SDR FMC Carrier Card sells for $595 without the COM.

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