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Two-in-One Development Platform for Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA on SBC

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A turnkey single board computer development environment for the Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA is aimed at accelerating development of FPGA-based applications for low-power embedded systems.  The DK-FPGA1651 from Micro/sys provides designers the option to develop and debug their FPGA firmware for porting to their own user-designed hardware or to keep the firmware on the validated COTS platform for their final application. With all the basic building blocks in one package, designers can work smarter and leverage pre-validated hardware and software including FPGA firmware (VHDL and Verilog) examples to improve productivity, reduce R&D costs and speed time-to-market.

The DK-FPGA1651 enables designers who intend to use the SBC as their target’s hardware to use the Spartan 6 in various modes depending on the complexity of their application. For instance, FPGA users can begin by implementing “simple” onboard I/O such as UARTs, DIO, and/or CAN in the FPGA. This added I/O can interface to the outside world through 64 bi-directional signals mapped directly from the FPGA to headers. Additionally, there are four RS-232/RS-485 transceivers and five differential LVDS signals to ease I/O expansion. 

For more advanced system designs, the integration between the onboard Freescale i.MX515 ARM Cortex-A8 processor and the FPGA enables developers to expand upon the SBC’s feature set by adding IP cores in the FPGA, which bring features such as DSP, Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, or dual video to the SBC with firmware. Additionally, users can choose to implement yet another processor on board such as the Xilinx Spartan 6 MicroBlaze for dedicated control independent of the SBC’s CPU. 

With all the necessary components to immediately start development with the Spartan 6, the DK-FPGA1651 two-in-one turn-key kit allows designers to focus on building differentiating features into their end application.  To ease I/O hardware pinouts, the DK-FPGA1651 comes with multiple connectivity examples including 64 lines of bi-directional GPIO signals, four pre-validated transceivers for RS-232/RS-485, and five differential LVDS signals for user-defined configuration.  These added features enable easy addressing and decoding for customized protocols by providing designers a 32-bit data bus as well as 32-bits of addressing lines for data-in, data-out of various IP cores for functions such as real-time video, motion control and industrial Ethernet. Designers profit from the easy-to-use Xilinx ISE Design Suite including the Embedded Development Kit and selection of validated IP cores as well as Micro/sys’s embedded system expertise to shorten design time and gain smarter methodologies for creating FPGA-based solutions. 

The DK-FPGA1651 starts at $1695. The kit includes the Micro/sys SBC1651 (Linux- or WinCE-Ready), Xilinx ISE and EDK design software and Micro/sys interface software, multiple reference designs and demos, and all the necessary cables and adaptors. Micro/sys also offers custom FPGA programming services.

Micro/sys. Montrose, CA. (818) 244-4600. [www.embeddedsys.com].