alex

News: Zynq boards for $99

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I hope this doesn't breach any forum rules and I have no vested interest in the sales of this product but I remember a while back there quite a few people raving/drooling over Zynq boards but not able to afford them.

 

It turns out now that Adapteva has met their funding campaign and will start shipping Zynq boards to fund contributors but will also accept pre-orders for the same $99 price for Zynq7010 boards, upgradeable to Zynq7020 (unknown price).

 

For those not in the know, the Zynq7010/7020 combine a dual core A9 1GHz ARM CPU with Artix-7 level FPGA in a single package allowing one to combine the software programmability of the ARM core with hardware programmability of the FPGA core, letting you bolt on any custom hardware you care to design to the existing ARM cores.

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Just in case anybody is wondering, I've built a bit stream for a Zynq-7020 just using ISE the standard WebPack license. I completely ignored the ARM processors and ran directly on the FPGA.

 

However, have a good look at the Zynq architecture diagram if you are thinking of getting one - there is a couple of gotchas like the RAM is on the shared processor bus, so you have to have to implement a full AXI bus master to access it.

 

Oh, and the multi-core Epiphany processor is optimised around single precision floating point.

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Just a note, from reading the Zynq datasheet I don't believe the ARM cores run at 1GHz, they carefully state up to 1GHz and there is a table giving the maximum frequency for each model number as well as per speed grade for the processing system, this does not give a 1GHz speed for anything but the Z-7030/45 at speed grade -3 so these boards will not run at 1GHz, the range for these parts is 667MHz for -1 to 800MHz at -3.

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It looks great.

But before i invest .... What can we really do with just the ise webpack and this board? Can we enable the arm core ? What kind of debug feature is avaible with 0€ or $0 budget for software ?

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Hi Tb_,

 

I've just fired up ISE 14.6 PlanAhead (32-bit  as 64 bit doesn't work on Win8 :-( ) on my Zedboard (Zynq-7020). I've recently changed laptops so only have the no-cost licenses installed and haven't used it with my Zedboard before.

 

I just built a brand new Zynq config, and a brand new BSP, and a default "hello world" app in C. I was able to run it in normal and step-by-step debug mode - along with a dis-assembly in the side window. I did get one licensing warning dialogue, but it didn't stop me doing anything. AFAIK the only license that you get with an official Zedboard is a ChipScope license. 

 

The one thing I'm not sure is if the Parallella will have a on-board USB<->jtag, or if an separate JTAG adapter will be needed... hummm...

 

I checked the Parallella H/W reference manual - the JTAG is on the PEC_POWER connector, so you will need a JTAG cable and some wires for debug, however I think you should be able to load a custom image from the uSD card.

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