By Joe DeLaere, Xilinx Product Marketing Manager for Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Kits
Xilinx has introduced the new Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation kit to enable RF-class analog design evaluation, bringing this disruptive technology to the masses to try for themselves. This kit is the first of its kind – featuring a Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC, which integrates multi-gigabit ADC and DAC sampling capability with FPGA logic.
First Kit of Its Kind
Why is this kit a first? Well, all other RF-ADCs/DACs are discrete, requiring you to purchase an FPGA evaluation card plus an ADC / DAC daughter card to marry together through FMC or other connectors. These discrete implementations have several usability and design challenges. The discrete ADC/DAC solution consumes much more power with high-speed transceivers and serial links between the FPGA and DAC/ADC, i.e., JESD204 is the standard interface between DAC/ADCs and FPGAs. For high channel count applications, such as 8x8, this can create 28W of additional power consumption.
One Vendor, One Device, One Reference Design
Other ADC/DAC + FPGA evaluation cards require you work with two different chip vendors and associated tools – one for the analog ADC/DAC devices and another for the modifying the FPGA design. This slows down your evaluation and prototyping flows. And when you run into problems, you may not be sure which vendor to contact for support. With the Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation kit, you have one vendor, one device, one reference design—with a simplified out of the box experience to manage the FPGA and its integrated DAC/ADCs.
8x8 Evaluation Capable
The Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation kit with its integration benefits—board area, lower power, lower component count, and 8x8 ADC/DACs—is 30-50% lower price than buying a complete 8x8 ADC/DAC + an FPGA capable kit system for evaluation. Other offerings would require up to four ADC/DAC boards + an FPGA board to test the same configuration.
All-in-all, the ZCU111 eval kit demonstrates the same Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC device benefits for your RF Analog systems - lower power, smaller footprint, simplified design, and lower costs. For more information: