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Visitor
Visitor
1,022 Views
Registered: ‎01-26-2019

Supported FPGA development boards with PCIe?

Which FPGA development boards are well-supported by Xilinx?

In past exercise, Xilinx declined to support a custom FPGA board when we were working through a problem with Xilinx IP (somewhat understandable). In the upcoming exercise, we would like to use a development board that is better supported by Xilinx.

Looking for an FPGA development board that can plug into a PCIe slot. The Xilinx KCU116 board looks interesting, though the FPGA might be small. We are still early in sizing, but first pass design called for the (currently?) largest Kintex - XCKU115. The KCU116 has a smaller XCKU5P FPGA. Right. :)

If we have trouble with Xilinx IP in future, what development board(s) get best support?

Are we limited to Xilinx boards, or are other development boards supported?

If we need a development board for a larger Kintex, what is our best choice?

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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
986 Views
Registered: ‎11-05-2019

 

Hello, @dreadedhill

You can get technical support from Xilinx for Xilinx boards.

You can use the evaluation board to confirm the functions you need.
At the same time, you will need to estimate the size of the design and select the required devices.
Of the Kintex series, KCU116 has the largest size device.
If you need KU115 for the above function check, please get technical support from KU115 developer.

Thanks
Yoichi

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Moderator
Moderator
900 Views
Registered: ‎06-14-2010

Hello @dreadedhill ,

Is there any further assistance required in relation to this matter? If so, please let us know and we will be glad to help you further then.

If not, and if @katsuki answered your query, please mark @katsuki 's response as 'Accepted Solution' (more info on this can be found here: https://forums.xilinx.com/t5/help/faqpage/faq-category-id/solutions#solutions), so that the topic can be completed then? We appreciate your help.

Kind Regards,
Anatoli Curran,
Xilinx Technical Support
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Visitor
Visitor
650 Views
Registered: ‎01-26-2019

(Corrected part numbers from first post - misread my notes.)

Sorry for the belated reply. The prior reply was not very useful, since it mostly just stated what I already knew. Was hoping for a better answer, so delayed reply.

The problem is our target XCKU115 Kintex Ultrascale is a much larger part than on the KCU105 Kintex development board. In the end we bought both the KCU105 (Kintex Ultrascale) and VCU118 (Virtex Ultrascale+). Smaller designs we can run on the Kintex development board. Larger designs we can test on the Virtex board - which is not ideal, as the firmware is not quite the same.

(Just got through reading both PG194 and PG213 just so I could be clear on the PCIe Gen 3 differences - not fun.) 

(Too bad the development boards do not have socketed FPGAs - then we could exact-match. Not sure sockets are even still possible, with such large packages. Though CPUs are socketed.)

The product uses dozens of FPGAs, with several sets of firmware, so more exact match between development board and target hardware would be nice.

At present the answer seems to be - there is no good answer.

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Visitor
Visitor
669 Views
Registered: ‎01-26-2019

I posted a longer reply, but it seems to have disappeared. 

In short, the first reply did not answer the question, and I waited for a better reply. We moved forward.

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Advisor
Advisor
660 Views
Registered: ‎02-12-2013

I can make some general comments.  Yes, it is a very good idea to have a standard Xilinx evaluation board like the KCU116 when developing and testing FPGA IP.  I don't know what you plan to implement but the XCKU5P part on there is very capable.  I find that the example designs for major IP are easy to get running on boards like the KCU116.  When working with complex IP cores, like Serial Rapid IO for example, it is best to start with a working example design and hack it, incrementally, to make it do what you want.

If your design will eventually run on custom hardware I recommend that the board designer copy critical sections of the eval board design so that your work can run almost unmodified on the custom board when it arrives. That makes team leaders happy.

If you are using the PCIe interface I recommend that you run Linux on the computer where the board is installed.  It is very easy to get access to the PCI memory map from Linux. I use lspci, /dev/mem and mmap() for early hardware testing.  Xilinx publishes very easy to use XDMA drivers if you need to move a lot of data.

Finally, a high quality Xilinx eval board like the KCU116 can be an excellent learning tool. $3000US is very affordable for what you get.  You can hardly go wrong with it.

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DSP in hardware and software
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Visitor
Visitor
648 Views
Registered: ‎01-26-2019

We bought and have a KCU105 and VCU118. The target hardware (in fab) uses a XCKU115. Smaller designs can run on the KCU105. Larger designs get test on the VCU118 - but since this is a Virtex Ultrascale+ device, the IP and designs are slightly different. Not ideal, but what we have.
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