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Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles: krtkl’s Zynq Snickerdoodle arrives in the mail! First looks

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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By Adam Taylor


On this journey of learning about the Zynq-7000 SoC, we have looked at several different boards including the ZedBoard, the MicroZed, the Embedded Vision Kit, and more recently the NI Compact RIO Eval Kit. Today we add a new one to the list: krtkl’s Snickerdoodle. Like many of the boards we have looked at, this is a very compact dev board and can be used as a SOM (system on module). However, the Snickerdoodle is also a very effective standalone, single-board computer.


As the team at krtkl told me when I talked to them, there is a lot you can do with a little. Let’s take a look at the Snickerdoodle’s architecture.


 Adam Taylors Snickerdoodle.jpg



krtkl'sTiny Snickerdoodle



What makes the Snickerdoodle interesting is it’s built-in support for both WIFI and Bluetooth—including Bluetooth Low Energy—coupled with a Zynq 7010 and 512 Mbytes of LPDDR SDRAM in the base model Snickerdoodle board. An STM microprocessor (STM32F078) provides power management for the board with a USB UART, a USB mass-storage facility, and control of the board’s LED’s and button switches.


What’s really interesting, and I am keen to explore more as we look into the Snickerdoodle, is the wireless connectivity, which provides the ability to configure the board using the wireless interfaces. But we will get to that in later blogs.


Diagrammatically, the Snickerdoodle’s architecture looks like this:



Snickerdoodle Block Diagram v2.jpg



Snickerdoodle Architecture Block Diagram



To get the board up and running quickly there is a GitHub repository that contains a pre-built Linux image which we can copy on to a micro SD Card. (Instructions are provided for a number of different operating systems.) Once we have the board running, we can create further software applications for the Zynq using the Xilinx SDK and then run them from the command line. Alternatively, we can create FPGA builds that also utilize the Zynq SoC’s PL (programmable logic) to take advantage of the performance boost that we can achieve using the FPGA side of the Zynq SoC. This software also runs from within the Linux OS. We can use the Eclipse framework to build a customised Linux application and fork the Snickerdoodle Linux build from the GitHub repository.


The Snickerdoodle breaks out the majority of the Zynq I/O pins to headers on the top of the board allowing it to form the heart of a system. With the built-in WIFI and Bluetooth capabilities, the Snickerdoodle is an ideal platform for many embedded applications that require network capabilties and communications with multiple sensors. The Snickerdoodle design is open source so we can examine both the schematics and the layout to determine how to best interface and integrate it with other elements of our system.


Having given a really quick introduction to the Snickerdoodle, I am going to experiment with mine over the next week. In the next blog, I’ll walk you through how I got mine up and running and connected—hopefully to my wireless networks. I’m hoping to explore this board in more depth and to use it to develop some really interesting applications.


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