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Digilent’s Digital Discovery high-speed logic analyzer spies on Zynq SPI boot sequence

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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There’s a new tutorial on Digilent’s Web site that tells you how to use its Digital Discovery high-speed logic analyzer and pattern generator to get a detailed look at the boot sequence of a Zynq Z-7000 SoC by monitoring the SPI interface between the Zynq SoC and its SPI-attached QSPI boot ROM. You only need seven connections. The tutorial uses a custom interpreter script for the Digital Discovery analyzer to decode the SPI traffic. The script is installed in the analyzer’s PC-based control software called Waveforms and the tutorial page gives you the script.


The entire boot transfer sequence takes 700msec and the entire boot-sequence acquisition consumes a lot of memory: 268,435,456 samples in this case. The Digital Discovery doesn’t store that many samples—it doesn’t need to do so because it sends the acquired data to the attached PC over the connecting USB cable.




Digilent Digital Discovery captures Zynq Boot Sequence over SPI.jpg 



Digilent’s Digital Discovery logic analyzer captures the entire boot sequence for a Zynq Z-7000 SoC over SPI




There’s nothing particularly unusual about a logic analyzer capturing a processor’s boot sequence. However in this case, Digilent’s Digital Discovery is based on a Xilinx Spartan-6 LX25 FPGA (see “$199.99 Digital Discovery from Digilent implements 800Msample/sec logic analyzer, pattern generator. Powered by Spartan-6”) and it’s monitoring the boot sequence of a Xilinx Zynq SoC. Good tools all around.



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