$359 Red Pitaya Board Combines an Oscilloscope, a Spectrum Analyser, a Waveform Generator and More

If you need to setup an electronics lab, the cost of equipment such as an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, can quickly add up and become expensive. There are already some attempts at low cost measurement devices such as the $35 ExpEyes Junior or pocket size digital storage oscilloscopes (~$200), but those are far from the performance achieved with regular measurement devices. Red Pitaya measurement board brings the performance level and flexibility a bit higher, and stays relatively low cost at $359, with a Linux-based solution based on Xilinx Zynq dual Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC. Hardware Specifications: SoC – Xilinx Zynq Z7010 dual core Cortex A9 CPU + FPGA System Memory – 1GB DDR2 RAM Storage – microSD card slot (For system and FPGA images, and data) Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet USB – 2x micro USB ports (1 for power, 1 for console), and 1x USB 2.0 Host port Signals: 2x […]

Alpha Data ADM-XRC-7Z1 XMC Mezzanine Card Powered by Xilinx Zynq SoC

Alpha Data, a company providing solutions for compute intensive applications, has announced the ADM-XRC-7Z1, an XMC board powered by Xilinx Zynq-7045 or Zynq-7100 Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC targeting application such as software-defined radio, radar and sonar processing, image processing and machine vision. If you are like me, and have never heard about XMC mezzanine cards before, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: XMC, or Switched Mezzanine Card, is a PCI Mezzazine Card (PMC) with high-speed serial fabric interconnect defined by the VITA 42 standard. XMC specifies a 5th connector (“P15”) that supports PCI Express (VITA 42.3) or other high speed serial formats such as Serial RapidIO (VITA 42.2) and Parallel RapidIO (VITA 42.1). VITA (VMEbus International Trade Association) is an organization developing and promoting open technology standards that you can download for a fee. Here are the specifications of the board: SoC – Xilinx Zynq-7045 or Zynq-7100 dual […]

$99 Parallella Supercomputer is Now Open Source Hardware

Parallella is a low cost supercomputer designed by Adapteva using Xilinx Zynq-7010/7020 FPGA+2x Cortex A9 SoC combined with Adapteva Ephipany 16 or 64 cores epiphany coprocessor. The project had a successful kickstarter campaign which allowed then to provide the 16-core version for $99, and the 64-core version for $750. The board will soon be shipped to people who pledged on kickstarter, and one of the promise of the campaign was to fully open source the platform, and today, they just fulfilled that. Before going into the details of the open source release, let’s have a look at the specs: SoC – Xilinx Zynq7000 Series (Z-7010 or Z-7020) Dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 with 512KB L2 Shared Cache Coprocessor – Epiphany Multicore Coprocessor. The Parallella-16 board includes the 16-core Epiphany-III processor The Parallella-64 board includes the 64-core Epiphany-IV processor System Memory – 1024MB DDR3L Boot Flash – 128 Mb QSPI Flash Indicators […]

Beyond Semiconductor Announces BA21 Processor Core for Embedded MCUs

Beyond Semiconductor, a Ljubljana, Slovenia based company, has recently announced BA21, a 32-bit processor core, with 2.5 Coremark per megahertz, and clocked up to 125 MHz, that’s roughly equivalent to a Cortex M3 core @ 120 MHz. Target applications include mixed signal embedded processing, wireless communications ICs (e.g. Bluetooth, Zigbee, GPS), industrial Microcontrollers, and battery-powered or ultra-low-cost devices.If you’ve never heard about Beyond Semi, you may want to read my previous article about their BA25 core (Cortex A7/A8 equivalent) for a bit more details about the company. Here are the key features of BA21 core: 32-bit Processor Small silicon footprint (less than 10k gates) for lower leakage and dynamic CPU power Two-stage pipeline architecture Extreme Code Density for lower instruction fetching energy Advanced power management Dynamic clock gating and power shut-off of unused units Software- and hardware-controlled clock frequency Wake-up on tick timer or external interrupt Performance Up to 2.5 […]

Critical Link MityARM-5CSX CoM Powered by Altera Cyclone V SoC

Earlier this week, I wrote about EnSilica eSi-ZM1, a system-on-module based on Xilinx Zynq7000 Extensible Processing Platform that comes with a dual core ARM Cortex A9 and FPGA fabric. It turns out Xilinx is not the only game in town, and Altera’s Cyclone V SoC, announced last December, also includes a dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor with Altera FPGA logic, and Critical Linux recently announced MityARM-5CSX computer-on-module based on this platform. Target applications include machine vision, scientific imaging, motor control, medical imaging and instrumentation, test and measurement, industrial instrumentation, as well as a military & aerospace. MityARM-5CSX specifications: SoC – Altera Cyclone V SX-U672 with FPGA logic and dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 up to 800MHz System Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM, and 256MB DDR3 FPGA RAM (optional) Storage – 32MB QPSI NOR flash FPGA I/O fabric: PCIe  hard core Up to 145 user-programmable I/O lines (including several 875MHz SerDes lanes) […]

EnSilica eSi-ZM1 System-on-Module Features Xilinx Zynq XC7Z020 SoC

EnSilica has introduced the eSi-ZM1 SoM powered by Zynq ZC7Z020 SoC featuring 2 ARM Cortex A9 core, and an Artix-7 FPGA with 85K logic cells. The module also comes with 1GB RAM, 1GB NAND flash, and 16MB QSPI Boot Flash. ZC7Z020 SoC is notably used in ZedBoard development board, so if you have developed an application around this board, and want to commercialize it, using eSi-ZM1 module with your own custom baseboard could be an option. eSi-ZM1 system-on-module specifications: SoC – Xilinx Zynq XC7Z020 dual-core Cortex A9 processor @ 666 MHz, 85 K logic cells, 560 KB block RAM, and 220 DSP Slices. CLG484 package type System Memory – 1 GB, 1.35 V, 32-bit wide DDR3 SDRAM @ 533 MHz Storage: 1 GB, 1.8 V, 8-bit wide NAND FLASH 16 MB QSPI flash 1 or 2 Kb I2C EEPROM (and not 1MB as mentioned in the block diagram ) uSD card […]

The Mojo – $65 FPGA Development Board Powered By Xilinx Spartan 6

Embedded Micro has started a kickstarter campaign to fund an FPGA board called “the Mojo”, “designed to be user friendly and a great introduction into digital design”. The board is powered by a Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA that comes with over 9,000 logic cells, and will allow you to design digital circuits composed of a bunch of logic and, or, nor, etc… gates connected together to perform a specific task. Here are the features of “The Mojo”: Spartan 6 XC6SLX9 FPGA – 9,152 logic cells for your largest designs 84 general purpose digital IO pins (3.3V logic level) 8 analog inputs 8 user controlled LEDs A USB connection (new revision) to configure the FPGA and send receive data from your design On board voltage regulation (4.5V – 12V input, 3.3V and 1.2V outputs) 8 MHz on-board clock (can be multiplied internally by the FPGA) A reset button to be used in your designs […]

Posibus Peripheral Emulator Powered by Emcraft SmartFusion (Cortex M3 + FPGA) Solutions

According to Wikipedia, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-8 was the first successful commercial minicomputer, and was introduced in March 1965. Mike Thompson, working at Rhode Island Computer Museum (RICM), has restored a PDP-8/L system that was sold between 1968 through 1971. The system can be expanded with 4K of core, a paper tape reader (PR8/L), and/or a punch (PP8/L) controller. But the tape reader is not available anymore, so Mike decided to designe a Posibus peripheral (Tape Reader) emulator using a board with an FPGA + micro-controller. The easiest way to perform this task was to get an SoC that comes with an MCU and a FPGA to avoid having to create an FPGA <-> MCU interface. This is why he chose Emcraft Linux SmartFusion Evaluation Kit featuring a Microsemi Smartfusion cSOC with a Cortex M3 core and an embedded FPGA. The whole setup is shown below. Three FlipChip interface boards […]