I’ve got the Kintex Ultrascale Development Kit on my desk today so it’s a good time to take a look inside and see what’s special about this board. The Ultrascale (20nm) and Ultrascale+ (16nm) FPGAs are taking over from the Series-7 devices (28nm), and I’ve seen more and more customer interest in them in recent months. The Kintex Ultrascale is the little brother of the Ultrascale family, providing the “best price/performance/watt” and “an optimum blend of capability and cost-effectiveness” according to Xilinx.

There’s a Zynq on the board! I didn’t expect to see a Zynq 7Z010 on the KCU105 but there it is. It’s used as a system controller – read more about it in the user guide.

HDMI output port using Analog Devices ADV7511.

2 Gigabytes of 64-bit DDR4 memory. Notice that they didn’t put SODIMMs on the KCU105, VCU108 or VCU118 boards either, only component memory.

PCIe edge connector with 8-lanes of Gen3. On the Series-7 boards only the Virtex ones had PCIe Gen3 so this is a nice step-up.

USB UART, JTAG, Gigabit Ethernet and 2x SFP+.

Power supply.

CAT5e Ethernet cable.

Optical patch cable.

Power cable for when you want to plug this into a PC.

3x USB cables.

2x 850nm optical SFP+ modules.

FMC loopback.

PCIe loopback.

Fedora install CD.

Another nice addition to this board is the P-MOD connector. The Series-7 boards didn’t have P-MOD connectors but they can really come in handy. Hopefully I’ll get to have a bit of fun with this over the next few weeks.

Jeff is passionate about FPGAs, SoCs and high-performance computing, and has been writing the FPGA Developer blog since 2008. As the owner of Opsero, he leads a small team of FPGA all-stars providing start-ups and tech companies with FPGA design capability that they can call on when needed.

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