A tech blog on FPGA design by Jeff Johnson, consultant on high-performance computing and hardware acceleration.

Connecting an SSD to an FPGA running PetaLinux

This is the final part of a three part tutorial series on creating a PCI Express Root Complex design in Vivado and connecting a PCIe NVMe solid-state drive to an FPGA. Part 1: Microblaze PCI Express Root Complex design in Vivado Part 2: Zynq PCI Express Root...

Zynq PCI Express Root Complex design in Vivado

This is the second part of a three part tutorial series in which we will create a PCI Express Root Complex design in Vivado with the goal of connecting a PCIe NVMe solid-state drive to our FPGA. Part 1: Microblaze PCI Express Root Complex design in Vivado Part...

Microblaze PCI Express Root Complex design in Vivado

This is the first part of a three part tutorial series in which we will go through the steps to create a PCI Express Root Complex design in Vivado, with the goal of being able to connect a PCIe end-point to our FPGA. We will test the design on hardware by connecting a...

FPGA Drive Board Bring-up

Bring-up of the first FPGA Drive with the Kintex-7 KC705 Evaluation board went nice and smoothly today. In the photo below you'll see the KC705 and FPGA Drive adapter which is loaded with a Samsung V-NAND 950 Pro. The solid-state drive is an M.2 form factor, NVM...

A first peek at FPGA Drive

With the first prototypes on the way, it's time to take a closer look at what exactly FPGA Drive is and how it can help you to develop new disruptive technologies with FPGAs and SSDs. Here's what you need to know in 3 points: FPGA Drive enables you to connect a...

ZynqBoard: The World’s Smallest Zynq SoM

Almost a year ago I did a comparison of Zynq SoMs, or System-on-Modules, these handy little Zynq-based devices that speed up your product development by taking the risk out of your PCB design and often handing you a ton of working example code. Well there have been...

FPGA accelerators to get a standard software interface

Rick Merritt wrote an interesting article on EETimes titled Red Hat Drives FPGAs, ARM Servers. It seems that Red Hat and the major FPGA vendors are going to get together in March to work out a standard software interface for FPGA accelerator boards. The success of...

Unboxing Samsung V-NAND SSD 950 Pro M.2 NVM Express

Very excited to be showing off my new Samsung SSD 950 in the M.2 form factor. This tiny solid-state drive has a PCI Express Gen3 x 4-lane interface for a more direct connection to the CPU which enables a much higher throughput than a SATA interface. According to...

QuickPlay reinvents FPGA design

Since their invention, FPGAs have been burdened by a problem that has held them back from more widespread adoption: they're too hard to program. Xilinx knows this, which is why they spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the Vivado Design Suite and more...

Running a lwIP Echo Server on a Multi-port Ethernet design

Tutorial Overview This tutorial is the follow-up to Using AXI Ethernet Subsystem and GMII-to-RGMII in a Multi-port Ethernet design. In this part of the tutorial we will generate the bitstream, export the hardware description to the SDK and then test the echo server...

PicoZed Unboxing

I recently got myself a PicoZed 7Z030 SoM (system-on-module) so that I could start developing more resource intensive applications for the Ethernet FMC, such as network tapping and network latency measurement. Why would I use a SoM for this? Checkout my comparison of...

FPGA Network tap: Designing the Ethernet pass-through

When designing a network tap on an FPGA, the logical place to start is the pass-through between two Ethernet ports. In this article, I'll discuss a convenient way to connect two Ethernet ports at the PHY-MAC interface, which will form the basis of a network tap. The...

ARTY: The $99 Artix-7 FPGA eval kit

I just got the news about the new ARTY $99 FPGA evaluation kit being released and I thought it was worth a mention. At the $99 price point and with the Arduino shield connector, they'll attract a lot of hobbyists who can now hook up one of the many existing Arduino...

KickStarter Campaign Launched: OnCourse Goggles

In recent weeks I've been working with some great people on an incredible new product for open water swimmers: OnCourse Goggles. Today we announced the launch of a KickStarter campaign which might help us to reach more people with this...

Ethernet gets robust

Announcing that the Robust Ethernet FMC is now in stock and available for purchase. Checkout the flashy new images of the first units, ravaging Ethernet packets in this tough new form factor....

Back in black

Here's a look at a batch of Ethernet FMCs fresh off the production line.

Using Chipscope and SDK at the same time

Today I was having problems debugging a design in Chipscope and SDK. For some reason, every time I used the Chipscope trigger (either the armed trigger or immediate) the Microblaze would reset or jump to another part of the code. I figured that Chipscope was messing...

Sneak look at the new Robust Ethernet FMC

Here are the first images of my new product: the Robust Ethernet FMC. This new variation of the Ethernet FMC contains all the features of the standard version but has been designed to fit the 10mm height profile of the Vita 57.1 standard. The Robust Ethernet FMC is...

Comparison of Zynq SoMs

In the last year or so, there has been an explosion in the availability of System-on-Modules (SoMs) featuring the popular FPGA+ARM combo Zynq-7000 SoC from Xilinx. I've always promoted the idea that FPGAs and SoCs allow for faster design cycles and rapid...

1.8V Version Ethernet FMC now available

I recently received and tested the first 1.8V Ethernet FMCs and they are now available to buy on ethernetfmc.com. There are two main reasons why you'd actually want a 1.8V version: Firstly, some carriers only support VADJ of 1.8V (such as the VC707 and VC709)....

Ethernet FMC performance benchmarks released

One question I get a lot about the Ethernet FMC is: What is the maximum throughput? It's a good question, so I created an example design to help me get the answer. The maximum throughput test design, that you can download on Github, uses four hardware packet...

Ethernet FMC supports Xilinx Dev Boards

Support for the Xilinx Series-7 development boards AC701, KC705, VC707, ZC702 and ZC706 has been added to the Ethernet FMC product page. Now you can use the Ethernet FMC on any one of these boards and support up to 8 x gigabit Ethernet ports! That's right, the KC705,...

Ethernet FMC first units shipped

Today I'm excited to announce that the first Ethernet FMCs were shipped! I would like to say thanks to all those who pre-ordered the Ethernet FMC, thanks for your patience and confidence and I hope the product enables you to develop new and exciting technologies in...

Ethernet FMC is now available

Announcing that the new Ethernet FMC, a Quad Gigabit Ethernet FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) is now available to buy. The board is designed for easy integration with the ZedBoard, with open-source example designs so you can start designing your product sooner. The...

Introducing the Quad Gigabit Ethernet FMC

Here's the next product in Opsero's growing lineup of FPGA I/O cards: the Quad Gigabit Ethernet FMC. This low-pin-count FMC is loaded with four Marvell Gigabit Ethernet PHYs and enables FPGA networking applications on the ZedBoard and other LPC carriers. A demo design...

SERDES FMC first units

Here's a peek at the first units of the SERDES FMCs, the first low pin-count FPGA Mezzanine Card to enable multi-gigabit transceivers on the ZedBoard and other FPGA boards that don't have internal MGTs. The first board is designed for SFP modules for Ethernet and...

PCBs for the SERDES FMC

Yesterday I received the bare PCBs for the SERDES SFP FMC, my new product that enables 2 multi-gigabit transceivers on the ZedBoard or other LPC FMC carriers that don't have internal MGTs. In the last couple of weeks I've been working hard on a demo design in Vivado...

A first look at a first product

After years designing products for other companies, I've finally designed something for my own company. If you have a ZedBoard and you want to experiment with MGTs, now you can with my two new SERDES low-pin-count FMCs. Both boards use the DS32EL0421/DS32EL0124...