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FPGA dev kit supports dual PowerPCs

Oct 29, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 37 views

Xilinx is shipping a development kit for its high-end Virtex-5 FXT FPGA (field-programmable gate array) that supports dual PowerPC440 processors. The Virtex-5 FXT FPGA ML510 Embedded Development Platform includes an ATX-format evaluation board, and is available with a Linux BSP (board support package).

(Click for larger view of the Virtex-5 FXT FPGA ML510 ATX board)

The ML510 kit supports the development of dual-PowerPC systems for video imaging, secure communications, and network processing, says Xilinx. In August, Xilinx shipped a similar “ML507” hardware/software kit for single-processor Virtex-5 FXT FPGA -based systems, and in February it released a kit for its low-cost Spartan FPGAs. Like the earlier ML507 kit, the ML510 supports the new “FX70T” version of its high-end, 65nm-fabricated Virtex-5 FXT processor.

Targeting communications, military, and aerospace applications, the Virtex-5 FXT is based on one or two embedded PowerPC 440 processor blocks, each of which integrates 32KB instruction and 32KB data caches, delivering up to a claimed 1,100 DMIPS at 550MHz. The blocks are closely integrated with a 5×2 crossbar processor interconnect architecture that is said to enable simultaneous access to I/O and memory.

Virtex-5 FXT system design example

The ML510 kit includes an ATX board with dual PowerPC440 parts, two SIMMs totaling 1GB of DDR2, a 512MB CompactFlash card, an LCD character display, and an ATX power supply, says the company. Expansion options include dual PCI Express connectors, four PCI connectors, and dual SATA connectors. Connectivity features are said to include dual gigabit Ethernet PHYs, dual USB ports, dual serial connectors, and a parallel port, among other options.

Both the Virtex-5 FXT and the PowerPC440 blocks are supported by the company's EDK (embedded development kit) 10.1, which includes MontaVista and Wind River Linux distributions, as well as real-time operating systems (RTOSes) from Wind River, Green Hills, and others. The platform is also supported by the company's ISE Design Suite development tools.


The Virtex-5 FXT FPGA ML510 Embedded Development Platform is available now for $3,100, with a rack mount add-on available for $450, says Xilinx. More information may be found here.

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