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Jaraqui Peixe

Development Kit for Dynamic Reconfiguration with Vivado

Question

I need a few units of a development kit, the less expensive, which can provide partial and full dynamic reconfiguration.

Also, I would like to know if such board works with microblaze.

 

Can anybody indicate a good product? From Digilent?

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Hi @Jaraqui Peixe,

From my understanding, nearly all of the Digilent boards support partial and full reconfiguration and they will all support MicroBlaze (though you may not want to necessarily use MicroBlaze on a Zynq based board).

The catch here is that partial reconfiguration is an add-on purchase from Xilinx for their Vivado software if you are using a free version of the the Vivado Design Suite. Additionally, Digilent has not done any work with work with partial reconfiguration so we would not be able to offer any useful advice for using it with our boards.

Thank you,
JColvin

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For your information: The partial reconfiguration license is now included in Vivado System Edition and Design Edition seats at no additional cost since 2017.1.

 The Partial Reconfiguration feature is also available for purchase for WebPack additions, at a new lower cost.  

Edited by theUltimateSource

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   The main experiments I need to develop are based on acceleration processes, i.e., the computer doing some basic processing, passes a complex task to the FPGA kit, the process is done, and the results are returned to the computer. This whole process needs to be faster than conventional-old style parallel computing or even with GPUs.

--->The challenge is to develop a hardware code, dynamically changeable or not, which explores the specificity of specific task with a massivelly parallel processing. 

   If the hardware code is ordinary, simple, weakly thoght, it can even win the performance when compared to parallel computing, but it will lose the battle with the GPU!

 

   My main concern is that I never developed one single application with this and it is been dificult to find a development kit compatible with my needs. I am making my best efforts to chose Digilent, because I alread have experience with basys 2, and Spartan 3E.

 

   At a first moment, I need: full and partial dynamic reconfiguration, soft processor, two kinds of memory (one with fast access which can be small, and another with regular speed access with more capacity), and some kind of high speed interface. We have here at my institution some dificulties with finnancial funds and the software licensig which manages the development kit is also one of my concerns.

 

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HI @Jaraqui Peixe,

To a certain extent, and as you allude to, the hardware/software code that would be developed to accomplish your tasks is more critical to meeting your needs than the hardware itself; one of our Forum users has designed a softcore cpu to go on a Spartan 6 chip which is relatively small by todays chip sizes and does not have it's own processor (ARM or otherwise) built into the FPGA chip.

Based on what you are listing as your requirements, you could look at the Arty, the Basys 3, or the Zybo-Z7. My understanding is that all of them can support full or partial dynamic reconfiguration (although again, Digilent does not offer any support for partial reconfiguration), the Arty and the Basys 3 both can use the MicroBlaze soft processor, the Zybo-Z7 has a dual-ARM core processor alongside the FPGA. The boards all have some flash memory that can be used and the Zybo-Z7 has a microSD to store additional data. The Basys 3 has some SRAM built into it for some faster memory and the Arty and Zybo-Z7 both have DDR memory. The high-speed interface is the most difficult part to answer as it requires components and interactions both on the FPGA and PC end of the communication. The Arty and Zybo-Z7 both have an ethernet port that can help facilitate this, though if you want faster speeds, you will need higher priced boards.

Thanks,
JColvin

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