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Home>>HERON modular systems>>Modules with Virtex-4 FPGA

HERON FPGA Modules with Virtex-4 

Modules with Virtex-4 FPGA from Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGA from Xilinx HERON-FPGA Virtex-4 modules use reprogrammable Xilinx FPGAs from the Virtex-4 family. The Virtex-4 generation of FPGAs has three different platforms - the SX which is optimised for signal processing, the LX optimised for high performance logic and the FX which is optimised for embedded processing and high-speed serial connectivity. The Virtex-4 FX has an embedded PowerPC core to the already popular Virtex FPGA architecture.

The modules with Virtex-4 FX FPGAs bring high performance FPGA and PowerPC functionality to the range of HERON modules that can be used to provide your system requirements. You can combine as many modules as you need to get the right features - the modules can exchange data at up to 400Mbytes/second in each direction using FIFO connections! 

The Virtex-4 FPGAs that we use have thousands of Configurable Logic Blocks, which can be linked together to form any logic function you choose. Embedded in the FPGA fabric of the Virtex-4 FX is a PowerPC processor that can be directly linked to the on chip Block RAMs, off chip RAM and peripherals and the FPGA logic. You can use FPGA logic to interface HERON FIFOs directly to the Block RAMs that the PowerPC uses as on chip memory.

As with our Virtex-II modules, the FPGA configuration developed in VHDL is normally downloaded using the HERON Serial Bus, but when development is complete embedded systems can use on board PROMs to configure the FPGAs on power up. You can also program the PowerPC using industry standard C and C++ compilers. The compiled code can be stored in the on-module FLASH memory or downloaded from your PC using our Server/Loader tool. We provide a tutorial to show you how to use the PowerPC on a HERON FPGA that has a Virtex-4 device. 

Users of the Virtex-4 will need to have a VHDL synthesiser tool such as Xilinx ISE, and also the Xilinx Embedded Developers Kit (EDK). Combined with the HUNT ENGINEERING software tools that you receive with your system, these are all the development tools you will need for your system.

Along with many example projects we provide the Hardware Interface Layer which allows you to access the module hardware with guaranteed signal timing and logic - leaving you free to concentrate on your application VHDL. We give you lots of VHDL to use in your system - functions like CameraLink, FPDP, Digital Down Converters, Image Processing functions etc.

ExtremeDSP™  from Xilinx makes a great deal of signal processing functionality available to the developer. Blocks like Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT), Direct Digital Synthesisers (DDS) and even FIR filters are supplied as standard with the Xilinx tools. We supply several worked examples of such functions that can be used as demonstrations of using FPGAs but can also be useful starting points for the development of your project.  

Modules with Virtex-4 FX FPGA, with embedded PowerPC, digital I/Os and memory Virtex-4 FPGA module with embedded PowerPC
HERON-FPGA12 Virtex-4 XC4VFX12 FPGA with embedded PowerPC and 128Mbytes DDR SDRAM FIFOs access at 400Mbytes/sec in and  400Mbytes/sec out at the same time. 
Memory access at 1.6Gbyte/second
60 digital I/Os 
Modules with Virtex-4 LX/SX FPGA, digital I/Os and memory Virtex-4 FPGA module
HERON-FPGA14 Virtex-4 XC4VLX60 or XC4VSX35 FPGA with 128Mbytes DDR SDRAM FIFOs access at 400Mbytes/sec in and  400Mbytes/sec out at the same time. 
Memory access at 1.6Gbyte/second
180 digital I/Os 

See also our Virtex-II and Virtex-II Pro modules.