Development platform combines PolarFire and SmartFusion2 FPGAs

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By eeNews Europe

The HES-MPF500-M2S150 Development Kit is the first of its kind in the industry to carry devices from Microchip’s PolarFire and SmartFusion2 FPGA families, whereas all other development boards available carry one or the other. In addition, such single-FPGA boards carry just mid-range devices. Although a design might only be targeted at the PolarFire FPGA the SmartFusion2 device can be used as an embedded host and test driver. Similarly, the PolarFire FPGA can be loaded with test vectors for verifying the design on the SmartFusion2 device. The board features the low power PolarFire MPF500T FCG1152 FPGA with 481k logic elements, 1480 math blocks, 33Mbits of RAM, and 584 I/Os. Also featured on the HES-MPF500-M2S150 is Microchip’s SmartFusion2 M2S150 FPGA. At the heart of this SoC device is an embedded Arm Cortex-M3 microcontroller subsystem with DDR3 memory controllers.

The two FPGAs on Aldec’s HES-MPF500-M2S150 are connected via direct I/Os and both devices have access, via a PCIe switch, to a PCIe x4 Gen2 Edge Connector; and it is this switch that allows the FPGAs to work together or independently.

High speed serial I/Os are available on both sides of the kit (i.e. for the PolarFire and SmartFusion2) via QSFP+ ports plus the SmartFusion2 can communicate with the outside world via ethernet or USB. Connection to peripherals is achieved through an FMC HPC connector with 134 I/Os and 8 high speed serial I/Os. Aldec has a growing portfolio of FMC cards that includes ones tailored for the development of ADAS, IoT, networks and high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

Aldec –


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