iWave Systems Doubles Down With Latest SoMs Using Xilinx and Intel SoCs

September 17, 2022 by Abdulwaliy Oyekunle

The world of embedded systems keeps expanding as iWave Systems employs the FPGAs and SoCs from leading manufacturers to launch small form factor systems on modules (SoMs).

Designers and manufacturers face design complexity challenges in the production and fabrication of embedded system products. A typical embedded system often incorporates separate bulky units of components such as a CPU, RAM, I/O ports, communication interface, and so on. Having all these components together as a single unit on a PCB makes an SoM

In essence, an SoM reduces the design complexity of an embedded system while saving time and cost of production. An SoM is usually based on a system on a chip (SoC) that has the essential electronic components that fit a user's needs. 

For example, the iW-RainboW-G47M SoM from iWave Systems, which we'll look into later in this article, incorporates a radio frequency system on chip (RFSoC) and is targeted toward radio frequency applications in military and high-performance wireless communication solutions.


An example SoM (iW-RainboW-G47M) using Xilinx's KINTEX UltraScale+ SoC. Image used courtesy of iWave Systems


This article unpacks the SoMs that iWave Systems have recently launched to push forward more innovation in FPGA- and SoC-based SoMs.


FPGA Agilex-based SoMs

The first SoM we'll dig into is based on Intel's Agilex I series and Agilex F series SoCs. These SoMs, fabricated on a 10 nm SuperFin process technology—iW-RainboW-G43M and iW-RainboW-G51M—are small form factor devices and are targeted toward a variety of high-performance applications in embedded systems. 

Being the first products in the market to offer a pin-compatible SoM, they are designed to handle bandwidth-intensive applications in networking and data centers and are also useful in edge computing. 

These SoMs have a quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A53 operating in the processing core and running at a speed of up to 1.50 GHz. In addition, they are based on a field programmable gate array (FPGA) with 2.7 million logic elements. iWave claims that the SoMs are power efficient as it features a 40% lower power consumption while delivering twice fabric performance per wattage.


Agilex R31B SoC SoM.

Agilex R31B SoC SoM. Image used courtesy of iWave Systems


Furthermore, the SoMs include: 

  • A small form factor of 120 mm x 90 mm 
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB 2.0 port
  • JTAG
  • UART
  • Onboard DDR4 and eMMC flash for storage, 
  • High-speed transceivers

Speaking on the two products, Ahmed Shameem M H, Hardware Project Manager at iWave Systems, said that the system on modules open the doors for companies to develop leading-edge computing applications by providing flexible and feature-rich platform.


Intel's Stratix 10-based SoMs

The second SoM we'll look at is based on the Stratix 10—iW-RainboW-G45M. This SoM uses Intel's SX and GX series of FPGAs and SoCs fabricated using 14 nm tri-gate transistor technology. In addition, the product supports user-selected configuration control with the secure device manager (SDM) to secure sensitive intellectual property (IP) and data in both SoC and FPGA devices.  


Stratix 10 SoC SoM.

Stratix 10 SoC SoM. Image used courtesy of iWave Systems


The Stratix 10 SoMs feature a robust hard processor system which enables it to deliver high embedded performance and is energy- and power-efficient. The processing core comprises a 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and features a system memory management unit, external memory controllers, and high-speed communication interfaces.

Like the Agilex SoMs, the Stratix 10 SoM also features an
FPGA with 2.7 million logic elements and 16 GXT transceiver channels up to 28.3 Gbps and 32 GX transceiver channels up to 17.4 Gbps.

The SoM finds applications in: 

  • Military
  • Cloud security
  • High-speed communications
  • Motion control
  • Intelligent vision & video processing
  • Digital signal processing (DSP)
  • AI
  • Deep learning

Thanks to the secure device manager IoT infrastructure, the product is particularly useful where multi-layered security and partitioned IP protection dominate.


Xilinx’s Ultrascale FPGA-based SoM

With a small form factor of 110 mm x 75 mm, iWave Systems has launched an FPGA-based SoMiW-RainboW-G47M. This SoM claims to deliver a high-performance experience in: 

  • Packet processing
  • DSP applications
  • Wireless MIMO technology
  • Nx100G wired networking
  • Data center networking and storage acceleration

The SoM is based on Xilinx's Kintex Ultrascale+ FPGAs, including KU19P, KU095, and KU115. These FPGAs offer up to 1.7 million logic cells and embedded memory (block RAMs) to DSP slices. Moreover, the module supports 32 channels of GTY transceivers up to 32 Gbps.

The SoM also features a dual Arm Cortex A7 processor that operates at a clock speed of 1.5 GHz, which makes the device finds application in communication & processing control. 

Pradap Raj, Associate Director at iWave Systems, noted that the SoM delivers the industry's most cost-effective solution for high-performance, high-throughput, balanced power profile applications, thanks to the Arm Processor that is incorporated.


Xilinx’s Ultrascale+ RFSoC-based SoM

Wrapping up this round-up is an SoM based on the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Gen3 device. The iW-RainboW-G42M SoM from iWave Systems claims to offer designers the ability to perform complex embedded systems operations in commercial signal processing with a small footprint and low power application.

The product states to have the industry's highest RF channel count, with 16 Channel RF-DACs having 10 GSPS and 16 Channel RF-ADCs having 2.5 GSPS. At the same time, iW-RainboW-G42M also supports high-speed connectivity peripherals such as PCIe, USB3.0, and SATA3.1. 

Additionally, this SoM is equipped with an Arm Cortex-A53 and dual Arm Cortex-R5 processor running at 1.3 GHz and 600 MHz clock speed, respectively.  


Ultrascale+ RFSoC SoM.

Ultrascale+ RFSoC SoM. Image used courtesy of iWave Systems


All said and done, Immanuel Rathinam, Vice President of SoMs at iWave Systems, remarked that the flexibility offered by the SoM enables the user to deploy the new technology in the field by leveraging the design to match the specific application requirements.



Interested in other SoM coverage? Read on in the articles down below.

AMD SOM Kit Propels Robotics Beyond Custom Designs

For the First Time, Xilinx Breaks Into the System-on-Module (SOM) Market

Arduino to SOMs: Is Modular Design Better?