PRO DESIGN Extends Family of FPGA-based Prototyping Modules

December 26, 2019 by Gary Elinoff

The XCVU13P module incorporates 52 multi-gigabit transceivers for stable performance up to 32.75Gbps.

The proFPGA product series is a modular solution for FPGA-based prototyping. The family includes three types of motherboards to house either one, two, or four FPGA modules, such as the new XCVU13P. Also included are memory and high-speed interface boards and interconnection boards and cables. 



proFPGA XCVU13P FPGA module. Image from PRO DESIGN


The proFPGA XCVU13P FPGA module can reach a point-to-point speed of 1.4Gbps single-ended over the regular FPGA I/Os; it can also reach up to 32.75Gbps over the GTY transceivers.

The device incorporates (PDF) Xilinx’s Virtex UltraScale+ XCVU13P FPGA, which offers on 9 extension sites, 714 free accessible user I/Os, and an ASIC equivalent capacity up to 20 million gates.

The proFPGA family also includes FPGA modules based on Zync, Intel, Kintex, and Aria technologies. 


Multi-gigabit Transceivers and Extension Sites 

The proFPGA XCVU13P FPGA module incorporates 52 multi-gigabit transceivers on 6 extension sites enabling the device to stably run at 32.75Gbps.

This performance allows the new unit to serve as a platform for verifying designs with high-speed interfaces. These interfaces may include PCIe Gen5 and, with an available daughterboard, QSFP28.

The proFPGA XCVU13P FPGA module may be a useful option for applications such as machine learning (ML), 5G, data center or high-performance computing.


proFPGA XCVU13P FPGA module interconnections.

The proFPGA XCVU13P FPGA module interconnections. Image from PRO DESIGN


According to Gunnar Scholl, CEO of PRO DESIGN, "Designing a modular FPGA system reaching an interface performance of 32.75Gbps was a big challenge and I wasn't sure, whether this was doable, because you are reaching the physical limits."

Scholl takes pride in the module, specifically that it offers designers "a vehicle to verify even the latest high-speed designs with real-world interfaces at full speed.”


Choice of Motherboards

The proFPGA XCVU13P FPGA module is designed to work in combination with a proFPGA uno, duo, or quad motherboard. These can incorporate one, two, or four modules, respectively. 

PRO DESIGN claims that the device operates at optimal performance when used in combination with the high-speed connectors that are part of the product series. The module offers up to 674 user I/Os for daughterboards (such as memory and interface boards) and serves to connect cables or other application boards of the customer’s choice. 


Modularity and Scalability

PRO DESIGN’s proFPGA family of FPGA-based prototyping solutions is based on the concepts of modularity and scalability. 

The individual modules must plug into an uno, duo, or quad motherboard; however, each motherboard can be populated with FPGA modules from the different manufacturers previously described.


FPGA modules integrated into uno, duo, or quad motherboards

FPGA modules integrated into uno, duo, or quad motherboards. Image from PRO DESIGN


Because the user has access to almost all of the I/Os of the modules, he or she has unprecedented control over the interconnection structure. This allows the engineer to adapt the prototyping system to design goals.

In addition,  the system offers a total of 10 extension sites on the top and bottom site of each FPGA module for standard or user-specific extension boards, including those for DDR4 memory, Gigabit Ethernet, PCIe Gen1/2/3/4, USB 3.0, or others.


flexibility of PRO DESIGN’s proFPGA family

The flexibility of PRO DESIGN’s proFPGA family. Image from PRO DESIGN


It is possible for the entire system to be scaled either horizontally and vertically. This can be achieved by connecting boards side by side or by stacking one or more boards on top of each other.