ARM+FPGA: module hosts Altera Cyclone SoC, offers high I/O count

February 08, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Enclustra’s (Zurich, Switzerland) Mercury+ SA2 is an Altera Cyclone V SoC-based module with over 250 I/Os; the Altera chip gives it a high-performance processor system and many standard interfaces: it is equipped to handle even the most demanding of applications.

The module combines an ARM dual-core Cortex A9 processor with a 28 nm FPGA fabric, all in a package measuring just 74 x 54 mm. The module’s 258 user I/Os, 2 GByte DDR3L SDRAM and 64 MByte quad SPI flash combine to form a high-performance processing unit. Multiple interfacing options are also available: 9 MGTs with a data transfer rate of up to 6 Gbps, PCIe Gen1/Gen2 x4, Gigabit Ethernet, dual Fast Ethernet, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. The module is available in both commercial and industrial temperature range, and needs just a single 5-15 V supply for operation.

Enclustra also offers a comprehensive ecosystem for the SA2, offering all required hardware, software and support materials. The Mercury+ PE1 base board is a complete development platform for the SA2; detailed documentation and reference designs area available, in addition to the user manual, schema, a 3D-model, PCB footprint and differential I/O length tables.

To get Linux up and running in minutes, Enclustra offers the Enclustra Build Environment; Linux can be complied for the Mercury+ SA2 with a few clicks, generating the required U-Boot, Linux and BusyBox-based root file system binaries.

Further expansion options are provided by the LPC/HPC FMC connectors on the PE1 base board, compatible with a range of add-on boards from multiple manufacturers - ADCs, DACs, motor control cards and RF links are just a small selection of possibilities.

The Enclustra Mercury+ SA2, with Altera Cyclone V SoC, is suited to demanding applications which require a high number of I/Os.