Gigabit Ethernet FPGA Module for control and DAQ functions

July 08, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Orange Tree Technologies’ (Oxford, UK) ZestET2-NJ is a Gigabit-Ethernet-equipped FPGA module. Comprising Gigabit Ethernet processing engine, Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA, DDR3 memory and general purpose I/O, it is aimed at data acquisition and control applications in markets such as industrial vision, radar, sonar and medical imaging.

The board is designed for small footprint and to provide performance without unnecessary peripherals. Delivering the maximum sustained Ethernet bandwidth of over 100 MBytes/sec in both directions simultaneously, it is suitable for high bandwidth data acquisition and control applications.

The User FPGA is the Xilinx Artix-7 XC7A35T with over 33,000 logic cells, 1.8 Mbits of Block RAM and 90 DSP slices. It is tightly coupled with 512 MBytes of 400 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, giving it memory bandwidth of 1.6 GBytes/sec for high speed processing and formatting of streaming data. With ease of integration in mind, there are 105 FPGA IO pins available for connection to the user's equipment.

Orange Tree's proprietary GigEx chip handles all the Ethernet protocols, saving application designers and companies from the complexity of TCP/IP or creating their own Ethernet interface.

Now in its third generation, GigEx adds an internal user programmable SPARC-compatible CPU, which can be used for example to implement higher level Ethernet protocols such as GigE Vision. SPARC programming tools are supplied free with the module. Alternatively this CPU can be left unprogrammed and GigEx will then handle the standard Ethernet protocols.

With the proprietary protocol chip GigEx handling the whole TCP/IP stack at over 100 MBytes/sec in each direction simultaneously, it allows the User FPGA to be dedicated entirely to the application for maximum efficiency. The module measures 40 x 50 mm, for integration into users’ products.

The TCP/IP engine in GigEx runs at 10/100/1000 Mbits/sec and implements the following protocols: TCP/IP, UDP, ARP, IPv4, ICMP, IGMP, PTP and HTTP. For real-time applications, Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and SyncE offer time of day and a 125 MHz clock synchronised across the network to other network devices.

Orange Tree Technologies;