Stackable PCIe/104 boards gain Xilinx Kintex FPGA-based module

June 13, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Sundance has added a Xilinx UltraScale FPGA to its EMC2 family of PCIe/104 “OneBank” compatible I/O boards; the EMC2-KU35 is a stackable FPGA module with Gen2 PCI Express interfaces that are “OneBank” compatible and has a VITA57.1 FMC I/O slot controlled by a Kintex UltraScale KU35 FPGA, and is fully supported by the latest Xilinx Vivado tools.

Sundance’s (Sundance Multiprocessor Technology, Chesham, UK) EMC2-family is a range of industrial-grade and deployment-ready PC/104 boards that feature either a Xilinx Zynq SoC or Xilinx Artix/Kintex FPGAs. The EMC2-KU35 is the latest member and has two banks of 16-bit DDR4 with close to 2 Gbytes/sec bandwidth each. It also has four-lanes of PCI-Express and a VITA57.1 FMC-LPC module expansion for a range of COTS or bespoke I/O modules for custom expansion.


The FMC Module has one high-speed serial lane, running at up to 12.5 Gbit/sc that could be used for a 10 Gbit Ethernet module. It also has 34x pairs of low-voltage differential parallel lines for interfacing to “real-world” interfaces, such as analogue/digital signals or various camera interfaces.

The EMC2-family is designed to the latest version of the long-established PC/104 small-form-factor 90 by 96 mm boards called “OneBank” and, using PCI Express switches, allows an unlimited number of boards to be stacked for very demanding applications. The typical board-to-board bandwidth is above 500 MBytes/sec and peak bandwidth is up 2 GBytes/sec using the “OneBank” connectors, whereas a possible bandwidth to an FMC I/O module can exceed 6 GBytes/sec.


“The evolution of Sundance’s EMC2-family of boards with either low-cost/low-power Artix-7 family or the fully integrated Zynq SoC with Dual-Core ARM-A9 has been significantly improved with the addition of the Kintex UltraScale family of FPGAs,” said Flemming Christensen, Managing Director of Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd. “While the EMC2-Z7030 board with an ARM9 Zynq SoC is a single-board computer with some FPGA fabric for I/O and pre/post processing and is ideal for low-cost systems, the newly launched EMC2-KU35 provides a magnitude more performance”

The EMC2-KU35 can also combine with one of the many x86-based SBCs that are manufactured by PC/104 Consortium members. One such example is the Versalogic “Bengal” with Intel Atom E3845 quad-core running at 1.9 GHz per core and supporting Windows 7 Embedded. Adding an FMC module with two