USB 3.0 FPGA module sustains 360MB/s data transfers

August 11, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Orange Tree Technologies has released the ZestSC3, an FPGA module built around Xilinx' Artix-7 user-programmable FPGA and a very high performance SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface.

The new module provides a simple, easy to use way to transfer large amounts of data quickly between a computer and the outside world, without having to integrate complex hardware and software. The ZestSC3’s USB 3.0 interface can sustain 360MB/s of data transfer in either direction, enabling new, bandwidth hungry applications. Measuring only 40x50mm, the module is well suited to integration in embedded systems and OEM equipment. 105 user I/O pins provide maximum flexibility for end applications.

The user-programmable Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA is coupled with 512MB of high speed 1.6GB/s DDR3 memory. The FPGA can be programmed from the 8MB of on-board Flash, USB or JTAG. It can be used as a programmable interface to external devices, for high speed processing of streaming data, and for data acquisition and control.

The ZestSC3 uses the well-proven Cypress FX3 USB controller chip and comes pre-loaded with optimised firmware to act as a communications bridge between the FPGA and host computer.  The FX3 provides a flexible high speed streaming interface alongside additional low speed control and status interfaces.

The module can be used as a stand-alone board powered over USB, and includes the ability to program the user FPGA and Flash over USB without requiring additional programming cables or hardware. Flash can also be used for user data storage. Requiring only a single 3.3V-5V power supply, the new module is simple to integrate into a larger system.

The ZestSC3 is supplied with a complete set of FPGA cores for its peripherals, a host library and example code to simplify development (including C, VHDL and Verilog source for reference designs). Windows and Linux software support is provided for configuring and communicating with the user FPGA.

Visit Orange Tree Technologies at www.orangetreetech.com