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Virtex-II Prototyping Board


This board provides all the necessary basic components needed in most of FPGA-based designs. Special care has been dedicated to routing topology and signal integrity. Most of the I/Os are routed to ERmetŪ 2mm Hard Metric connectors complying to the international standard IEC 61076-4-101. By combining two or more Virtex-II boards and using partitioning software you can easily distribute your design over several FPGAs to cope with complex designs that exceed the scope of a single FPGA.

The Virtex-II development board gives you an ideal platform for evaluating, implementing, testing, and extending custom designs using Virtex-II devices. You can also easily integrate the board into a larger system. The board is equipped with onboard power supplies and can be operated from a single 5V to 24V power supply. This makes it great for teaching, seminars, and courses.

Figure 1: Top view of the Virtex-II prototyping board

Key Features

  • One Virtex-II FPGA in the FF1152 package
  • Board size 211.5mm x 150mm
  • Several boards may be connected to form a stack
  • Two separate crystal oscillators with sockets (DIL8 or DIL14)
  • Jumpers to select between internal and external clock sources
  • 16 SMB coaxial connectors for input and output of high frequency clocks
General I/Os
  • Four banks routed directly to ERmetŪ 2mm Hard Metric connectors complying to the international standard IEC 61076-4-101
  • One differential signal connector with 60 LVDS pairs
Power Supply
  • Three DC/DC converters for internal, auxiliary and output supplies
  • Board can be operated from a single 5V to 24V supply
  • I/O bank reference voltages: VREFs of six banks individually selectable with DIP-switches from a total of seven predefined reference voltages
  • Battery backed up real time clock (RTC)
  • Voltage supervisor with reset button
  • Mode jumpers M0 / M1 / M2
  • Download: Master Serial Mode from ISP SPROM, Slave Serial Mode (XChecker header connector), Boundary Scan Mode (JTAG header connector), SelectMAP Mode (header connector)
  • Configuration from onboard SCPs: ISP SCPs programmable via JTAG
  • Fast static RAM 2x256KBx16, 12ns
  • Optional dual port RAM (2x128KBx8)
User Interface
  • Twelve general purpose push buttons
  • One dedicated push button for reset pulse generation
  • Two eight position DIP switches
  • Display with sixteen LEDs
  • Liquid Crystal Display with green-yellow back light and 4 lines with 20 characters
  • Text-to-speech processor with audio power amplifier, accepts ASCII input via a SPI port and converts it to spoken audio
  • "Done" LED to show successful bit stream download
  • Power LEDs for input power and DC/DC converter outputs
  • RS-232 Line driver/receiver, DB-9 female connector
  • RS-422 Line driver/receiver
  • Implementation of custom designs using the full power of the Virtex-II architecture
  • Evaluate Virtex-II FPGA families in the FF1152 package
  • Quickly and easily expand the complexity of the system by stacking several boards and using partitioning software
  • Tests of algorithms under real time conditions and watch the signals with a logic analyzer
  • Experiment with different low voltage I/O standards and differential signals
  • ASIC Emulation
  • Error monitoring and analysis
  • Digital PLL circuits
  • PWM controller
  • Adaptive digital filters
  • Signal multiplexers
  • Stimuli generators
  • High speed encoder/decoder
  • Memory controller
  • Interface controller

Function Description

The Virtex-II prototyping module contains a Xilinx Virtex-II FPGA in the FF1152 package. This board is especially suited to test digital circuits during the early stages of their development. You can easily attach a logic analyzer and watch the signals in real time. The high count of system gates enables you to implement circuits that reach the complexity of ASICs. The configuration data of the FPGA is downloadable using one of four modes (master serial mode (XChecker), slave serial mode (SPROM), boundary scan ode (JTAG) and SelectMAP mode). The following block diagram shows the functional blocks of the board:

Figure 2: Block diagram of the Virtex-II prototyping board

Six banks of general I/Os of the FPGA are routed to ERmet 2mm Hard Metric connectors, four connectors for ground based signals and one differential signal connector. If you use I/O standards that need reference voltages, you can select up to seven different voltage levels for all six banks individually with DIP-switches.

A fast asynchronous static RAM and an optional dual port RAM help you to support memory demanding implementations like imaging and telecommunication applications.

By connecting several boards you may implement circuits whose complexity is beyond the scope of a single FPGA. The whole stack is configurable with a single download by externally daisy chaining the JTAG chain.

Figure 3: Top and bottom view of ribbon cable/header connector adapters

To facilitate the connection of external hardware or further Virtex-II boards, we created adapters for both ground referenced and differential signals. The adapters enable you to connect ribbon cables to standard 0.1 inch header connectors as well as oscilloscopes and logic analyzers. Four adapters allow the easy access of the ground referenced signals and one similar adapter is provided for the low voltage differential signals.

A total of 16 clock sources can be connected using coaxial SMB connectors. Two clocks are either an onboard crystal oscillator or an external source. The other sources are always external sources. It is also possible to output a clock from the FPGA via these connectors.

Figure 4: Bottom view of the Virtex-II prototyping board

The crystal oscillators are housed in standard DIL-8 or DIL-14 size metal cans plugged into sockets, so you can easily change the frequency.

A voltage supervisor circuit generates a short pulse of ca. 2ms duration whenever the core supply voltage (VCCINT) drops below 1.3V and on power up. Such a reset pulse is also generated when you press the reset button.

A real time clock (RTC) with lithium battery is available for applications that need date/time information. The battery also keeps the DES key RAM of the FPGA from loosing its contents.

9 pole female D-Sub connector and a transceiver device provide a mean to connect serial devices like a PC to the prototyping board. The transceiver performs the voltage level translation and ESD protection of the RxD and TxD lines. The UART functionality must be implemented in the FPGA. Differential line drivers (RS-422) may be used instead of the RS-232 drivers to achieve bit rates in excess of 10Mb/s.

A ISP SCP (XC1800 family) module is pluggable to the board. You can program these SCPs using the JTAG mode. This PROM module enables you to quickly change the FPGA configuration without the need for download equipment.

Figure 5: Pluggable SPROM module 

Push buttons, DIP-switches, LEDs and an LCD form a user interface that allows you to provide configuration data and monitor status information from the running system.

Figure 6: Board with external connections

Two eight-position DIP switches are available for user specific applications. The twelve push buttons can be used to input user data. One push button is connected to the voltage supervisor which generates a short pulse when this button is pressed.

A row with 16 LEDs may function as a display for status and error messages.

A liquid crystal display with 4 lines with 20 character, green-yellow back light and parallel interface provides an advanced mean for displaying more detailed debugging information during development.

A text-to-speech processor and an audio power amplifier form a text-to-speech unit that accepts ASCII input via a SPI port and converts it to spoken audio. A loud speaker is mounted on the bottom side of the board. You can listen to the sample phrase: "Hello, ErSt Electronic presents the new prototyping board for Xilinx Virtex-2 FPGA. Have a nice day."

Three DC/DC converters generate all necessary low voltages from a single 5V to 24V input. Seven reference voltages are derived from the 3.3V converter.


You can find more detailed information about the board in the user manual. A description of the provided examples (on CD-ROM) is also available.

You may also find it interesting to read our Xcell Journal Online article about this product:

Prices and Availability

Discount: 5% for 2+, 10% for 4+ quantities

Prototyping Boards

These prototyping boards include a suitable SPROM module that is preloaded with a bitstream that configures the FPGA to work as described in the user manual. Additional SPROM modules can be ordered separately.

Package Contents

  • Prototyping board, completely configured and tested
  • One SPROM module, preloaded with a demo program
  • Four 0.1 inch header connector adapters for ground referenced signals
  • One 0.1 inch header connector adapter for low voltage differential signals
  • A pair of red/black power cables with 4mm connector
  • A printed user manual with schematic and layout diagrams
  • A CD-ROM with documentation, data sheets, example code and tools

Type of Board Order Number Price and lead time
Prototyping Board with XC2V1000-4FF896C APB-2V1000 on request
Prototyping Board with XC2V1500-4FF896C APB-2V1500 on request
Prototyping Board with XC2V2000-4FF896C APB-2V2000 on request
Prototyping Board with XC2V3000-4FF1152C APB-2V3000 on request
Prototyping Board with XC2V4000-4FF1152C APB-2V4000 on request
Prototyping Board with XC2V6000-4FF1152C APB-2V6000 on request
Prototyping Board with XC2V8000-4FF1152C APB-2V8000 on request

If not otherwise indicated, lead times are generally 5-6 weeks after receipt and acceptance of an order. Please always ask for exact terms of delivery.

SPROM Modules

You can obtain additional SPROM modules that allow you to store different versions of a design. These modules are identical to the original one and can easily be replaced.

Suitable for FPGA types Order Number Price and lead time
up to XC2V1000 PROM-2V1000 on request
up to XC2V2000 PROM-2V2000 on request
up to XC2V3000 PROM-2V3000 on request
up to XC2V4000 PROM-2V4000 on request
up to XC2V6000 PROM-2V6000 on request
up to XC2V8000 PROM-2V8000 on request