Cmod Lineup Gets Newest Player: CmodA7

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We are excited to announce the newest member of our Cmod Lineup, the CmodA7new-product-cmoda7front!

The CmodA7 is a development board that was designed around Xilinx’s Artix-7.
At only 2.75 inches x 0.7 inches, this gum-stick sized development board packs a punch.

 

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Inside of this tiny form factor is on board programming, substantial memory, a Pmod connector, user buttons, leds, 46 available I/O pinned out to DIP pins and not to forget, the powerful Artix-7 FPGA.

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What is a Cmod?

cmoda7 in a breadboard wired to seven segment display

Cmod or Carrier Modules, were designed to speed up prototyping for design engineers. Unlike our standard systems boards where all of the FPGA I/O is designed into a function (think 16 switches + 16 LED= 32 I/O tied up on the Basys3 board), a Cmod allows the user to choose what I/O they would like to have. For teaching students, a teacher can emphasize the hardware design by having students physically wire up hardware to their FPGA (instead of having it already done for them). It can be configured for digital logic circuits, Micoblaze designs or with the addition of peripherals, prototyping ASIC designs. The compact size, 100 mil spaces through hole pins, make it possible to load the Cmod into standard sockets or breadboards.

Why Artix-7?

“Artix®-7  devices are offered in low-cost, space-saving packages that are optimally designed for the maximum number of user I/Os” – Xilinx 7 Series FPGA Manual

With the move to Artix-7 users have the opportunity to upgrade to the free-Webpack edition of Xilinx’s Vivado Design Suite, the most up to date design tool chain supported. Compared to ISE®, Vivado offers an improved user experience and expanded capabilities. These capabilities include block-based IP integration (which can reduce development time up to 10x) and the Vivado Logic/Serial I/O analyzer*.

The 15T and 35T are the smallest, most cost effective members of the Artix-7 family, but there are many upgrade paths to other larger more integrated FPGAs in other Digilent System boards:

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Digilent’s Artix-7 Products: Upgrade paths from 16K Logic Cells all the way up to 215K

15T and 35T, why two versions?

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The only difference between the CmodA7-15T and CmodA7-35T are the capabilities of the FPGA found on the board. They compare as follows:

Cmod A7-15T Cmod A7-35T
FPGA part XC7A15T-1CPG236C XC7A35T-1CPG236C
1 MSPS On-chip ADC Yes Yes
Programming options Quad-SPI Flash/JTAG Quad-SPI Flash/JTAG
Look-up Tables (LUTs) 10,400 20,800
Flip-flops 20,800 41,600
Block RAM 112.5 KB 225 KB
Clock Management Tiles 5 5

 

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We’re excited about this new edition and hope to see it in many new applications! So, check out the CmodA7 product page and make sure to visit the Github and Resource Center!

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About Author

I'm a bit of an electronics-education evangelist. After all, Education is how we learn about the world. Electronics make the world better. Engineers change the world. So more engineers that know how to design and create electronics? That's the kind of world I want to help create.

3 Comments

  1. Try the CMOD A7-35T in a Linux environment running Vivado 2017.1 with the digilent out of box demo code.

    Nothing works.

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