ICEboard: an FPGA / ARM Motherboard

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ICEboard: an FPGA / ARM Motherboard

The ICEboard is a fully custom FPGA / ARM motherboard hosting two high-pin-count (HPC) FPGA Mezzanine (FMC) slots.

ICEBoard, top view

The ICEboard, revision 2. The two red mezzanines host high-speed (gigasample per second) ADCs for the CHIME experiment. The motherboard hosts an FPGA and ARM for processing elements, and a variety of high-speed interfaces.

Three-Speed Logic collaborated with McGill’s Winterland cosmology lab to design the ICEboard. This board includes:

  • A Kintex-7 ‘420T FPGA (socket-compatible with ‘325T and ‘480T variants)

  • A TI AM3874 ARM SoC

  • A variety of high-speed serial interfaces:
    • Two 10/100/100 Ethernet interfaces
    • 28 10-Gigabit GTX links
  • On-chip storage resources
    • SPI flash for bitstream and software storage
    • DDR3 SDRAM

The ICEboard occupies a 9u-height VME slot (340mm high), although cards are not as deep as a full 9u rack (233mm deep, compared to standard 360mm deep). Most VME crates are adjustable to accomodate this variation; crate vendors are also able to ship correctly sized crates.

ICEBoard, top view

Another view of the ICEboard, without FMC daughtercards. The RF shield surrounding the ARM CPU has been removed, exposing two DDR3 ICs and two Ethernet PHYs. The attached programming header is used to configure the board’s two PLLs, which are used to generate system clocks for the CPU and FPGA.

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