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DAQ SBC runs Linux on Zynq, offers FMC expansion

Nov 4, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 725 views

Innovative Integration’s “Cardsharp” SBC is an XMC form-factor board that runs Linux on a Zynq-Z7045, and provides an FMC slot compatible with FMC modules.

Innovative Integration has launched a “turnkey embedded instrument” called the Cardsharp designed for embedded and mobile instrumentation, remote autonomous I/O, and distributed data acquisition applications. The Linux-based, 149 x 74mm XMC form-factor single-board computer is also said to be “perfect for portable or vehicle-based data loggers or handheld field equipment use.”

(click image to enlarge)

Like the company’s recent ePC-Duo and two-year old Mini-K7 data acquisition computers, the Cardsharp board integrates an FPGA, but instead of combining a standalone Xilinx FPGA with an x86 computer, it includes the Xilinx Zynq SoC, which mixes dual, 800MHz Cortex-A9 cores with an FPGA. The Cardsharp uses the high-end Zynq-Z7045, which offers a Kintex 7-series FPGA with 350K logic cells and 900 DSP slices.

The ARM Linux subsystem controls the gigabit Ethernet port, USB 2.0 port, and storage connectivity, while the FPGA subsystem “runs bare-metal, zero-latency, real-time standalone applications,” says Innovative Integration. The FPGA fabric connects directly to a VITA 57-compliant HPC FMC module site, which is compatible with Innovative’s numerous FMC I/O modules. The modules provide private data channel, triggering, and timing features, including IEEE 1588 network or GPS-synchronized timing, triggering, and sample control. The FMC site delivers up to 6GB/s to PL memory and 2GB/s to PS memory, claims Innovative.

Cardsharp block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The FPGA fabric also connects to “128MB x 64 DRAM,” while the ARM subsystem supports 256MB x 64 DDR3 RAM. The ARM subsystem is further equipped with 16MB of NAND flash and 32GB of eMMC flash, with the latter responsible for booting Linux. Other ARM-related interfaces include PJTAG, UART, and GPIO, while the FPGA side provides JTAG, GPIO, and PCIe x4 interfaces.

The self-bootable, “L3-ruggedized” Cardsharp can operate in harsh environments, says Innovative. The board supports headless and diskless configurations, and offers wide-range 8-36V DC operation.


The Cardsharp is compatible with Innovative’s new, Linux-compatible SBC-Nano embedded PC/carrier board for distributed data acquisition. The board incorporates the Adlink NanoX-BT, an Intel Bay Trail based COM Express Mini Type 10 computer-on-module. The 150 x 75mm SBC-Nano board, supports standard XMC I/O modules, which can be housed with the SBC-Nano in an optional enclosure.

(click image to enlarge)

The SBC-Nano provides dual 10Gbps Ethernet ports with 40Gbps QSFP, as well as dual mSATA-2 interfaces to multi-TB SSD storage. Other features include 32GB eMMC flash, three USB ports, including one 3.0 port, dual serial ports, and a mini-DisplayPort connection. The board features a VITA 42.3 compliant PCIe slot, and runs on 6-14V DC power.

SBC-Nano block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Cardsharp. More information may be found on the Innovative Integration Cardsharp product page.

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