Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: I'm not sure there is another board available with similar features. The new Microchip PolarFire SoC development board is about as complex as this board. The Genesys ZU Ultrascale board is much more expensive than the Eclypse board, but includes a video processor. The USB104 A7 is close with only one SYZYGY port.
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Demo software and example projects were built using a 2019 version of Vivado and Vitis and were compiled for the AtoD Zmod vs the ZmodDigitizer, so the IPs are different enough that the Vivado project will not compile for my set of hardware.
Eclypse Z7 ZmodAWG and ZmodDigitizer packed nicely in foam lined boxes.
Eclypse Z7 pcb, cables, and power supply with EU and US adapters.
All 3 boards
Zmod boards installed
Running demo software on Eclypse Z7
The Eclypse Z7 board - $499
The ZmodAWG 1411 (DAC) board - $99
The ZmodDigitizer 1430 (ADC) board - $279
The next thing to do is to install Vivado/Vitis.
It took 8 hours and 10 minutes to download and install the 2023.1 version of Vitis/Vivado.
I already had 2018.1 and 2019.2 installed on another PC, so I can use that as an alternate platform if the IPs won't compile on version 2023.1
It took me a while to find the source code for the out of the box demo software.
This is the Vivado project block diagram for the out of the box demo.
I managed to open the Hello World example and add the OOB code to it, modify it, and run it on the Eclypse Z7.
Here's the terminal output from the modified demo code.
I've been working on running the ZmodDigitizer example from Hackster.io by Whitney Knitter
To start a new Vivado project using the Eclypse-Z7, the Digilent Eclypse-Z7 board files need to be added to the Vivado libraries
Then the Digilent Vivado Zmod board files and IP library needs to be included in the IP repository
I found that Vivado 2019.2 refuses to include the ZmodDigitizer IP from the Digilent vivado-library on GitHub.
I also found that Vivado 2023.1 will include the ZmodDigitizer IP from the Digilent vivado-library on GitHub, however,
it fails to write the bitstream file due to issues in the published constraints file in Whitney's blog.
There are 5 GitHub repositories available from Digilent:
This link describes the structure of the Digilent repositories
There are three more interesting repositories for the ADC and DAC Zmod add-on boards
These two files include the Vivado 2019.1 Artix-7 project files for the ADC and DAC demos.
This is as far as I've been able to get with Vivado, but it's not compiling yet. I have some clock and FIFO issues to figure out.
After spending many hours trying to built and compile a Vivado project with the Eclypse-Z7 board, the ZmodAWG and ZmodDigitizer all together without much luck,
I found that Digilent has already published a software program that combines the three boards and can act as a waveform generator and scope data acquisition device
This program is called "Waveforms"
I selected my hardware configuration, downloaded the interface firmware SD card image for the Eclypse-Z7, and it worked just fine.
Here is the link to the Waveforms manual:
I was glad to finally know that all the boards were working.
Digilent sells an enclosure for the Eclypse Z7 with cutouts for two Zmods for $50, so I ordered one.
I am going to continue to hack away at the Vivado project until I understand enough to get the hardware wrapper compiled, however, I don't think I'll have enough time in the near future to do any kind of SDR work with the boards as I wanted to in Vitis. I haven't even started to explore the Petalinux. There are a couple of project examples online.
The Eclypse Z7 board by itself is a good FPGA development board for ZynQ-7000 projects.
The demo software for the base Eclypse board was fairly easy to compile/modify/edit/recompile in Vivado/Vitis.
The Zmod boards were much more difficult to find examples and demo software that I could recreate.
I've spent many hours on this roadtest, but I don't feel like I have accomplished what I planned to do so far.
The price of the board(s) may put them out of reach for the typical hobbyist, however, probably inline with a development system for commercial products.
I hope AMD will find a way to reduce the software HD size overhead for the Vitis/Vivado suite.
Thanks to Element14 and Digilent for letting me roadtest these boards, I will post more as I continue working with them.