Affordable ZYNQ UltraScale+ Dev Board

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RoadTest: Sign Up to Review the Avnet ZUBoard 1CG Development Kit

Author: ahamm011

Creation date:

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?: Terasic DE10 Nano

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Lack of documentation for add on board. Issues with provided SD card and default image

Detailed Review:

I was excited to do a hands on test of the ZU1 based development board. By far the most interesting single board compute are these affordable heterogeneous devices that have both processors and FPGA on the same device. I have a MINIZED which this board is the next generation replacement of that device and is more capable.

Documentation for these types of devices have come a long way. Avnet provides everything you need to learn about this board and to get started here.

And here is a link for the element14 website location for example projects and webinars here.

This road test also included the Avnet Dual Camera High Speed IO Module and this was also tested. However, I found less documentation for this and nothing explaining all the jumper selections on this camera board. I was able to build the example off of Hackster.IO and test the cameras. Also included was an SD card but its 8gb size would not allow the flash of the example image that was to large. Fortunately, I had a few extra large SD cards I could use and I would recommend larger SD cards for testing and developing on any ZYNQ device. 

To review the  board I went through both of these resources working the examples and watching the webinars. I was also curious about using the DPU IP on a smaller ZYNQ Ultrascale+ device and what resource utilization would look like. Since I already have Vivado 2022.2 installed I opened up a test project to explore. Adding the board was as simple as updating the board selection window.


From there it is straight forward to build a block design with the ZYNQ and DPU IP blocks:



This was only a test build to see what resources the design would require. Here is the B512 DPU test build resources:


Out-of-Box Experience

I like to go through the provided examples with any development board to help familiarize myself with it. The FreeRTOS example in the getting started guide was no problem setting up and following. I was able to open up the Out of Box example and work with the interactive browser window connected to the board.


Avnet Dual Camera High Speed IO Module


ZUBoard 1CG


Be sure to hold the power button (SW7) for 10 seconds to switch off the board. I missed that step in the getting started guide and couldn’t understand why my power button wasn’t working at first.

Vision Project

The SD image provided at  Vitis-AI 3.0 designs for Ultra96-V2 and ZUBoard didn't allow for the dual-cam to operate and /dev/media wasn't populated. I might have missed something but I really wanted to test the camera so I went to this example on Hackster.IO here . I built the petalinux project and flashed an SD card and quickly had the camera passthrough example running.


Final Thoughts

Overall this is a great board and it is great to see a modern affordable FPGA device for low cost applications and education. I plan to explore both  PYNQ and FINN projects with this board. Compared to a few years ago, developing in Vivado and utilizing add on boards has become more developer friendly. The only criticism I have is that the dual-cam board should have more documentation or if the documentation exists it should be easier to find for new users. But for the ZUBoard 1CG it is a great device that is both affordable and capable.