P4 PCI FPGA Boards

Programmable PCI FPGA Acceleration Boards

Built around the Xilinx Virtex4FX-40 FPGA, these boards offer exceptional processing power in a PCI form factor.

I/O options include copper or fiber Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Infiniband and Sonet connections via four SFP sockets on the PCI faceplate.

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  • Deployable PCI FPGA Boards
    • Enables Fast Time to market for your applications
    • Complete PCI FPGA Board platform
    • Substantial IP is included with the P4
    • No PCI, DDR2, Ethernet experience required
    • Full Linux distribution is supplied for the embedded PowerPC processors
    • P4 PCI FPGA Boards are in production
  • Extra P4 Benefits
    • Stable development platform is included (hardware files and Linux software driver)
    • Numerous working Xilinx EDK system-level reference designs are provided
    • Included core-level reference designs
    • EDK and Impulse C support enable design creation without previous FPGA experience
    • IP Protection through encrypted bit streams and key battery backup


Use the P4 to quickly implement your solutions by utilizing the included library of IP cores and reference designs. We provide a complete PCI FPGA platform with DDR2 memory, Gigabit Ethernet I/O, and Linux running on the embedded PowerPC as a starting point for your specific application. Our support for Xilinx EDK allows the quick integration of core building blocks into a complete system on a chip (SOC). Our Impulse C platform support package enables the easy creation of FPGA cores through the Impulse CoDeveloperTM C-to-FPGA compiler.

By supporting multiple tools, we provide you a choice of design entry paths to get your design working quickly on the P4. We use Xilinx EDK software as our top-level integration tool to connect our I/O and processing cores (and your customized cores) using a variety of standard Xilinx and IBM on-chip buses. EDK offers both a GUI and a text method for connecting and configuring the cores in your design, as well as creating the programming bit-stream files for the FPGA.

We support the Impulse C CoDeveloperTM C-to-FPGA compiler in order to simplify the creation of customized processing cores. The Impulse C CoDeveloperTM compiler provides a framework that allows you to use the C language to create mixed hardware/software designs. As an Impulse C Platform Partner, we provide a support package that integrates these designs into our EDK and Linux environments. We supply core reference designs in Impulse C, Verilog and VHDL.

To protect your valuable IP, the P4 provides three different copy-protection schemes. The P4 supports encrypted programming files, utilizing the Xilinx AES 256-bit encryption with a battery backed-up user-supplied key inside the FPGA. We provide a unique serial number on each of the P4 boards and every mini Secure Digital (miniSD) used to program a P4 also has a unique serial number. Either or both of these serial numbers may be used to generate license files on the miniSD card to "lock" IP to a specific board or miniSD.

The I/O flexibility of the P4 is enabled by the four small form factor pluggable (SFP) module sockets on the PCI faceplate. These sockets allow you to choose from a variety of SFP modules, including copper and fiber Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Infiniband, SONET, and others. This flexibility allows the P4 to be easily integrated into a wide range of operating environments. Four serial ATA/serial attached SCSI (SATA/SAS) sockets located on the back edge of the boards, allow for direct connection to internal storage devices. In addition, these sockets can be used to daisy-chain several P4 boards together so processing can be distributed without consuming PCI bus bandwidth.

The P4 is designed for on-the-fly reconfiguration. Firmware is stored on either a mini secure digital card or an on-board SRAM memory chip, both of which may be re-written via the PCI bus. Firmware stored in the SRAM memory device may be used to quickly reconfigure the FPGA on-the-fly. Firmware stored in the miniSD card may be used for on-the-fly as well as power-on configuration.

In addition, the economical P4 combines power and flexibility to provide solutions for a wide range of DSP problems. Centered around the Xilinx Virtex4FX-40, this card offers 24GMACS of processing power. An on-board SODIMM socket supports up to 2GBytes of DDR-2 memory.

Specifications for our PCI FPGA Acceleration Boards

  • Processing
    • Xilinx Virtex-4 FX40 FPGA
    • 48 XTremeDSPTM slices providing
    • 24 GMACS of processing power
    • 2 PowerPC processor blocks
    • 8 RocketIOTM serial transceivers
    • 2,592 kbit block rams
    • 4 Ethernet MAC blocks
  • Physical
    • 4.2" x 7.873" x 0.62" PCI boards
  • I/O
    • 4 SFP sockets
    • Irig-B time code and reference clock inputs
    • 4 Internal SATA/SAS connectors
    • PCI and PCI-X compatible
  • Memory
    • One SO-DIMM socket capable of holding 2GBytes of DDR-2 memory
    • One miniSD card socket


Document Description Access Version Date
Datasheet Product Overview Download 2.1 08/09
Design Guide P Series Hardware Overview Guide Requires Registration 1.0 09/08
Design Guide P Series Quick Start Guide Requires Registration 1.0 09/08
Design Guide P Series Design Environment Overview Requires Registration 1.0 09/08
Design Guide P Series Reference Design Guide Requires Registration 1.0 09/08
Test Case P Series achieves very low latency Requires Registration 1.0 07/10