While I am reading the necessary Dokus I thought it would be a good idea to look into some basics of the MiniZed FPGA board and what it offers to the users and potential programmers.

 

When compared to other suppliers FPGAs development board such as from Digilent; the Avent MiniZedAvent MiniZed is reasonably priced at 80 euros (rather low end price). And can be bought off the internet easily.

A good amount of support documentation also exists on the MiniZed | Zedboard Support Forum for self starters.

 

 

What is MiniZed?

MiniZed is a single-core Zynq 7Z007S development board with USB, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features. It has Arduino-compatible shield interface to reuse the Arduino sensors. The Zynq-7Z007S fpga together with the Cortex A9 processor core (which can be used for signal processing) gives it a good processing power. There is also an on-board digital microphone to implement FIR filters, FFT’s etc.

 

Main Features of the MiniZed Board

 

  1. Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC
  2. Micron 512 MB DDR3L
  3. Micron 128 Mb QSPI flash
  4. Micron 8GB eMMC mass storage
  5. On-board USB to JTAG and debug UART circuit
  6. Murata "Type 1DX" wireless module with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 plus EDR and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)
  7. USB 2.0 host interface with Microchip USB3320 PHY
  8. Dialog Semiconductor DA9062 PMIC (Power Management IC)

 

The other good to have parts on the MiniZed Board

 

  1. Arduino-compatible shield interface
  2. 2 x Pmod-compatible interfaces
  3. ST Micro  LIS2DS12LIS2DS12 Accelerometer and Temperature sensor
  4. ST Micro MP34DT05 digital MEMS microphone
  5. Reset button, user button, user switch, 2 x user bi-element LEDs
  6. Microchip Low-Power Precision CMOS Oscillators

 

Block Diagram of the MiniZed Board

 

 

A descriptive Block Diagram of the MiniZed

 

MiniZed Power Architecture

Coming from an analog side of engineering if I see a PCB I feel an itch to know its power consumption and to see if it offers a balanced perspective with regards to power consumption. Having a power efficient product has become very important specially if it wants to have a fair chance to make it to the product line. And of course look its schematics.

 

A current and voltage requirements Overview

 

Board Level Power Budgeting on the MiniZed Board. Reference

 

 

Fig: The generic power consumption of the dev-board

 

From this analysis one can see that the total power consumption of the internal parts of the MiniZed is around 8watt. But ofcourse the total power consumption of my project will depend on how many of the parts on board are in use. This rough estimate is a good indication of the current requirements of the FPGA.

 

 

Also I downloaded the famous Xilinx Power Estimator (XPE) from the MiniZED website and gave it a go.

 

Fig: Summary of the XPE for the MiniZED board

 

I had a feeling that the Minized board was getting hotter after I had left it on continuously for sometime. Looking at the graphs below it seems that the board is designed to get heated upto 70 degC for a total power consumption of around 3watts (mind it which is less than half of the full power 8Watt Minized). I suppose under such intense use a need for heat sink or proper heat dissipation will arise.

Power vs Temperature Graphs

 

Xilinx Power Estimator (XPE) is a good tool to play around with. I also looked into the other tabs such as clock, logic etc. in the XPE excel-sheet

 

Conclusion

 

From a quick feature review and look into the power analysis and the schematics the MiniZed board it seems to be a resourceful development board. Although the power consumption of the board is not extraordinary but keeping the price-point I can say it is a good balance.