33 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2017 9:57 AM by andycap

    In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?

    rscasny

      We will be roadtesting the AVNET MiniZed FPGA SoC development board in September. I find this to be an exicting prospect and can't wait to let it loose on the element14 community.

       

      MiniZed Reset corner view.pngIn brief, the MiniZed™ is a single-core Zynq 7Z007S development board. This board targets entry-level Zynq developers with a low-cost prototyping platform.

       

      The Minized's compact design features on-board connectivity through USB, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Peripherals can be plugged into dual Pmod-compatible connectors, the Arduino-compatible shield interface or the USB 2.0 host interface. JTAG circuitry is incorporated onto the MiniZed base board, so with a single micro-USB cable to your laptop you are already up and running. User LED’s, a button and a switch allow for a physical board interface.

       

      Micron memory solutions are presented for QSPI flash, DDR3L memory and on-board eMMC instead of an external SD card. The Murata Type 1DX wireless solution incorporates 802.11b/g /n Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth 4.1, which provides both Bluetooth Classic and Low Energy (BLE). The integrated power supply from Dialog generates all on-board voltages, while an auxiliary supply input can be used to power designs that require additional current. From ST Micro there is an on-board motion and temperature sensor, as well as a digital microphone.

       

      MiniZed provides for an efficient hardware reference design, while it is also an inexpensive board that can be used to run workshops and tutorials. The board aims to showcase the power of Zynq, where the Cortex A9 processor core integrates seamlessly with the programmable fabric to provide signal processing and control solutions. The on-board digital microphone serves as an input for a variety of illustrations of how to implement FIR filters, FFT’s and direct memory access.

       

      Feel free to download the attached pdf to learn more about the Minized.

       

      In preparation of roadtesting the Minized, what do you feel you need?

       

      • Technical Information?
      • Tutorials?
      • Example Projects?
      • Other?

       

      Please leave your comments below. I will try to get any additional information and post it to both the RoadTest and the FPGA groups.

       

      Sincerely,

       

      Randall Scasny

      RoadTest Program Manager

        • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
          rsc

          How about a webinar on Zynq?

          Scott

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
            DAB

            Hi Randall,

             

            It looks like this board would be perfect for an introductory course on how to program and use Xilinx FPGA to do small projects.

             

            If a short little training set of classes, similar to the Arduino Starter Kit, was available, I can see a lot of people who would be interested in dipping their toes into this device.

             

            The board price is attractive, but some projects need to be added to show the range of capability available on this particular chip.

             

            My basic question would be what is the complexity limit for building a solution on this board and what the next range of board costs should I need to go larger?

             

            DAB

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                balearicdynamics

                DAB,

                 

                AFAIK from the most recent posts here and there about FPGA and Xilinx it seems to me it is one of the most recent (or the most) entries in the scenario of suppliers products offered by Element14/Farnell. To be precise I have the perception that it is a new range of products and sounds almost revolutionary in the FPGA wrold, just because these board and others all branded Xilinx. You can find the entire range of base components in the article In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?

                 

                What left me surprised is the price difference between the IC models:

                 

                The PGA Zynq-7000 Family 23000 Cells 667MHz 28nm 1V 400-Pin WCBGA Tray cost about 60 Euro

                while the FPGA Spartan®-6 LX Family 3840 Cells 45nm (CMOS) Technology 1.2V 144-Pin TQFP (maybe the lover version?) cost about 20 Euro

                and the FPGA Artix-7 16640 Cells 28nm Technology 1V 236-Pin FPGA cost few less than 300 Euro

                 

                I have difficult to collocate the IC of this board (that is of the family of the first IC I think) respect what is in the mentioned presentation page.

                 

                Enrico

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                    John Beetem

                    Enrico Miglino wrote:

                     

                    I have difficult to collocate the IC of this board (that is of the family of the first IC I think) respect what is in the mentioned presentation page.

                    For your amusement, here's a quote from an early Zynq article: "Zynq-7000 EPP Sets Stage for New Era of Innovations", Xcell Journal, Second Quarter, 2011:

                    With a starting price point below $15, we are really making it hard for companies to justify the cost and risk of designing any ASIC that is not extremely high volume.

                    Xilinx has had a dreadful time getting Zynq cost down.  Given the Zynq list prices and typical FPGA development board volume, I can only conclude that the MiniZed must be heavily subsidized.  Smart chip vendors subsidize development boards: if more people can afford to try your board and they enjoy the experience, you'll get more people designing with your chip.  Lattice must do this with the US$22 iCEstick: it costs $20 just for a board with an FTDI FT2232H and USB connector, and that's before you add the iCE40 FPGA, LEDs, and PMOD connector.  Cypress has some nice PSoC prototyping boards for $4 or $10.

                     

                    The original ZedBoard cost $395, but you could only buy one at that price.  If you wanted multiple boards, it cost $495.

                    3 of 3 people found this helpful
                  • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                    John Beetem

                    DAB wrote:

                     

                    It looks like this board would be perfect for an introductory course on how to program and use Xilinx FPGA to do small projects.

                     

                    My basic question would be what is the complexity limit for building a solution on this board and what the next range of board costs should I need to go larger?

                    At US$89, the MiniZed is an attractive price for a Xilinx Zynq with ARM Cortex-A9 and 512MB DDR.  That said, in my opinion a Xilinx Zynq is not a good introductory FPGA.  It's a complex architecture and you have to deal with the added complexity of a "motherboard on chip", which usually runs Linux. Learning about FPGAs with a simple board like the DEO-NANO or a less-expensive entry-level FPGA board is probably enough learning curve steepness.  But of course, chacun a son goût (YMMV).

                     

                    Regarding what other boards are available, take a look at some of the other Zed boards at the MiniZed link.

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                    balearicdynamics

                    Hi Randall,

                     

                    a great idea will be a sort of 10 project in 10 days (maybe something like already happened with PSoC4 but there was larger). I mean, instead of a bare webinar a piece of knowledge base together with a project growing from dummy to higher quality. I approach this idea as probably this maybe a greater appeal to road tester as this world is relatively new in the scenario of makers (at least this is my impression).

                     

                    A mix between the mentioned 100 projects in 100 days and the Arduino cookbook. Yes, the board cookbook, why not?

                     

                    Enrico

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                      John Beetem

                      I wonder how hot that Zynq gets, particularly if it's under an Arduino shield.  I remember that Parallella, which has a Zynq as well as its Epiphany parallel processing chip, had a lot of heat problems early on.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                          michaelkellett

                          I'd like to echo John's comment that this board is not really suitable for initial learning about FPGAs - the Zynq chips are very, very difficult to get to grips with. There is all the difficulty of the series 7 FPGA and an ARM applications processor with a sophisticated interface to the FPGA as well.

                           

                          Don't misunderstand - the Zynq is a great chip - but it is complicated. The basic documentation for the memory interface on the series 7 FPGA (that's the little tiny bit in the corner of the chip that talks to DDR3 RAM) runs to 678 pages.

                           

                          The Zedboard doesn't, in my opinion, have a useful IO configuration  - it doesn't have Ethernet so the ARM, which typically runs Linux, has no useful IO port. The Arduino interface and 2 PMODs is about enough to connect a serious ADC and some debugging pins (I know this because I've used a similar boards (Arty and Nexys Video)).

                          So it's a bit of tiger in a very small box.

                           

                          If you want to do more than just run some demo stuff where you point and click though many pages of detailed instructions then you will need to to do some serious work and it will take a long time.

                           

                          If you have decided to use this chip for a project and need to get the hang of it and the tools, the board is a cheap way to get started - otherwise I can't see much point in it. If you want to learn about the Xilinx 7 series FPGA then an ARTY is a better route (Artix FPGA rather than Zynq so no ARM on board).

                           

                          MK

                          3 of 3 people found this helpful
                        • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                          John Beetem

                          I see the tradeoffs of MiniZed versus a simple FPGA board to be similar to Raspberry Pi versus a simple microcontroller board like Arduino or ST Discovery.  In terms of raw power for the price, MiniZed and RasPi (especially including VideoCore IV) are clearly superior.  However, it requires a great deal of knowledge to use that power effectively.  Most people use RasPi as a tiny mainframe, running a mainframe operating system like GNU/Linux.  This means that accessing I/O devices is difficult: just giving yourself permission to access memory-mapped devices is a challenge for the new user.  I can only imagine the amount of code required to initialize RasPi, and I've never tried to write and download my own VideoCore IV software.  So you have a great deal of computing power, but actually using it is a steep learning curve.

                           

                          In contrast, with a microcontroller like an STM32 or Cypress PSoC 4 it's really easy.  The GPIO is fully documented and you just read and write memory locations documented in the data sheet and tech ref manual.  You can blink an LED with zero lines of code if you come in through the well-documented "single wire" debug (SWD) port.  For the most part, it's simple and clean and like playing with a PDP-11 minicomputer.

                           

                          Similarly, it's really easy to understand a simple FPGA like a Lattice iCE40.  It's a toy compared to a Zynq, but for learning FPGA principles it's a very educational toy.  With an Xilinx FPGA newer than a Spartan-3A, you face a steep learning curve where even simple things are complex and you have multiple tech ref manuals to cover clocking, block memory, I/O pins, etc.  Zynq, Spartan-6, and newer FPGAs are very powerful and have attractive prices for their capabilities.  But they can be pretty daunting for a new user.  Like RasPi, you can ignore the underlying complexity and work at a high level.  But then you're not really learning what's going on.

                           

                          JMO/YMMV

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                              balearicdynamics

                              John,

                               

                              I don't know the STM32 but I can say about the PSoC4 that it's not so easy. I am thinking to a maker, someone used to make projects on Arduino boards or similar and I imagine that approaching a project on a PSoC model by Cypress can found it extremely difficult. This is the reason that despite the rumors when Cypress launched the PSoC ecosystem supposed to be the "Arduino killer" this never occurred. I think for this reason.

                              Take in account that I am not an expert of FPGA but I am almost sure that if a system offers wider options I tend to prefer it as expecting more flexibility.

                               

                              It is true that in most of the cases (and projects) also the Raspberry Pi is used with just its basically features; but occurs also with the Arduino - just to mention to most famous micro controller. It is a sort of false positive; reality is that you can find a lot of preset projects easy to adapt with few changes, something totally different than proficiently using a micro controller IMHO. For example robotics: you can make a relatively complex robot based on Arduino but not because things are easy; the reason is that you find all the libraries you need for download, the designs for 3D printing the parts if needed, the ready-to-use Arduino shields and more. I bet that the number of Arduino makers or "inventors" able to make their own C library or create some new are under the 10-20% of the makers you can find.

                              The same happens with Raspberry Pi. With a positive difference: this embedded linux board has more flexibility and more options to evolve and has a good support to be used in the educational world.

                               

                              Enrico

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                              jomoenginer

                              I placed a purchase of one of these when they first came out and just received it yesterday but have not had the time to open it up yet.  I was looking to learn more about the Zynq SoC and Vivado and was not looking to spend $200 for a board, so this was perfectly priced.  Also, the built-in WiFi and BLE option was a huge plus considering I am looking at this for something like a IoT Gateway or Edge device.  I also wanted to learn about AMP, but since this board only has a single core ARM processor I'm not sure if that is possible.

                               

                              I think was would be needed is a bit of understanding of how the ARM and FPGA features can leverage from each other and how these two features can be implemented.  A quick tour of Vivado would be nice, although there are some training material on the Xilinx site and Udemy.

                                • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                  balearicdynamics

                                  Hello Jon,

                                   

                                  reading your post another though arises ... Just playing with a "simple" FPGA without extra component I see two negative aspects; first is the psychological perception that you are doing something just for itself. I mean, any possible project you have in mind experimenting with a FPGA only board you need some extra tool, board, component etc. And it is not obvious that you are skilled to complete the design.

                                  The second is practical. This board - maybe really complex, but world is full of complex things awaiting to be solved - opens on a wide scenario as you suggest. A sort of all in one where if you are able to complete the learning path of the FPGA you have also available a set of included peripherals and features to see your growing knowledge returns.

                                   

                                  Enrico

                                  • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                    michaelkellett

                                    Hello Jon,

                                     

                                    A quick tour through Viavado is a bit like a quick tour through Africa - too much to take in.

                                     

                                    I attended a 1 day workshop event put on by Avnet/Xilinx based on the Arty board. That was useful but should only be considered as a very basic flash through using the tool. I've been working with it for about 9 months now and there is still a lot I don't know !

                                     

                                    Xilinx do publish a lot of good material and there is some useful stuff about ARM/FPGA interaction, but it's a minority interest requiring in depth understanding of the processor, designing with FPGA and the tools.

                                     

                                    MK

                                      • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                        rscasny

                                        I've read through everyone's comments, especially yours on training.

                                         

                                        I'm wondering if it will be worthwhile to set up an Live Q&A Call with a FAE who can answer questions about programming the MINIZED, Zynq programming, etc.

                                         

                                        I'd set it up as a tele-conference where the attendees could talk live to the FAE, with myself moderating?

                                         

                                        If this sounds like something you and everyone who has responded would be interested in, I'll set up the event.

                                         

                                        Thoughts (to anyone)

                                         

                                        Randall

                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                          • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                            balearicdynamics

                                            Randall,

                                            As usual, you are the man of the great ideas! IMHO this is a great opportunity and better than a webinar where space for Q&A is always reduced and strictly related to the webinar slides / discussion.

                                             

                                            I am just worried to have the time and good sources to read some documentation before this event.

                                             

                                            If I can say, my answer is please, do it !


                                            Enrico

                                            • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                              DAB

                                              Setting up a live Q&A could be problematic with the disparity of time zones.

                                               

                                              Why not just set up a group where everyone can come in and ask their questions at their time and get the response by the best qualified to answer it.

                                               

                                              Having a growing list would keep duplicate questions to a minimum and the answers will spur others to post new questions.

                                               

                                              DAB

                                                • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                                  balearicdynamics

                                                  DAB, I almost disagree, it is my first impression. It is true that there is a time disparity but we can arrange an average time, I hope. The problem that I see with the pre-set questions is reaching a worst effect than a seminar. In this moment - just speaking of myself - I have no idea what to ask exactly, and probably for me and I suppose also many others, most of the good answers will come from the questions derived from the first questions etc. There is not a specific project to reach so it is possible to know before what it is well known and what it is not. I can prepare just a couple maybe three questions in this moment but I am sure that inside a discussion many other questions will arise. And I also suppose that someone else will ask questions that answer to mine and so on.

                                                   

                                                  I should recognise that time shift maybe a problem.

                                                   

                                                  Enrico

                                                    • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                                      rscasny

                                                      DAB

                                                      balearicdynamics

                                                       

                                                      Let me tell you what I am thinking, my concerns.

                                                      The Minizad is a different kind of animal from what we have roadtested for the better part of the year of my managing the program. I don't want the meat of the 60 days of a roadtest to be only about coming up to speed with the architecture and the Zynq programming, etc. Some of you have already expressed an interested in a course or a webinar on FPGA programming. I want to be sure the roadtester community feels as comfortable with this dev board as is possible.

                                                       

                                                      So, I could go the webinar route. But webinars have their limitations (aside from time zone issues). It's mostly lecture and the attendees don't always ask questions. This may have to do the fact that they are first being introduced to the material in the webinar.

                                                       

                                                      This is why I opened this discussion. It has already revealed questions that you all have.

                                                       

                                                      What if I created an event and posted as much of the documentation on the Minized that I can get and also asked the members who visited their page to ask questions they have and post them in the comments.

                                                       

                                                      So, at the end of the enrollment period, I have hopefully 10 or 15 questions.

                                                       

                                                      I give them to the FAE before the event so he/she can come prepared.

                                                       

                                                      The event would be a tele-conference where everyone could speak to the FAE; I would just moderate to give some order when necessary.

                                                       

                                                      In this way it would start with answering a few questions and then I would suspect it could (a) turn into a conversation between the attendees and the FAE and more questions would be offered; (b) I could coordinate the follow up to new questions.

                                                       

                                                      Hopefully, this would be less lecture (because I posted info already and the attendee would need to review it beforehand) and more live interaction.

                                                       

                                                      Ideally, everyone liked this we could offer it again. Of course, that would be based on the FAE's availability. I can't make any commitments yet since I haven't talked to an FAE since I just thought of this on the weekend. But this is what is on my mind.

                                                       

                                                      Thoughts?

                                                       

                                                      Randall

                                                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                        • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                                          michaelkellett

                                                          Hello Randall,

                                                           

                                                          I think this is a good idea and I'll support it, at least by offering helpful questions.

                                                           

                                                          The problem is that the Zynq is a monster of a part and the very, very slow take up of it that Xilinx are experiencing (and others (Atmel, MicroSemi, Altera) also have had with similar parts) shows just how hard it is to get to grips with.

                                                           

                                                          The project I'm involved with is taking a two step approach, the first is to move from Lattice XP3 to Xilinx Artix parts and the second step will be to absorb the two or more ARM processors on the same board into a Zynq style part. We expect this process to take about 30 months.

                                                           

                                                          A newcomer to FPGA isn't going to get up to speed with this thing in 60 days. Someone experienced with FPGA and Linux might be able to but the value of the board is trivial to any commercial activity so to get a really good result you need a reviewer with lots of spare time, enthusiasm to play with this board and the required experience - I don't think you will get one.

                                                           

                                                          So I think you should aim for the possible - which is that the provided examples are good enough for someone bright and keen to modify/hack one into a useful project. But they'll likely be skimming over most of the detail - like building a snowman on an iceberg.

                                                           

                                                          MK

                                                            • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                                              John Beetem

                                                              Michael Kellett wrote:

                                                               

                                                              The problem is that the Zynq is a monster of a part and the very, very slow take up of it that Xilinx are experiencing (and others (Atmel, MicroSemi, Altera) also have had with similar parts) shows just how hard it is to get to grips with.

                                                               

                                                              This is very interesting.  Do you have any links or is this what you hear from colleagues?

                                                               

                                                              Zynq "in principle" would have been a good candidate for a company I consult for.  But they were very leery of changing from PowerPC to ARM, since PowerPC is big-endian and ARM is "usually" implemented as little-endian.  Zynq probably lets you choose between big-endian and little-endian for data access, but then you have to recompile libraries and you don't know which library functions might fail when you switch from little-endian to big-endian.  Getting endian wrong is one of the hardest things to debug, since it doesn't produce a run-time fault like a byte-alignment error.  Your code just gets the wrong answer, and figuring out where can be difficult.

                                                            • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                                              DAB

                                                              Hi Randall,

                                                               

                                                              I think that is a good approach.

                                                               

                                                              Getting up to speed on FPGA capabilities is not a trivial task.

                                                               

                                                              As others have pointed out, not everyone has the detailed electronic component and circuit design skills and knowledge that are required to become proficient with FPGA solutions.

                                                               

                                                              Couple that with specific development tools and you greatly increase the amount of time needed for newbies to get up to speed and become proficient.

                                                               

                                                              Speaking for myself, I have gone through the entire development of microprocessors, bit slice development, and the emergence of FPGA devices.  I have a degree in computer engineering in which I learned the hardware and software in great detail.

                                                               

                                                              Even with that background, I am hesitant about picking up a new FPGA board, tackling the software and exploiting the device. 

                                                               

                                                              Many years ago, I would have been up for the challenge, but not today, especially with my medical induced ADD issues.

                                                               

                                                              So if someone with my background is apprehensive, I can well imagine self taught makers are just overwhelmed.

                                                               

                                                              That was why I suggested a series of tutorials that would take the device through a series of Arduino like plug and play examples so that everyone can get a look at the design process, the development tool steps, and then demonstrating the final implementation.

                                                               

                                                              I like what @Lucie Tozer did with the NEO board, so I would use her posts as sort of a starting point on what you need to do and how to present it.

                                                               

                                                              Collecting questions and then holding a forum online is a good step.  My main concern is time zone differences across the membership.

                                                               

                                                              DAB

                                                                • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                                                  balearicdynamics

                                                                  Hello DAB,

                                                                  As others have pointed out, not everyone has the detailed electronic component and circuit design skills and knowledge that are required to become proficient with FPGA solutions.

                                                                  Couple that with specific development tools and you greatly increase the amount of time needed for newbies to get up to speed and become proficient.

                                                                   

                                                                  IMHO who embark in a road test of this board (or similar) maybe a newbie in the FPGA world - I think that with this board we all are probably newbie or near to - but this means that there is at least the intention to test and learn and then go ahead with this approach managing FPGA. It is acceptable that then the road tester then decide to start playing with a different one for thousand of reasons but not a newbie in electronics. I think that also Randall consider this as one of the aspects; I think we can't expect an incredible participation of any kind of users. Just for the treated topic. But I think that it is a good way to move also in an unknown world. Despite the perplexity of the skilled users.

                                                                   

                                                                  I like what violet did with the NEO board, so I would use her posts as sort of a starting point on what you need to do and how to present it.

                                                                   

                                                                  And I totally agree with this point. Her posts together with some few other stuff here and around I think that this adventure is anyway a fascinating path. I  think I will enroll a road test of this kind. With a high risk factor, I should recognise.

                                                                   

                                                                  Enrico

                                                    • Re: In Preparation for the AVNET MiniZed (Xilinx Zynq XC7Z007S SoC) RoadTest. What Do You Need?
                                                      andycap

                                                      Hi,

                                                       

                                                      I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask but I was wondering if you had any idea when these boards will be arriving?

                                                       

                                                      Concerning the original question the Q&A seems to me like a good idea for interested parties, I would be up for joining in on that.

                                                       

                                                      Concerning tutorials the Zynq Book Tutorials are already there along with quite a few Vivado ones littered around the web. The main problem I see from a total beginners point of view is that these tutorials are usually made for certain boards and unless you know the basics of Vivado it is hard to convert them to other boards.

                                                       

                                                      I'm guessing that the people buying this board are going to fall into two categories: the first will be the total beginner looking to learn a bit about programmable logic while the second group will have a little experience and be looking for cheap a board with wifi. So maybe some content for both of this groups could be provided?

                                                       

                                                      What would be a good set of tutorials would be one that gradually leads to a system that makes use of the wifi, say a simple network server controlling components in the PL. This series of tutorials could build up the readers knowledge in steps to get to the final solution, all this could be done at the block level with a minimal use of VHDL/Verilog and maybe without even involving linux.

                                                       

                                                      I'm looking forward to having a look at one anyway, if I can ever get hold of one that is!

                                                       

                                                      Cheers

                                                       

                                                      Andy