Overview of Versatile Express development boards

ArmVersatile Express development boards are the ideal platform for accelerating the development and reducing the risk of new SoC designs. The combination of ASIC and FPGA technology in Arm boards delivers an optimal solution in terms of speed, accuracy, flexibility and cost.

Uses

  • Evaluate, benchmark and start software development on the latest Arm processor.
  • Prototype, validate and develop software drivers for new SoC IP blocks - for example, a modem or video engine.
  • Test custom logic blocks or system IP in an FPGA, connected to an Arm core running at ASIC speed.

Key features

Juno Arm Development Platform

The Juno Arm Development Platform (ADP) is a software development platform for Armv8-A, it includes the Juno Arm Versatile Express board and an Armv8-A reference software port available through Linaro. The Juno hardware delivers to software developers an open, vendor neutral, Armv8-A development platform with Cortex-A72 and Cortex-A53 MPcore for Armv8-A big.LITTLE, Arm Mali graphics processor for 3D Graphics Acceleration, and SoC architecture aligned with Level 1 (Server) Base System Architecture.

Key Features

  • Cortex-A72 and Cortex-A53 MPCores for Armv8-A big.LITTLE technology
  • Mali-T624 for 3D Graphics Acceleration and GP-GPU compute
  • 4-lane PCI-Express Gen 2 with support for Gigabit Ethernet and SATA2
  • A SoC architecture aligned with Level 1 (Server) Base System Architecture
  • Application Processor (AP) Software all delivered as source via Linaro
  • System Control Processor (SCP) Firmware
  • Linaro supported Linux file systems

Versatile Express LogicTile Expansion

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LogicTiles provide custom logic expansion capability for the Juno and Versatile Express systems. They enable peripheral prototyping, validation and software device driver development alongside an Arm processor - prior to the SoC returning from the foundry. This reduces the risks and bring-up time of the product by having tested IP and software device drivers ready. A choice of boards with different sized FPGAs and stacking capabilities enables the IP developer to construct a development system that matches project requirements. The LogicTile Express range is also used to support SMM (Soft Macro Models) which support early access to processors using FPGA technology.

Key Features

  • Enables expansion of Arm Development Platforms for IP or driver development
  • IO connectivity from top of board via Samtec header connectors
  • Boards are stackable for incrementally expandable FPGA capacity
  • Integrated Logic Analyzer connectivity
  • On-board memory
  • Supports SMMs

Cortex-M Prototyping System +

The Cortex-M Prototyping System + is an ideal platform for the evaluation and FPGA prototyping of Cortex-M based designs or IoT subsystems. It comes provided with fixed encrypted FPGA implementations of all the Cortex-M processors and an example design based on DesignStart.

Key Features

  • Early access to Cortex-M processors
  • Rich feature set and affordable platform
  • 300K Logic Elements for user prototyping
  • 8MB of single cycle SRAM
  • 16MB of PSRAM
  • Expansion via IO connectors
  • Wide range of debug connectors
  • mbed support

Versatile Express Soft Macro Models

The Logic Express daughter-boards are used together with the Motherboard Express µATX to make Soft Macro Models (SMMs) for evaluation, benchmarking and prototyping with Arm processors. The Motherboard Express uATX  includes all the necessary peripherals that enable you to port, prove, and develop operating systems and applications for new processors and graphics engines. Through a range of plug-in daughter-boards, hardware and software applications can be developed and debugged using different CoreTiles and LogicTiles.

Key Features

  • Choice of different Arm processors
  • Trace and Debug support
  • Expansion via Arm LogicTiles
  • Standardised peripheral set
  • Linaro supported filesystems

Beetle IoT Evaluation Platform

 Beetle small

The Beetle IoT evaluation board is built around the Arm CoreLink SDK-100 System Design Kit processors which allows design teams to create IoT endpoints faster and with lower risk.  Arm’s IoT subsystem with the Mbed IoT device platform is a complete reference system that reduces the complexity and risk of a SoC design for IoT endpoints. It is specifically designed for the use with Cortex-M processors and Arm Wireless IP.

Key Features

  • Arm CoreLink SDK-100 System Design Kit
  • Arm Cordio Bluetooth Smart Radio IP
  • mbedOS
    

Versatile Express options

The table shows the processors available for prototyping and development with different combinations of Versatile Express boards.
                                        
    

Tools Support

Software Tools for Versatile Express

DS-5 Development Studio fully supports all Arm processors and IP as well as a wide range of third-party tools, operating systems and EDA flows. DS-5 represents a comprehensive range of software tools to create, debug and optimize systems built on Versatile Express boards.

It incorporates DS-5 Debugger, whose powerful and intuitive graphical environment enables fast debugging of bare-metal, Linux and Android native applications. DS-5 Debugger provides pre-defined configurations for Arm Versatile Express boards, for a quick and convenient way to start software development.

In addition, Streamline performance analyzer simplifies the identification of hot spots in software and load balancing between cores and clusters with a brilliantly intuitive graphical display.

Keil MDK is the ideal partner when prototyping using with the Cortex-M Prototyping System or Arm's Beetle IoT Evaluation Platform.