The new Kria system-on-module (SoM) from AMD-Xilinx has taken off over the past year, along with the popularity of the SoMs in general. As a brief overview for those of you not familiar with the latest FPGA board form factor, the SoM, here’s the 100-foot level concept: a system-on-module is a board-level circuit that contains all of the bare bones functionality of a system in a single module. Where the “system” in this context is an embedded system with an FPGA serving as the main processor. And the bare bones functionality are features such as power conditioning circuitry, memory, timers/counters, and I/O interface devices.
This embedded system is contained to a single PCB base board (aka module) and uses high pin count connectors to connect to peripherals on a carrier board. This essentially isolates the brains and heart of a design to the base board and carrier boards can be swapped out when different peripherals are desired. And as I mentioned initially, with the Kria K26 becoming popular in the AI/machine learning space, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing new carrier boards pop up for it outside of the initial KV260 development kit initially launched with it from Xilinx.
The Aper-Oculus is a Kria carrier board recently posted on Crowd Supply. It is optimized for high-speed camera application designs with lots of high-speed I/O including FMC, MIPI, 6G SATA, DisplayPort TX, and a two-lane SLVS-EC connector.
According to its campaign page, the Aper-Oculus will drop with example designs and encrypted IP for the SLVS-EC sensors. There is mention that familiarity with Verilog is necessary so I can assume that will be the target HDL language of the example designs.
Another interesting feature I noticed about the Aper-Oculus is that it will also be equipped with a barometer and three-axis accelerometer. These sensors aren’t what I would have initially thought to equip a high-speed camera application with, but it makes sense for projects such as self-driving vehicles once I think about it. Which means this carrier board could be a very nice addition to some really cool robotics projects.
While currently still in the works, the Aper-Oculus is participating in the Xilinx FPGA Playground on Crowd Supply. To be notified for specific launch dates, subscribe to the Aper-Oculus' campaign page.