DIGILENT Development Board Arty Z7 User Manual

Arty Z7 Reference Manual

The Arty Z7 is a ready-to-use development platform designed around the Zynq-7000™ All Programmable System-on-Chip (AP SoC) from Xilinx. The Zynq-7000 architecture tightly integrates a dual-core, 650 MHz () ARM Cortex-A9 processor with Xilinx 7-series Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) logic. This pairing grants the ability to surround a powerful processor with a unique set of software-defined peripherals and controllers, tailored by you for the target application.The Vivado, Petalinux, and SDSoC toolsets each provide an approachable path between defining your custom peripheral set and bringing it’s functionality up to a Linux OS () or bare metal program running on the processor. For those looking for a more traditional digital logic design experience, it is also possible to ignore the ARM processors and program the Zynq’s FPGA like you would any other Xilinx FPGA. Digilent provides a number of materials and resources for the Arty Z7 that will get you up and running with your tool of choice quickly.


Arty Z7 Reference Manual [Reference.Digilentinc]

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ZYNQ Processor

  • 650MHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor
  • DDR3 memory controller with 8 DMA channels and 4 High Performance AXI3 Slave ports
  • High-bandwidth peripheral controllers: 1G Ethernet, USB 2.0, SDIO
  • Low-bandwidth peripheral controller: SPI, UART, CAN, I2C
  • Programmable from JTAG, Quad-SPI flash, and microSD card
  • Programmable logic equivalent to Artix-7 FPGA


  • 512MB DDR3 with 16-bit bus @ 1050Mbps
  • 16MB Quad-SPI Flash with factory-programmed 48-bit globally unique EUI-48/64™ compatible identifier
  • microSD slot


  • Powered from USB or any 7V-15V external power source

USB and Ethernet

  • Gigabit Ethernet PHY
  • USB-JTAG Programming circuitry
  • USB-UART bridge
  • USB OTG PHY (supports host only)

Audio and Video

  • HDMI sink port (input)
  • HDMI source port (output)
  • PWM driven mono audio output with 3.5mm jack

Switches, Push-buttons, and LEDs

  • 4 push-buttons
  • 2 slide switches
  • 4 LEDs
  • 2 RGB LEDs

Expansion Connectors

  • Two Pmod ports
  • 16 Total FPGA I/O
  • Arduino/chipKIT Shield connector
  • Up to 49 Total FPGA I/O (see table below)
  • 6 Single-ended 0-3.3V Analog inputs to XADC
  • 4 Differential 0-1.0V Analog inputs to XADC

Purchasing Options

The Arty Z7 can be purchased with either a Zynq-7010 or Zynq-7020 loaded. These two Arty Z7 product variants are referred to as the Arty Z7-10 and Arty Z7-20, respectively. When Digilent documentation describes functionality that is common to both of these variants, they are referred to collectively as the “Arty Z7”. When describing something that is only common to a specific variant, the variant will be explicitly called out by its name.The only difference between the Arty Z7-10 and Arty Z7-20 are the capabilities of the Zynq part and the amount of I/O available on the shield connector. The Zynq processors both have the same capabilities, but the -20 has about a 3 times larger internal FPGA than the -10. The differences between the two variants are summarized below:

Product Variant Arty Z7-10 Arty Z7-20
Zynq Part XC7Z010-1CLG400C XC7Z020-1CLG400C
1 MSPS On-chip ADC () Yes Yes
Look-up Tables (LUTs) 17,600 53,200
Flip-Flops 35,200 106,400
Block RAM () 270 KB 630 KB
Clock Management Tiles 2 4
Available Shield I/O 26 49

On the Arty Z7-10, the inner row of the digital shield (IO26-IO41) and IOA (also referred to as IO42) are not connected to the FPGA, and A0-A5 can only be used as analog inputs. This will not affect the functionality of most existing Arduino shields,  because most do not use this inner row of digital signals.The board can be purchased stand-alone or with a voucher to unlock the Xilinx SDSoC toolset. The SDSoC voucher unlocks a 1-year license and can only be used with the Arty Z7. After the license expires, any version of SDSoC that was released during this  1 year period can continue to be used indefinitely. For more information on purchasing, see the Arty Z7 Product Page  (http://store.digilentinc.com/artyz7-apsoc-zynq-7000-development-board-for-makers-and-hobbyists/).At the time of purchase, it is also possible to add ona microSD card,12V 3A power supply, and micro USB cable as needed.Note that due to the smaller FPGA in the Zynq-7010, it is not very well suited to be used in SDSoC for embedded vision applications. We recommend people purchase the Arty Z7-20 if they are interested in these types of applications.

Differences from PYNQ-Z1

Arty Z7-20 shares the exact same SoC with the PYNQ-Z1. Feature-wise, Arty Z7-20 is missing the microphone input, but adds a Power-on Reset button. Software written for PYNQ-Z1 should run unchanged with the exception of microphone input, whose  FPGA pin is left unconnected.

Software Support

The Arty Z7 is fully compatible with Xilinx’s high-performance Vivado Design Suite. This toolset melds FPGA logic design and embedded ARM software development into an easy-to-use, intuitive design flow. It can be used for designing systems of any complexity, from a complete operating system running multiple server applications in tandem, down to a simple bare-metal program that controls some LEDs.It is also possible to treat the Zynq AP SoC as a standalone FPGA for those not interested in using the processor in their design. As of Vivado release 2015.4, the Logic Analyzer and High-level Synthesis features of Vivado are free to use for all WebPACK targets, which includes the Arty Z7. The Logic Analyzer assists with debugging logic, and the HLS tool allows you to compile C  code directly into HDL.Zynq platforms are well-suited to be embedded Linux targets, and Arty Z7 is no exception. To help you get started, Digilent provides a Petalinux project that will get you up and running with a Linux system quickly. For more information, see the Arty Z7  Resource Center (https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/start).The Arty Z7 can also be used in Xilinx’s SDSoC environment, which allows you to design FPGA accelerated programs and video pipelines with ease in an entirely C/C++ environment. For more information on SDSoC, see the Xilinx SDSoC Site(https://www.xilinx.com/products/design-tools/software-zone/sdsoc.html). Digilent will be releasing a Video capable platform with Linux support in time for the SDSoC 2017.1 release. Note that due to the smaller FPGA in the Arty Z7-10, only very basic video processing demos are included with that platform. Digilent recommends the Arty Z7-20 for those interested in video processing.Those familiar with the older Xilinx ISE/EDK toolsets from before Vivado was released can also choose to use the Arty Z7 in that toolset. Digilent does not have many materials to support this, but you can always ask for help on the Digilent Forum  (https://forum.digilentinc.com).

Power Supplies

The Arty Z7 can be powered from the Digilent USB-JTAG-UART port (J14) or from some other type of power source such as a battery or external power supply. Jumper JP5 (near the power switch) determines which power source is used.A USB 2.0 port can deliver a maximum of 0.5A of current according to the specifications. This should provide enough power for lower complexity designs. More demanding applications, including any that drive multiple peripheral boards or other USB devices, might require more power than the USB port can provide. In this case, power consumption will increase until it’s limited by the USB host. This limit varies a lot between manufacturers of host computers and depends on many factors. When in the current limit, once the voltage rails dip below their nominal value, the Zynq is reset by the Power-on Reset signal and power consumption returns to its idle value. Also, some applications may need to run without being connected to a PC’s USB port. In these instances, an external power supply or battery can be used.An external power supply (e.g. wall wart) can be used by plugging it into the power jack (J18) and setting jumper JP5 to “REG”. The supply must use a coax, center-positive 2.1mm internal-diameter plug, and deliver 7VDC to 15VDC. Suitable supplies can be purchased from the Digilent website or through catalog vendors like DigiKey. Power supply voltages above 15VDC might cause permanent damage. A suitable external power supply is included with the Arty Z7 accessory kit.Similar to using an external power supply, a battery can be used to power the Arty Z7 by attaching it to the shield connector and setting jumper JP5 to “REG”. The positive terminal of the battery must be connected to the pin labeled “VIN” on J7, and the negative terminal must be connected to the pin labeled GND () on J7.The onboard Texas Instruments TPS65400 PMU creates the required 3.3V, 1.8V, 1.5V, and 1.0V supplies from the main power input. Table 1.1 provides additional information (typical currents depend strongly on Zynq configuration and the values provided are typical of medium size/speed designs).The Arty Z7 does not have a power switch, so when a power source is connected and selected with JP5 it will always be powered on. To reset the Zynq without disconnecting and reconnecting the power supply, the red SRST button can be used. The power indicator LED () (LD13) is on when all the supply rails reach their nominal voltage.

Supply Circuits Current (max/typical)
3.3V FPGA I/O, USB ports, Clocks, Ethernet, SD slot, Flash, HDMI 1.6A/0.1A to 1.5A
1.0V FPGA, Ethernet Core 2.6A/0.2A to 2.1A
1.5V DDR3 1.8A/0.1A to 1.2A
1.8V FPGA Auxiliary, Ethernet I/O, USB Controller 1.8A/0.1A to 0.6A

Table 1.1. Arty Z7 power supplies.

Zynq APSoC Architecture

The Zynq APSoC is divided into two distinct subsystems: The Processing System (PS) and the Programmable Logic (PL). Figure 2.1 shows an overview of the Zynq APSoC architecture, with the PS colored light green and the PL in yellow. Note that the PCIe  Gen2 controller and Multi-gigabit transceivers are not available on the Zynq-7020 or Zynq-7010 devices.

(https://reference.digilentinc.com/_detail/zybo/zyng1.png?id=reference%3Aprogrammable-logic%3Aarty-z7%3Areference-manual)Figure 2.1 Zynq APSoC architectureThe PL is nearly identical to a Xilinx 7-series Artix FPGA, except that it contains several dedicated ports and buses that tightly couple it to the PS. The PL also does not contain the same configuration hardware as a typical 7-series FPGA, and it must be configured either directly by the processor or via the JTAG port.The PS consists of many components, including the Application Processing Unit (APU, which includes 2 Cortex-A9 processors), Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture (AMBA) Interconnect, DDR3 Memory controller, and various peripheral controllers with their inputs and outputs multiplexed to 54 dedicated pins (called Multiplexed I/O, or MIO pins). Peripheral controllers that do not have their inputs and outputs connected to MIO pins can instead route their I/O through the PL, via the Extended-MIO (EMIO) interface. The peripheral controllers are connected to the processors as slaves via the AMBA interconnect and contain readable/writable control registers that are addressable in the processors’ memory space. The programmable logic is also connected to the interconnect as a slave, and designs can implement multiple cores in the FPGA fabric that each also contain addressable control registers. Furthermore, cores implemented in the PL can trigger interrupts to the processors (connections not shown in Fig. 3) and perform DMA accesses to DDR3 memory.

There are many aspects of the Zynq APSoC architecture that are beyond the scope of this document. For a complete and thorough description, refer to the Zynq Technical Reference manual    [PDF] 

Table 2.1 depicts the external components connected to the MIO pins of the Arty Z7. The Zynq Presets File found on the Arty Z7 Resource Center (https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/start) can be imported into EDK and Vivado Designs to properly configure the PS to work with these peripherals.

MIO 500 3.3 V Peripherals
Pin ENET 0 SPI Flash USB 0 Shield UART 0
0 (N/C)
1 CS ()
2 DQ0
3 DQ1
4 DQ2
5 DQ3
6 SCLK ()
7 (N/C)
9 Ethernet Reset
10 Ethernet Interrupt
11 USB Over Current
12 Shield Reset
13 (N/C)
14 UART Input
15 UART Output


MIO 501 1.8V Peripherals
17 TXD0
18 TXD1
19 TXD2
20 TXD3
23 RXD0
24 RXD1
25 RXD2


26 RXD3
28 DATA4
29 DIR
30 STP
31 NXT
32 DATA0
33 DATA1
34 DATA2
35 DATA3
36 CLK
37 DATA5
38 DATA6
39 DATA7
41 CMD
42 D0
43 D1
44 D2
45 D3
47 CD
48 (N/C)
49 (N/C)
50 (N/C)
51 (N/C)
52 MDC

Zynq Configuration

Unlike Xilinx FPGA devices, APSoC devices such as the Zynq-7020 are designed around the processor, which acts as a master to the programmable logic fabric and all other on-chip peripherals in the processing system. This causes the Zynq boot process to be more similar to that of a microcontroller than an FPGA. This process involves the processor loading and executing a Zynq  Boot Image, which includes a First Stage Bootloader (FSBL), a bitstream for configuring the programmable logic (optional), and a user application. The boot process is broken into three stages:Stage 0After the Arty Z7 is powered on or the Zynq is reset (in software or by pressing SRST), one of the processors (CPU0) begins executing an internal piece of read-only code called the BootROM. If and only if the Zynq was just powered on, the BootROM will first latch the state of the mode pins into the mode register (the mode pins are attached to JP4 on the Arty Z7). If the  BootROM is being executed due to a reset event, then the mode pins are not latched, and the previous state of the mode register  is used. This means that the Arty Z7 needs a power cycle to register any change in the programming mode jumper (JP4). Next, the BootROM copies an FSBL from the form of non-volatile memory specified by the mode register to the 256 KB of internal RAM () within the APU (called On-Chip Memory, or OCM). The FSBL must be wrapped up in a Zynq Boot Image in order for the BootROM to properly copy it. The last thing BootROM does is hand off execution to the FSBL in OCM.Stage 1During this stage, the FSBL first finishes configuring the PS components, such as the DDR memory controller. Then, if a bitstream is present in the Zynq Boot Image, it is read and used to configure the PL. Finally, the user application is loaded into memory from the Zynq Boot Image, and execution is handed off to it.

Stage 2The last stage is the execution of the user application that was loaded by the FSBL. This can be any sort of program, from a simple “Hello World” design to a Second Stage Boot loader used to boot an operating system like Linux. For a more thorough explanation of the boot process, refer to Chapter 6 of the Zynq Technical Reference manual  ( [PDF]). 

The Zynq Boot Image is created sing Vivado and Xilinx Software Development Kit (Xilinx SDK). For information on creating this image please refer to the available Xilinx documentation for these tools.The Arty Z7 supports three different boot modes: microSD, Quad SPI Flash, and JTAG. The boot mode  is selected using the Mode jumper (JP4), which affects the state of the Zynq configuration pins after power-on. Figure 3.1 depicts how the Zynq configuration pins are connected on the Arty Z7.

(https://reference.digilentinc.com/_detail/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/arty-z7-config.png?d=reference%3Aprogrammable-ogic%3Aartyz7%3Areference-manual)Figure 3.1. Arty Z7 configuration pins.The three boot modes are described in the following sections.

microSD Boot ModeThe Arty Z7 supports booting from a microSD card inserted into connector J9. The following procedure will allow you to boot the Zynq from microSD with a standard Zynq Boot Image created with the Xilinx tools:

  1.  Format the microSD card with a FAT32 file system.
  2.  Copy the Zynq Boot Image created with Xilinx SDK to the microSD card.
  3. Rename the Zynq Boot Image on the microSD card to BOOT.bin.
  4. Eject the microSD card from your computer and insert it into connector J9 on the Arty Z7.
  5.  Attach a power source to the Arty Z7 and select it using JP5.
  6.  Place a single jumper on JP4, shorting the two top pins (labeled “SD”).
  7.  Turn the board on. The board will now boot the image on the microSD card.

Quad SPI Boot Mode

The Arty Z7 has an onboard 16MB Quad-SPI Flash that the Zynq can boot from. Documentation available from Xilinx describes how to use Xilinx SDK to program a Zynq Boot Image into a Flash device attached to the Zynq. Once the Quad SPI  Flash has been loaded with a Zynq Boot Image, the following steps can be followed to boot from it:

  1. Attach a power source to the Arty Z7 and select it using JP5.
  2.  Place a single jumper on JP4, shorting the two center pins (labeled “QSPI”).
  3.  Turn the board on. The board will now boot the image stored in the Quad SPI flash.

JTAG Boot Mode

When placed in JTAG boot mode, the processor will wait until the software is loaded by a host computer using the Xilinx tools. After the software has been loaded, it is possible to either let the software begin executing, or step through it line by line using Xilinx SDK.It is also possible to directly configure the PL over JTAG, independent of the processor. This can be done using the Vivado Hardware Server.The Arty Z7 is configured to boot in Cascaded JTAG mode, which allows the PS to be accessed via the same JTAG port as the PL. It is also possible to boot the Arty Z7 in Independent JTAG mode by loading a jumper in JP2 and shorting it. This will cause the PS to not be accessible from the onboard JTAG circuitry, and only the PL will be visible in the scan chain. To access the PS over JTAG while in independent JTAG mode, users will have to route the signals for the PJTAG peripheral over EMIO,  and use an external device to communicate with it.

Quad SPI Flash

The Arty Z7 features a Quad SPI serial NOR flash. The Spansion S25FL128S is used on this board. The Multi-I/O SPI Flash memory is used to provide non-volatile code and data storage. It can be used to initialize the PS subsystem as well as configure the PL subsystem. The relevant device attributes are:

  • 16 MB ()
  • x1, x2, and x4 support
  • Bus speeds up to 104 MHz (), supporting Zynq configuration rates @ 100 MHz (). In Quad SPI mode, this translates to 400Mbs
  • Powered from 3.3V

The SPI Flash connects to the Zynq-7000 APSoC and supports the Quad SPI interface. This requires connection to specific pins in MIO Bank 0/500, specifically MIO[1:6,8] as outlined in the Zynq datasheet. Quad-SPI feedback mode is used, thus  qspi_sclk_fb_out/MIO[8] is left to freely toggle and is connected only to a 20K pull-up resistor to 3.3V. This allows a Quad SPI  clock frequency greater than FQSPICLK2 (See the Zynq Technical Reference manual

( [PDF]) for more on this).

DDR Memory

The Arty Z7 includes IS43TR16256A-125KBL DDR3 memory components creating a single rank, 16-bit wide interface, and a total of 512MiB of capacity. The DDR3 is connected to the hard memory controller in the Processor Subsystem (PS), as outlined in the Zynq documentation.The PS incorporates an AXI memory port interface, a DDR controller, the associated PHY, and a dedicated I/O bank. DDR3 memory interface speeds up to 533 MHz ()/1066 Mbps are supported¹.Arty Z7 was routed with 40 ohms (+/-10%) trace impedance for single-ended signals, and differential clock and strobes set to 80 ohms (+/-10%). A feature called DCI (Digitally Controlled Impedance) is used to match the drive strength and termination impedance of the PS pins to the trace impedance. On the memory side, each chip calibrates its on-die termination and drive strength using a 240-ohm resistor on the ZQ pin.

Due to layout reasons, the two data byte groups (DQ[0-7], DQ[8-15]) were swapped. To the same effect, the data bits inside byte groups were swapped as well. These changes are transparent to the user.  During the whole design process, the Xilinx PCB guidelines were followed.

Both the memory chips and the PS DDR bank are powered from the 1.5V supply. The mid-point reference of 0.75V is created with a simple resistor divider and is available to the Zynq as an external reference.For proper operation, it is essential that the PS memory controller is configured properly. Settings range from the actual memory flavor to the board trace delays. For your convenience, the Zynq presets file for the Arty Z7 is provided on the resource center (https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/start) and automatically configures the Zynq Processing System IP core with the correct parameters.For best DDR3 performance, DRAM training is enabled for write leveling, read gate, and read data eye options in the PS Configuration Tool in Xilinx tools. Training is done dynamically by the controller to account for board delays, process variations and thermal drift. Optimum starting values for the training process are the board delays (propagation delays) for certain memory signals.Board delays are specified for each of the byte groups. These parameters are board-specific and were calculated from the PCB trace length reports. The DQS to CLK Delay and Board Delay values are calculated specifically to the Arty Z7 memory interface  PCB design.For more details on memory controller operation, refer to the Xilinx Zynq Technical Reference manual ( [PDF]).¹Maximum actual clock frequency is 525 MHz () on the Arty Z7 due to PLL limitation.

USB UART Bridge (Serial Port)

The Arty Z7 includes an FTDI FT2232HQ USB-UART bridge (attached to connector J14) that lets you use PC applications tocommunicate with the board using standard COM port commands (or the TTY interface in Linux). Drivers are automatically installed in Windows and newer versions of Linux. Serial port data is exchanged with the Zynq using a two-wire serial port (TXD/RXD). After the drivers are installed, I/O commands can be used from the PC directed to the COM port to produce serial data traffic on the Zynq pins. The port is tied to PS (MIO) pins and can be used in combination with the UART controller.

The Zynq presets file (available in the Arty Z7 Resource Center (https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/start))takes care of mapping the correct MIO pins to the UART 0 controller and uses the following default protocol parameters: 115200 baud rate, 1 stop bit, no parity, 8-bit character length.

Two on-board status LEDs provide visual feedback on traffic flowing through the port: the transmit LED () (LD11) and the receive LED () (LD10). Signal names that imply direction are from the point-of-view of the DTE (Data Terminal Equipment), in this case the PC.

The FT2232HQ is also used as the controller for the Digilent USB-JTAG circuitry, but the USB-UART and  USB-JTAG functions behave entirely independently of one another. Programmers interested in using the UART functionality of the FT2232 within their design do not need to worry about the JTAG circuitry interfering with the UART data transfers, and vice-versa. The combination of these two features into a single device allows the Arty Z7 to be programmed, communicated with via UART, and powered from a computer attached with a single Micro USB cable.The DTR signal from the UART controller on the FT2232HQ is connected to MIO12 of the Zynq device via JP1. Should the Arduino IDE be ported to work with the Arty Z7, this jumper can be shorted and MIO12 could be used to place the Arty Z7 in a “ready to receive a new sketch” state. This would mimic the behavior of typical Arduino IDE boot-loaders.

microSD Slot

The Arty Z7 provides a MicroSD slot (J9) for non-volatile external memory storage as well as booting the Zynq. The slot is wired to Bank 1/501 MIO[40-47], including Card Detect. On the PS side, peripheral SDIO 0 is mapped out to these pins and controls communication with the SD card. The pinout can be seen in Table 7.1. The peripheral controller supports 1-bit and 4- bit SD transfer modes but does not support SPI mode. Based on the Zynq Technical Reference manual  ( [PDF] ), SDIO host mode is the only mode supported.

Signal Name Description Zynq Pin SD Slot Pin
SD_D0 Data[0] MIO42 7
SD_D1 Data[1] MIO43 8
SD_D2 Data[2] MIO44 1
SD_D3 Data[3] MIO45 2


SD_CCLK Clock MIO40 5
SD_CMD Command MIO41 3
SD_CD Card Detect MIO47 9

Table 7.1. microSD pinoutThe SD slot is powered from 3.3V but is connected through MIO Bank 1/501 (1.8V). Therefore, a TI TXS02612 level shifter performs this translation. The TXS02612 is actually a 2-port SDIO port expander, but only its level shifter function is used. The connection diagram can be seen on Figure 7.1. Mapping out the correct pins and configuring the interface is handled by the Arty  7 Zynq presets file, available on the Arty Z7 Resource Center (https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/start).

(https://reference.digilentinc.com/_detail/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/arty-z7-microsd.png?id=reference%3Aprogrammable-logic%3Aartyz7%3Areference-manual)Figure 7.1. microSD slot signalsBoth low-speed and high-speed cards are supported, the maximum clock frequency being 50 MHz (). A Class 4 card or better isrecommended.Refer to section 3.1 for information on how to boot from an SD card. For more information, consult the Zynq Technical Reference manual ( [PDF]).

USB Host

The Arty Z7 implements one of the two available PS USB OTG interfaces on the Zynq device. A Microchip USB3320 USB 2.0 Transceiver Chip with an 8-bit ALPI interface is used as the PHY. The PHY features a complete HS-USB Physical Front-End supporting speeds of up to 480Mbs. The PHY is connected to MIO Bank 1/501, which is powered at 1.8V. The usb0 peripheral is used on the PS, connected through MIO[28-39]. The USB OTG interface is configured to act as an embedded host. USB  OTG and USB device modes are not supported.The Arty Z7 is technically an “embedded host” because it does not provide the required 150 µF of capacitance on VBUS required to qualify as a general-purpose host. It is possible to modify the Arty Z7 so that it complies with the general-purpose  USB host requirements by loading C41 with a 150 µF capacitor. Only those experienced at soldering small components on PCBs should attempt this rework. Many USB peripheral devices will work just fine without loading C41. Whether the Arty Z7 is configured as an embedded host or a general-purpose host, it can provide 500 mA on the 5V VBUS line. Note that loading C41  may cause the Arty Z7 to reset when booting embedded Linux while powered from the USB port, regardless of if any USB  device is connected to the host port. This is caused by the in-rush current that C41 causes when the USB host controller is enabled and the VBUS power switch (IC9) is turned on.

Note that if your design uses the USB Host port (embedded or general-purpose), then the Arty Z7 should be powered via a battery or wall adapter capable of providing more power (such as the one included in the Arty Z7 accessory kit).

Ethernet PHY

The Arty Z7 uses a Realtek RTL8211E-VL PHY to implement a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port for network connection. The PHY connects to MIO Bank 501 (1.8V) and interfaces to the Zynq-7000 APSoC via RGMII for data and MDIO for management.  The auxiliary interrupt (INTB) and reset (PHYRSTB) signals connect to MIO pins MIO10 and MIO9, respectively.


Figure 9.1. Ethernet PHY signals

After power-up, the PHY starts with Auto-Negotiation enabled, advertising 10/100/1000 link speeds and full-duplex. If there is an Ethernet-capable partner connected, the PHY automatically establishes a link with it, even with the Zynq not configured.

Two status indicator LEDs are on-board near the RJ-45 connector that indicates traffic (LD9) and valid link-state (LD8). Table 9.1 shows the default behavior.

Function Designator State Description
LINK LD8 Steady On Link 10/100/1000
Blinking 0.4s ON, 2s OFF Link, Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) mode
ACT LD9 Blinking Transmitting or Receiving

Table 9.1. Ethernet status LEDs.

The Zynq incorporates two independent Gigabit Ethernet Controllers. They implement a 10/100/1000 half/full-duplex Ethernet MAC. Of these two, GEM 0 can be mapped to the MIO pins where the PHY is connected. Since the MIO bank is powered from 1.8V, the RGMII interface uses 1.8V HSTL Class 1 drivers. For this I/O standard, an external reference of 0.9V is provided in bank 501 (PS_MIO_VREF). Mapping out the correct pins and configuring the interface is handled by the Arty Z7 Zynq Presets file, available on the Arty Z7 Resource Center (https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/start).

Although the default power-up configuration of the PHY might be enough in most applications, the MDIO bus is available for management. The RTL8211E-VL is assigned the 5-bit address 00001 on the MDIO bus. With simple register read and write commands, status information can be read out or configuration changed. The Realtek PHY follows an industry-standard register map for basic configuration.

The RGMII specification calls for the receive (RXC) and transmits clock (TXC) to be delayed relative to the data signals (RXD[0:3], RXCTL and TXD[0:3], TXCTL). Xilinx PCB guidelines also require this delay to be added. The RTL8211E-VL is capable of inserting a 2ns delay on both the TXC and RXC so that board traces do not need to be made longer.

The PHY is clocked from the same 50 MHz () oscillator that clocks the Zynq PS. The parasitic capacitance of the two loads is low enough to be driven from a single source.

On an Ethernet network, each node needs a unique MAC address. To this end, the one-time-programmable (OTP) region of the Quad-SPI flash has been programmed at the factory with a 48-bit globally unique EUI-48/64™ compatible identifier. The OTP address range [0x20;0x25] contains the identifier with the first byte in transmission byte order being at the lowest address. Refer to the Flash memory datasheet (http://www.cypress.com/file/177966/download) for information on how to access the OTP regions. When using Petalinux, this is automatically handled in the U-boot boot-loader, and the Linux system is automatically configured to use this unique MAC address.

For more information on using the Gigabit Ethernet MAC, refer to the Zynq Technical Reference manual( [PDF]).


The Arty Z7 contains two unbuffered HDMI ports: one source port J11 (output), and one sink port J10 (input). Both ports use HDMI type- A receptacles with the data and clock signals terminated and connected directly to the Zynq PL.

Both HDMI and DVI systems use the same TMDS signaling standard, directly supported by Zynq PL’s user I/O infrastructure. Also, HDMI sources are backward compatible with DVI sinks, and vice versa. Thus, simple passive adaptors (available at most electronics stores) can be used to drive a DVI monitor or accept a DVI input. The HDMI receptacle only includes digital signals, so only DVI-D mode is possible.

The 19-pin HDMI connectors include three differential data channels, one differential clock channel five GND () connections, a one-wire Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) bus, a two-wire Display Data Channel (DDC) bus that is essentially an I2C bus, a Hot Plug Detect (HPD) signal, a 5V signal capable of delivering up to 50mA, and one reserved (RES) pin. All non-power signals are wired to the Zynq PL with the exception of RES.

Pin/Signal J11 (source) J10 (sink)
Description FPGA pin Description FPGA pin
D[2]_P, D[2]_N Data output J18, H18 Data input N20, P20
D[1]_P, D[1]_N Data output K19, J19 Data input T20, U20
D[0]_P, D[0]_N Data output K17, K18 Data input V20, W20
CLK_P, CLK_N Clock output L16, L17 Clock input N18, P19
CEC Consumer Electronics Control bidirectional (optional) G15 Consumer Electronics Control bidirectional (optional) H17
SCL, SDA DDC bidirectional (optional) M17, M18 DDC bidirectional U14, U15
HPD/HPA Hot-plug detect input (inverted, optional) R19 Hot-plug assert output T19

Table 10.1. HDMI pin description and assignment.

TMDS Signals

HDMI/DVI is a high-speed digital video stream interface using transition-minimized differential signaling (TMDS). To make proper use of either of the HDMI ports, a standard-compliant transmitter or receiver needs to be implemented in the Zynq PL. The implementation details are outside the scope of this manual. Check out the video-library IP Core repository on the Digilent GitHub (https://github.com/Digilent) for ready-to-use reference IP.

Auxiliary signals

Whenever a sink is ready and wishes to announce its presence, it connects the 5V0 supply pin to the HPD pin. On the Arty Z7, this is done by driving the Hot Plug Assert signal high. Note this should only be done after a DDC channel slave has been implemented in the Zynq PL and is ready to transmit display data.

The Display Data Channel, or DDC, is a collection of protocols that enable communication between the display (sink) and graphics adapter (source). The DDC2B variant is based on I2C, the bus master being the source and the bus slave the sink. When a source detects a high level on the HPD pin, it queries the sink over the DDC bus for video capabilities. It determines whether the sink is DVI or HDMI-capable and what resolutions are supported. Only afterward will video transmission begin. Refer to VESA E-DDC specifications for more information.

The Consumer Electronics Control, or CEC, is an optional protocol that allows control messages to be passed around on an HDMI chain between different products. A common use case is a TV passing control messages originating from a universal remote to a DVR or satellite receiver. It is a one-wire protocol at a 3.3V level connected to a Zynq PL user I/O pin. The wire can be controlled in an open-drain fashion allowing for multiple devices sharing a common CEC wire. Refer to the CEC addendum of HDMI 1.3 or later specifications for more information.

Clock Sources

The Arty Z7 provides a 50 MHz () clock to the Zynq PS_CLK input, which is used to generate the clocks for each of the PS subsystems. The 50 MHz () input allows the processor to operate at a maximum frequency of 650 MHz () and the DDR3 memory controller to operate at a maximum of 525 MHz () (1050 Mbps). The Arty Z7 Zynq Presets file available on the Arty Z7 Resource Center (https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/start) can be imported into the Zynq Processing System  IP core in a Vivado project to properly configure the Zynq to work with the 50 MHz () input clock.

The PS has a dedicated PLL capable of generating up to four reference clocks, each with settable frequencies, that can be used to clock custom logic implemented in the PL. Additionally, the Arty Z7 provides an external 125 MHz () reference clock directly to pin H16 of the PL. The external reference clock allows the PL to be used completely independently of the PS, which can be useful for simple applications that do not require a processor.

The PL of the Zynq also includes MMCM’s and PLL’s that can be used to generate clocks with precise frequencies and phase relationships. Any of the four PS reference clocks or the 125 MHz () external reference clock can be used as an input to the MMCMs and PLLs. The Arty Z7-10 includes 2 MMCM’s and 2 PLL’s, and the Arty Z7-20 includes 4 MMCM’s and 4 PLL’s. For a full description of the capabilities of the Zynq PL clocking resources, refer to the “7 Series FPGAs Clocking Resources User Guide” available from Xilinx.

Figure 11.1 outlines the clocking scheme used on the Arty Z7. Note that the reference clock output from the Ethernet PHY is used as the 125 MHz () reference clock to the PL, in order to cut the cost of including a dedicated oscillator for this purpose. Keep in mind that CLK125 will be disabled when the Ethernet PHY (IC1) is held in hardware reset by driving the PHYRSTB signal low.


Figure 11.1. Arty Z7 clocking. 

Basic I/O

The Arty Z7 board includes two tri-color LEDs, 2 switches, 4 pushbuttons, and 4 individual LEDs as shown in Figure 12.1. The pushbuttons and slide switches are connected to the Zynq PL via series resistors to prevent damage from inadvertent short circuits (a short circuit could occur if an FPGA pin assigned to a push button or slide switch was inadvertently defined as an output). The four pushbuttons are “momentary” switches that normally generate a low output when they are at rest, and a high output only when they are pressed. Slide switches generate constant high or low inputs depending on their position.


Figure 12.1. Arty Z7 GPIO ().

The four individual high-efficiency LEDs are anode-connected to the Zynq PL via 330-ohm resistors, so they will turn on when a logic high voltage is applied to their respective I/O pin. Additional LEDs that are not user-accessible indicate power-on, PL programming status, and USB and Ethernet port status.

Tri-Color LEDs

The Arty Z7 board contains two tri-color LEDs. Each tri-color LED () has three input signals that drive the cathodes of three smaller internal LEDs: one red, one blue, and one green. Driving the signal corresponding to one of these colors high will illuminate the internal LED (). The input signals are driven by the Zynq PL through a transistor, which inverts the signals. Therefore, to light up the tri-color LED (), the corresponding signals need to be driven high. The tri-color LED () will emit a color dependent on the combination of internal LEDs that are currently being illuminated. For example, if the red and blue signals are driven high and green is driven low, the tri-color LED () will emit a purple color.

Digilent strongly recommends the use of pulse-width modulation (PWM) when driving the tri-color LEDs. Driving any of the inputs to a steady logic ‘1’ will result in the LED () being illuminated at an uncomfortably bright level. You can avoid this by ensuring that none of the tri-color signals are driven with more than a 50% duty cycle. Using PWM also greatly expands the potential color palette of the tri-color led. Individually adjusting the duty cycle of each color between 50% and 0% causes the different colors to be illuminated at different intensities, allowing virtually any color to be displayed.

Mono Audio Output

The onboard audio jack (J13) is driven by a Sallen-Key Butterworth Low-pass 4th Order Filter that provides mono audio output. The circuit of the low-pass filter is shown in Figure 14.1. The input of the filter (AUD_PWM) is connected to the Zynq PL pin R18. A digital input will typically be a pulse-width modulated (PWM) or pulse density modulated (PDM) open-drain signal produced by the FPGA. The signal needs to be driven low for logic ‘0’ and left in high-impedance for logic ‘1’. An on-board pull-up resistor to a clean analog 3.3V rail will establish the proper voltage for logic ‘1’. The low-pass filter on the input will act as a reconstruction filter to convert the pulse-width modulated digital signal into an analog voltage on the audio jack output.


Figure 13.1. Audio Output Circuit.

The Audio shut-down signal (AUD_SD) is used to mute the audio output. It is connected to Zynq PL pin T17. To use the audio output, this signal must be driven to logic high.

The frequency response of SK Butterworth Low-Pass Filter is shown in Figure 13.2. The AC analysis of the circuit is done using NI Multisim 12.0.


Figure 13.2. Audio Output Frequency Response.

 Pulse-Width Modulation

A pulse-width-modulated (PWM) signal is a chain of pulses at some fixed frequency, with each pulse potentially having a different width. This digital signal can be passed through a simple low-pass filter that integrates the digital waveform to produce an analog voltage proportional to the average pulse-width over some interval (the interval is determined by the 3dB cut-off frequency of the low-pass filter and the pulse frequency). For example, if the pulses are high for an average of 10% of the available pulse period, then an integrator will produce an analog value that is 10% of the Vdd voltage. Figure 13.1.1 shows a waveform represented as a PWM signal.


Figure 13.1.1. PWM Waveform.

The PWM signal must be integrated to define an analog voltage. The low-pass filter 3dB frequency should be an order of magnitude lower than the PWM frequency so that signal energy at the PWM frequency is filtered from the signal. For example, if an audio signal must contain up to 5 kHz of frequency information, then the PWM frequency should be at least 50 kHz (and preferably even higher). In general, in terms of analog signal fidelity, the higher the PWM frequency, the better. Figure 13.1.2 shows a representation of a PWM integrator producing an output voltage by integrating the pulse train. Note the steady-state filter output signal amplitude ratio to Vdd is the same as the pulse-width duty cycle (duty cycle is defined as pulse-high time divided by pulse-window time).


Figure 13.1.2. PWM Output Voltage.

Reset Sources

Power-on Reset

The Zynq PS supports external power-on reset signals. The power-on reset is the master reset of the entire chip. This signal resets every register in the device capable of being reset. The Arty Z7 drives this signal from the PGOOD signal of the TPS65400 power regulator in order to hold the system in reset until all power supplies are valid.

Program Push Button Switch

A PROG push switch, labeled PROG, toggles Zynq PROG_B. This resets the PL and causes DONE to be de-asserted. The PL will remain unconfigured until it is reprogrammed by the processor or via JTAG.

Processor Subsystem Reset

The external system reset, labeled SRST, resets the Zynq device without disturbing the debug environment. For example, the previous breakpoints set by the user remain valid after the system reset. Due to security concerns, system reset erases all memory content within the PS, including the OCM. The PL is also cleared during a system reset. System reset does not cause the boot mode strapping pins to be re-sampled.

The SRST button also causes the CK_RST signal to toggle in order to trigger a reset on any attached shields.

Pmod Ports

Pmod ports are 2×6, right-angle, 100-mil spaced female connectors that mate with standard 2×6 pin headers. Each 12-pin Pmod port provides two 3.3V VCC () signals (pins 6 and 12), two Ground signals (pins 5 and 11), and eight logic signals, as shown in Figure 15.1. The VCC () and Ground pins can deliver up to 1A of current, but care must be taken not to exceed any of the power budgets of the onboard regulators or the external power supply (see the 3.3V rail current limits listed in the “Power Supplies” section).

(https://reference.digilentinc.com/_detail/reference/programmable-logic/arty-z7/arty-z7-pmod.png?id=reference%3Aprogrammable-logic%3Aartyz7%3Areference-manual)Figure 15.1. Pmod Port Diagram

Digilent produces a large collection of Pmod accessory boards that can attach to the Pmod expansion connectors to add ready-made functions like A/D’s, D/A’s, motor drivers, sensors, and other functions. See www.digilentinc.com (http://www.digilentinc.com) for more information.

Each Pmod port found on Digilent FPGA boards falls into one of four categories: standard, MIO connected, XADC, or high-speed. The Arty Z7 has two Pmod ports, both of which are the high-speed type. The following section describes the high-speed type of Pmod port.

High-Speed Pmods

The High-speed Pmods have their data signals routed as impedance matched differential pairs for maximum switching speeds. They have pads for loading resistors for added protection, but the Arty Z7 ships with these loaded as 0-Ohm shunts. With the series resistors shunted, these Pmods offer no protection against short circuits but allow for much faster switching speeds. The signals are paired to the adjacent signals in the same row: pins 1 and 2, pins 3 and 4, pins 7 and 8, and pins 9 and 10.

Traces are routed 100 ohms (+/- 10%) differential.

If pins on this port are used as single-ended signals, coupled pairs may exhibit crosstalk. In applications where this is a concern, one of the signals should be grounded (drive it low from the FPGA) and use its pair for the signal-ended signal.

Since the High-Speed Pmods have 0-ohm shunts instead of protection resistors, the operator must take precautions to ensure that they do not cause any shorts.

Arduino/chipKIT Shield Connector

The Arty Z7 can be connected to standard Arduino and chipKIT shields to add extended functionality. Special care was taken while designing the Arty Z7 to make sure it is compatible with the majority of Arduino and chipKIT shields on the market. The shield connector has 49 pins connected to the Zynq PL for general-purpose Digital I/O on the Arty Z7-20 and 26 on the Arty Z7-10. Due to the flexibility of FPGAs, it is possible to use these pins for just about anything including digital read/write, SPI connections, UART connections, I2C connections, and PWM. Six of these pins (labeled AN0-AN5) can also be used as single-ended analog inputs with an input range of 0V- 3.3V, and another six (labeled AN6-11) can be used as differential analog inputs.

Note: The Arty Z7 is not compatible with shields that output 5V digital or analog signals. Driving pins on the Arty Z7 shield connector above 5V may cause damage to the Zynq.


Figure 16.1. Shield Pin Diagram.

Pin Name Shield Function Arty Z7 Connection
IO0IO13 General purpose I/O pins See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
IO26IO41, A (IO42) Arty Z7-20 General purpose I/O pins See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
SCL I2C Clock See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
SDA I2C Data See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
SCLK () SPI Clock See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
MOSI () SPI Data out See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
MISO () SPI Data in See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
SS SPI Slave Select See Section titled “Shield Digital I/O”
A0A5 Single-Ended Analog Input See Section titled “Shield Analog I/O”
A6A11 Differential Analog Input See Section titled “Shield Analog I/O”


Pin Name Shield Function Arty Z7 Connection
V_P, V_N Dedicated Differential Analog Input See Section titled “Shield Analog I/O”
XGND XADC Analog Ground Connected to net used to drive the XADC ground reference on the Zynq (VREFN)
XVREF XADC Analog Voltage Reference Connected to 1.25 V, 25mA rail used to drive the XADC voltage reference on the Zynq (VREFP)
 N/C Not Connected Not Connected
IOREF Digital I/O Voltage reference Connected to the Arty Z7 3.3V Power Rail (See the “Power Supplies” section)
RST Reset to Shield Connected to the red “SRST” button and MIO pin 12 of the Zynq. When JP1 is shorted, it is also connected to the DTR signal of the FTDI USB-UART bridge.
3V3 3.3V Power Rail Connected to the Arty Z7 3.3V Power Rail (See the “Power Supplies” section)
5V0 5.0V Power Rail Connected to the Arty Z7 5.0V Power Rail (See the “Power Supplies” section)
GND (), G Ground Connected to the Ground plane of Arty Z7
VIN Power Input Connected in parallel with the external power supply connector (J18).

 Table 16.1. Shield Pin Descriptions.

Shield Digital I/O

The pins connected directly to the Zynq PL can be used as general-purpose inputs or outputs. These pins include the I2C, SPI, and general-purpose I/O pins. There are 200 Ohm series resistors between the FPGA and the digital I/O pins to help provide protection against accidental short circuits (with the exception of the AN5-AN0 signals, which have no series resistors, and the AN6-AN12 signals, which have 100 Ohm series resistors). The absolute maximum and recommended operating voltages for these pins are outlined in the table below.

IO26-IO41 and A (IO42) are not accessible on the Arty Z7-10. Also, AN0-AN5 cannot be used as Digital I/O on the Arty Z7-10. This is due to fewer I/O pins being available on the Zynq-7010 than on the Zynq-7020.

Absolute Minimum Voltage Recommended Minimum Operating Voltage Recommended Maximum Operating Voltage Absolute Maximum Voltage
Powered -0.4 V -0.2 V 3.4 V 3.75 V
Unpowered -0.4 V N/A N/A 0.55 V

Table 16.1.1. Shield Digital Voltages.For more information on the electrical characteristics of the pins connected to the Zynq PL, please see the Zynq-7000 datasheet() from Xilinx.

Shield Analog I/O

The pins labeled A0-A11 and V_P/V_N are used as analog inputs to the XADC module of the Zynq. The Zynq expects that the inputs range from 0-1 V. On the pins labeled A0-A5 we use an external circuit to scale down the input voltage from 3.3V. This circuit is shown in Figure 16.2.1. This circuit allows the XADC module to accurately measure any voltage between 0V and 3.3V (relative to the Arty Z7’s GND ()) that is applied to any of these pins. If you wish to use the pins labeled A0-A5 as Digital inputs or outputs, they are also connected directly to the Zynq PL before the resistor divider circuit (also shown in Figure 16.2.1) on the Arty Z7-20. This additional connection is not made on the Arty Z7-10, which is why these signals can only be used as analog inputs on that variant.


Figure 16.2.1. Single-Ended Analog Inputs.

The pins labeled A6-A11 are connected directly to 3 pairs of analog capable pins on the Zynq PL via an anti-aliasing filter. This circuit is shown in Figure 16.2.2. These pairs of pins can be used as differential analog inputs with a voltage difference between 0-1V. The even numbers are connected to the positive pins of the pair and the odd numbers are connected to the negative pins (so A6 and A7 form an analog input pair with A6 being positive and A7 being negative). Note that though the pads for the capacitor are present, they are not loaded for these pins. Since the analog-capable pins of the FPGA can also be used like normal digital FPGA pins, it is also possible to use these pins for Digital I/O.

The pins labeled V_P and V_N are connected to the VP_0 and VN_0 dedicated analog inputs of the FPGA. This pair of pins can also be used as a differential analog input with a voltage between 0-1V, but they cannot be used as Digital I/O. The capacitor in the circuit shown in Figure 16.2.2 for this pair of pins is loaded on the Arty Z7.


Figure 16.2.2. Differential Analog Inputs.

The XADC core within the Zynq is a dual-channel 12-bit analog-to-digital converter capable of operating at 1 MSPS. Either channel can be driven by any of the analog inputs connected to the shield pins. The XADC core is controlled and accessed from a user design via the Dynamic Reconfiguration Port (DRP). The DRP also provides access to voltage monitors that are present on each of the FPGA’s power rails, and a temperature sensor that is internal to the FPGA. For more information on using the XADC core, refer to the Xilinx document titled “7 Series FPGAs and Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC XADC Dual 12-Bit 1 MSPS Analog-to-Digital Converter”. It is also possible to access the XADC core directly using the PS, via the “PS-XADC” interface. This interface is described in full in chapter 30 of the ZynqTechnical Reference manual ( [PDF]). rm (https://reference.digilentinc.com/tag/rm?do=showtag&tag=rm), doc (https://reference.digilentinc.com/tag/doc?do=showtag&tag=doc), arty-z7(https://reference.digilentinc.com/tag/arty-z7?do=showtag&tag=arty-z7)

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