Saturday, March 2, 2024

AXE5-Eagle Development Board for Agilex-5

By Shivangi Kharoo

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This is the first board for the soon-to-be released Intel Agilex-5 SoC FPGA.

Arrow Electronics has launched a development board, AXE5 Eagle, for Intel’s Agilex 5 system-on-chip (SoC) Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), marking the first in a series of such boards. Arrow is also considering developing two additional boards for smaller Agilex 5 FPGAs, the AXE5-Falcon, an entry-level AXE5 board to replace its current Cyclone 10 and Max FPGA development boards.

Intel’s Agilex 5 SoC FPGAs represent the first mid-range devices in the Agilex family, known for power efficiency and smaller size compared to the high-end Agilex 7 series. Intel aims to replace its older FPGA families with Agilex devices, covering various market segments from high-end to cost-effective solutions.

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The board is currently undergoing validation, with tools, software, and reference designs in development. It will primarily use Intel’s Quartus Prime Pro software suite, which Intel is offering for free for Agilex 5 development. The board features various interfaces and memory types, including PCIe Gen4, SFP+ cages, RJ45 ports, universal serial bus (USB) ports, a high definition mult-media interface (HDMI) port, FMC+ connector, and CRUVI ports.

The configuration and software transfer for the board’s Arm-based Hard Processor System (HPS) is facilitated by the Arrow USB Programmer2, which comes included with the AXE5-Eagle board and connects through a JTAG port. To assist design teams in utilizing this board effectively, Arrow plans to conduct workshops covering topics like Secure Device Manager, designing with the RISC-V Nios Processor Core, and transitioning from Intel Quartus Prime Standard to Pro.

The development board, priced at around $995, features an  Agilex 5 E-series SoC FPGA with 656K logic elements (LEs). Production boards with 334K LEs are expected by mid-2024. This development comes as Intel plans to spin off its Programmable Solutions Group (Intel PSG) as an independent company, potentially reviving the “Altera” name, to focus on competing in the FPGA market more effectively.

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