Alveo Debug Guide

Power Delivery

This page will help guide you through steps to enure that your Alveo™ card can work in a system under load.

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Testing the power delivery to one or more Alveo cards

Xilinx has two test tools, xbutil validate and xbtest.

  • The xbutil validate is an XRT utility that does basic checks to determine the card is installed and operating correctly. It does not test the power envelope. See Card Validation for additional details.

  • The xbtest provides extra card testing via different a host application and additional test kernels. This application will load up the FPGA to test on card memory, host/card power delivery, and cooling. This test can help determine if the system is stable while the card is running accleration tasks. See the xbtest solutions page for details.

You Will Need

Before starting to test the card, gather data

  1. Check system compatibility

  2. Based on your cards and OS download the correct version of xbtest from xbtest solutions page.

  3. Run xbutil validate and review the output to confirm the card is operating normally.

  4. Confirm card(s) are compatible with the host machine

Common Cases

A U200, U250, or U280 has less than 225W power

The U200, U250, and U280 cards require 225W power to run Vitis™ acceleration loads and xbtest. If Max power level: is < 225W the server will not provide the power needed for the test.

You can confirm the maximum power level by using xbmgmt flash --scan --verbose as given below. In this example, the card has insufficient power.

sudo /opt/xilinx/xrt/bin/xbmgmt flash --scan --verbose
Card [0000:03:00.0]
    Card type:          u250
    Flash type:         SPI
    Flashable partition running on FPGA:
    Max power level:            150W

What to look for:

  • Look for the value reported by Max power level:

  • Should be 225W for U200, U250, and U280 cards being used in Vitis flows

Next steps:

Card is in a suitable machine

Alveo cards have two different cooling solutions

  • Actively cooled - the card has a fan intended to cool the card in a workstation

  • Passively cooled - the card depends on host chassis airflow for cooling.

Passivley cooled cards should only be placed in a server with sufficient airflow.

~> sudo /opt/xilinx/xrt/bin/xbmgmt flash --scan --verbose
Card [0000:03:00.0]
    Card type:          u250
    Flash type:         SPI
    Flashable partition running on FPGA:
    Flashable partitions installed in system:
    Fan presence:        P

What to look for:

  • Look for the value reported by Fan presence:


  • Fan presence: A means the card has a fan and is suitable for use in a workstation

  • Fan presence: P means the card depends on server fans for cooling

Next steps:

  • For active cards go to xbtest for testing power below

  • For passive cards confirm the following:

    • Server airflow meets card rquirements

      • You can damage the card if there is not enough airflow

    • Lid will be on the server for testing

    • Go to xbtest for testing power

Shell not listed in xbtest downloads below

See xbtest solutions page for supported plaforms. To run xbtest, ensure the platform running on the card and system is supported.

If the platform is not supported you need to update the system and card with a supported platform.

Next steps:

Card or system crashes during test

If the card overheats or uses more power that the system provides the test application, card, or system could crash.

Next Steps:

xbtest xclbin fails to load

The xbtest tests consist of a known good application and a set of known good accelerators, in xclbin format, that run on the card. If the accelerator fails to load, the test will fail with an error

  • Gen_029 message indicating the xclbin is not compatible with the platform on the card

The message can be seen in the example below:

~]$ xbtest -c power -d 0
INFO     : GENERAL      : GEN_016: Scanning xbtest libraries...
FAILURE  : GENERAL      : GEN_029: Could not find an xclbin compatible with target device at device index 0,
identified by interface_uuid = 4cda0ba9ab64b59c535adadf2e0b1930


  • There is a xbtest/platform mismatch

Next Steps:

  • Confirm the you are testing the right card and platform

  • Re-install the development platform for the card from the Alveo landing page


xbtest for Testing Power

The xbtest stress test syntax changes from release to release. A version 4 cheat sheet follows:

  • Install xbtest following the directions in 1361

  • source /opt/xilinx/xrt/setup.(c)sh

  • source /opt/xilinx/xbtest/setup.(c)sh

  • Use xbutil list to determine the card device ID for the card

  • Run the predefined stress test with- xbtest -c stress -d (device ID)
    Note: xbtest version 4 still uses device ID syntax (for example:-d 3). It does not accept card BDF syntax (for example:-d a3:00.0)

  • The test will ramp up the toggle rate, increasing power. As the test runs xbtest will report card temperature and power

STATUS   : POWER        : PWR_045:       94 sec. remaining; 76C; Power: raw 47.5W; Toggle Rate: 40.0%
STATUS   : POWER        : PWR_045:       93 sec. remaining; 76C; Power: raw 47.5W; Toggle Rate: 40.0%
  • Monitor power and temperature

  • Interrupt the test with CTRL+C if card temperature goes over 95C or if the temperature suddenly falls.

  • At the end there will be a test pass or fail.

    • A test pass shows card is good for acceleration loads.

    • A failure indicates there may be an issue, follow normal escalation procedures.

  • For more details download and review the User Guide from the xbtest solutions page.

Xilinx Support

For additional support resources such as Answers, Documentation, Downloads, and Alerts, see the Xilinx Support pages. For additional assistance, post your question on the Xilinx Community Forums – Alveo Accelerator Card.

Have a suggestion, or found an issue please send an email to .


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