How Zynq UltraScale+ Devices Offer a Single Chip Solution

Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC, the next generation Zynq device, is designed with the idea of using the right engine for the right task. The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC comes with a versatile processing system (PS) integrated with a highly flexible and high-performance programmable logic (PL) section, all on a single system-on-a-chip (SoC). The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC PS block includes engines such as the following:

  • Quad-core Arm® Cortex™-A53-based Application Processing Unit (APU)

  • Dual-core Arm Cortex-R5F-based Real-Time Processing Unit (RPU)

  • Arm Mali™-400 MP2 based Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

  • Dedicated Platform Management Unit (PMU) and Configuration Security Unit (CSU)

  • List of high-speed peripherals, including display port and SATA


The Cortex-R5F processor is a Cortex-R5 processor that includes the optional Floating Point Unit (FPU) extension.

The programmable logic section, in addition to the programmable logic cells, also comes integrated with a few high-performance peripherals, including the following:

  • Integrated block for PCI Express®

  • Integrated block for Interlaken

  • Integrated block for 100G Ethernet

  • System monitor

  • Video codec unit

The PS and the PL in Zynq UltraScale+ devices can be tightly or loosely coupled with a variety of high-performance and high-bandwidth PS-PL interfaces.

To simplify the design process for such sophisticated devices, Xilinx offers the Vivado® Design Suite, the Vitis™ unified software platform, and PetaLinux tools for Linux. This set of tools provides you with everything you need to simplify embedded system design for a device that merges an SoC with an FPGA. This combination of tools enables hardware and software application design, code execution and debug, and transfer of the design onto actual boards for verification and validation.

Vitis Integrated Design Environment

The Vitis unified software platform is an integrated development environment (IDE) for the development of embedded software applications targeted towards Xilinx embedded processors. The Vitis software platform works with hardware designs created with the Vivado Design Suite. The Vitis software platform is based on the Eclipse open source standard. Xilinx has added many features for software developers, including the following features:

  • Feature-rich C/C++ code editor and compilation environment

  • Project management

  • Application build configuration and automatic Makefile generation

  • Error navigation

  • Integrated environment for seamless debugging and profiling of embedded targets.

  • Source code version control

  • System-level performance analysis

  • Focused special tools to configure FPGAs

  • Bootable image creation

  • Flash programming

  • Script-based command-line tool (XSCT)

For more information about the Vitis unified software platform, see Vitis Unified Software Platform Documentation: Embedded Software Development (UG1400).

Other components include:

  • Drivers and libraries for embedded software development

  • Linaro GCC toolchain for C/C++ software development targeting the Arm Cortex-A53 and Arm Cortex-R5F MPCore processors in the Zynq UltraScale+ processing system.

Vivado Design Suite

The Vivado Design Suite offers a broad range of development system tools for FPGA implementation. It can be installed as a standalone tool when software programming is not required. It is also a part of the Vitis IDE installation. Various Vivado Design Suite editions can be used for embedded system development. In this guide, the System Edition installed with the Vitis IDE is used.

PetaLinux Tools

The PetaLinux toolset is an embedded Linux system development kit. It offers a multi-faceted Linux tool flow, which enables complete configuration, build, and deploy environment for Linux OS for the Xilinx Zynq devices, including Zynq UltraScale+ devices.

For more information, see the PetaLinux Tools Documentation: Reference Guide (UG1144).

How the Xilinx Design Tools Expedite the Design

You can use the Vivado Design Suite tools to add design sources to your hardware. These include the IP integrator, which simplifies the process of adding IP to your existing project and creating connections for ports (such as clock and reset).

You can accomplish all your hardware system development using the Vivado tools along with the IP integrator. This includes specifying the Zynq UltraScale+ processing system, peripherals, and the interconnection of these components, along with their respective detailed configuration. The Vitis IDE can be used for software development, hardware acceleration, and platform development. It can also be used to debug software applications.

The Zynq UltraScale+ PS can be booted and run without programming the PL. However, to use any soft IP in the fabric, or to bond out PS peripherals using EMIO, you must program the PL using the Vitis IDE or the Vivado hardware manager.

For more information on the embedded design process, refer to the Vivado Design Suite Tutorial: Embedded Processor Hardware Design (UG940).

For more information about the Zynq UltraScale+ processing system, refer to the Zynq UltraScale + MPSoC Processing System LogiCORE IP Product Guide (PG201).

In the next chapter, we will get started.