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IBOB v1.3

The IBOB (Interconnect Break-out Board") is an FPGA-based processing board for DSP. It features two Z-DOK connectors, to which a variety of I/O boards can be attached (including dual 1GSa/sec ADC, quad 250MSa/sec ADC and DAC). The IBOB has a Xilinx Virtex-II Pro 2VP50 FPGA, and is used in radio astronomy applications primarily for digitizing data, performing downconversion, filtering and FFT operations, and outputting this data over XAUI/10GbE, enabled by two CX4 connectors on the board. It can be used to provide a high-speed interface to BEE2 boards.



The BEE2 platform provides a significant amount of processing power with its 5 FPGAs. However, for its primary off-board communication it relies on high-speed serial links via its CX4 connectors. The IBOB was designed as the way to take data from a daughter board and pack it onto the InfiniBand or 10Gbit Ethernet protocols for interface with BEE2s. Though originally intended to be only a break-out board, it is very capable as a pre-processing board, or as a standalone platform. It has been used to interface to ADC boards to bring in digitized data for processing, output digital data to DAC boards, as well as ASIC test setups as an integrated stimulus source and data capture platform.

The successes of the IBOB platform have led to the development of a next-generation board based on the Virtex-5 FPGA, the ROACH board.


IBOBs are outfitted with Xilinx Virtex-II Pro 2VP50 FPGAs. The 2VP50 has 53,136 logic cells, 232 18-kbit BlockRAMs, 232 18x18 multipliers, and 2 PowerPC processors.

The IBOB's primary interfaces are its 2 Tyco Z-DOK+ host adapters and its 2 CX4 connectors. Each Z-DOK connector provides provides 40 differential pairs plus 4 voltages and ground, as well as a mechanically robust mating for connecting daughter boards. The connector itself is rated in excess of 6Gbps, though the FPGA I/O limits data rates to about 500Mbps, providing up to 20Gbps of I/O bandwidth per Z-DOK connector. On the other side, the FPGA's MGT high-speed transceivers are wired to the 2 InfiniBand- and 10GbE-compatible CX4 connectors, each providing up to 10Gbps full-duplex bandwidth.


  • Interfaces
    • 2x Tyco Z-DOK+ 40 differential pair connectors
    • 1x MDR 40 differential pair connector
    • 2x CX4 10Gbps high-speed serial connectors
    • 1x 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet interface (Rev 1 and later)
    • 1x RS232 interface
    • 80x GPIO headers with selectable IO voltage
    • 2x SMA IO
  • Peripherals
    • 2x 512k x 36-bit SRAMs


  • v1.0 Deprecated
    • Deprecated prototype version; easily recognizable by matte green PCB.
  • v1.1 Deprecated
    • Added Ethernet PHY and RJ45 connector
    • Replaced LEDs 1-8 with double-height stacked LEDs
  • v1.2
    • Added dedicated 1.5V power plane
    • Replaced 1.5V DC/DC regulator from PT5400 (6A) to PTH05010 (15A)
    • Increased trace widths for FPGA bypass capacitors
    • Increased pad sizes on SOT23 components
  • v1.3
    • Added fiducials to Ethernet PHY chip
    • Separated routing on SMA1 and SMA2 from differential to single-ended

Usage Manuals, Guides, Memos, etc.

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