Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Altera DE4 Development and Education Board

The DE4 Development Board provides the ideal hardware platform for system designs that demand high-performance, serial connectivity, and advanced memory interfacing. Developed specifically to address the rapidly evolving requirements in many end markets for greater bandwidth, improved jitter performance, and lower power consumption. The DE4 is powered by the Stratix® IV GX device and supported by industry-standard peripherals, connectors and interfaces that offer a rich set of features that is suitable for a wide range of compute-intensive applications. The evaluation of transceiver performance for jitter, protocol compliance, and equalization on the DE4, exceeded the Stratix IV GX performance standard with transceivers operating at 10 Gbps on SATA and HSMC interfaces!

The advantages of the Stratix® IV GX FPGA platform with embedded transceivers has allowed the DE4 to fully compliant with version 2.0 of the PCI Express standard in addition to serial ATA (SATA) interfaces making it possible to leverage the integration option for storage applications. The DE4 delivers fully tested and supported connectivity targeted reference design that integrates built-in blocks for PCI Express, SATA transceivers, and Gigabit Ethernet protocol. Situated on the DE4 also includes two DDR2 SO-DIMM socket supporting maximum capacity of 8-Gbyte of volatile memory for user applications which are capable running at 400 MHz clock rate.
The DE4 is supported by multiple targeted reference designs and two High-Speed Mezzanine Card (HSMC) connectors that allow scaling and customization with mezzanine daughter cards. For large-scale ASIC prototype development, it can be established by a cable connecting to multiple DE4/FPGA boards through the HSMC connectors.

FPGA Devices

Stratix IV GX EP4SGX230

  • 228,000 logic elements (LEs)
  • 17,133K total memory Kbits
  • 1,288 18x18-bit multipliers blocks
  • 2 PCI Express hard IP blocks
  • 744 user I/Os
  • 8 phase locked loops (PLLs)

Stratix IV GX EP4SGX530

  • 531,200 logic elements (LEs)
  • 27,376K total memory Kbits
  • 1,024 18x18-bit multipliers blocks
  • 4 PCI Express hard IP Blocks
  • 744 user I/Os
  • 8 phase locked loops (PLLs)

FPGA Configuration

  • JTAG and Fast Passive Parallel (FPP) configuration
  • On-board USB Blaster

Memory Devices

  • 64 MB Flash with a 16-bit data bus

Two DDR2 SO-DIMM Sockets

  • 400 MHz clock rate
  • Maximum theoretical bandwidth of over 102 Gbps
  • Up to 8-Gbyte capacity in total

SD Card Socket

  • Provides SPI and 4-bit SD mode for SD Card access

Buttons, Switches and LEDs

  • 4 push-buttons
  • 4 slide switches
  • 8 LEDs
  • 8-position DIP switch

Two Seven Segments

  • Two independent seven segments

On-Board Clocks

  • 3 Programmable PLLs configured via FPGA
  • o HSMA, HSMB transceiver clock source
  • o SATA reference clock
  • o FPGA LVDS clock input
  • 50MHz/100MHz oscillator

SMA Connectors

  • 2 SMA connector for external transceiver clock input
  • 4 SMA connector for LVDS clock input/output
  • 2 SMA connectors for clock output
  • 1 SMA connector for external clock input

Four Serial ATA Ports

  • Support SATA 3.0 standard 6Gbps signaling rate
  • Two host and two device ports

Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports

  • Integrated 1.25 GHz SERDES

PCI Express x8 Edge Connector

  • Support connection speed of Gen1 at 2.5Gbps/lane to Gen2 at 5.0Gbps/lane
  • Connection established with PC motherboard with x8 or x16 PCI Express slot

Two 172-pins High Speed Mezzanine Card (HSMC)

  • 2 female-HSMC connectors
  • I/O voltage 2.5V
  • Total of 12 high-speed transceivers at 8.5 Gbps
  • Total of 38 LVDS pair at 1.6 Gbps

Two 40-pin Expansion Headers

  • 72 FPGA I/O pins, as well as 4 power and ground lines, are brought out to two 40-pin expansion connectors
  • 40-pin header is designed to accept a standard 40-pin ribbon cable used for IDE hard drives
  • I/O voltage 3.0V

USB Host/Slave Controller

  • Complies fully with Universal Serial Bus Specification Rev. 2.0
  • Support data transfer at high-speed, full-speed, and low-speed
  • Support both USB host and device
  • Three USB ports (one type mini-AB for host/device and two type A for host)
  • Support Programmed I/O (PIO) and Direct Memory Access (DMA)


  • DC input 12V and 3.3V
  • PCI Express edge connector power
  • Support PCI Express external standard power source
  • On-Board power measurement circuitry
Block Diagram

Connect  MTL
  • Connect  MTL with  DE4

Connect D5M
  • Connect D5M with  DE4

Connect LTM
  • Connect LTM with  DE4

Connect DVI-HSMC
  • Connect DVI-HSMC with  DE4 Note. Two adapters (THCB-HMF2) required to connect DVI-HSMC with DE4. They are bundled in DE4 kit.

Connect SFP-HSMC
  • Connect SFP-HSMC with  DE4

Connect SDI-HSMC
  • Connect SDI-HSMC with  DE4

Connect ADA-HSMC
  • Connect ADA-HSMC with  DE4 
    Note. One adapters (THCB-HMF2) required to connect ADA-HSMC with DE4. They are bundled in DE4 kit.

Connect DCC-HSMC
  • Connect DCC-HSMC with  DE4 
    Note. Two adapters (THCB-HMF2) required to connect DCC-HSMC with DE4. They are bundled in DE4 kit.

Connect HTG
  • Connect HTG with  DE4
    Note. One adapters (THCB-HMF2) required to connect HTG with DE4. They are bundled in DE4 kit.   

 Connect   COMM

  • Connect  COMM with  DE4
    Note. One adapters (THCB-HMF2) required to connect COMM-HSMC with DE4. They are bundled in DE4 kit.    

Connect MSV
  • Connect  MSV with  DE4
    Note. One adapters (THCB-HMF2) required to connect MSV-HSMC with DE4. They are bundled in DE4 kit.  

Board Size:142.46*278.64 mm

The DE4 package includes:

  • DE4 Development Board
  • Power supply (250Watt)
  • Altera Complete Design Suite DVD
  • DE4 Developmet Kit CD-ROM
  • AC power cord ( North American Plug type B)
  • Fan (installed)
  • USB CAble type A-B
  • HSMC debug board
  • USB to SDCard adapter
  • 2G SD Card
  • screw and copper plier package
  • PCie bracket
  • HSMC loopback adapter X2
  • DDR2-800 1GB SO-DIMM module
  • THCB-HMF2 (HSMC High Extension Male to Female card) X2
  • DE4 Power Cable
  • PCie Power Cable
  • Ethernet CAT5E cable
  • SATA cable X2
  • DE4 Quick start guide