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Cmod A7: Breadboardable Artix-7 FPGA Module

$75.00
(12 reviews) Write a Review
SKU:
410-328

The Cmod, or Carrier Module, family of products is designed to offer quick, simple, and flexible integration of an FPGA into circuit design, prototyping, and learning/hobby projects.

The Digilent Cmod A7 is a small, 48-pin DIP form factor board built around a Xilinx® Artix®-7 FPGA that brings FPGA power and prototyping to a solderless breadboard.

The board includes a Quad-SPI flash for programming, as well as a USB-JTAG programming circuit and USB-UART bridge. The Cmod A7 also features a clock source, Pmod port, and onboard I/O with LEDs and pushbuttons. There are 44 FPGA I/O signals that are routed to 100-mil-spaced through-hole pins, making the Cmod A7 compatible with solderless breadboards. This form factor makes the Cmod A7 a great option for flexible and affordable prototyping, or learning FPGA and digital logic circuits. At just .7" by 2.75", it can also be loaded in a standard socket and used in embedded systems.

The Artix®-7 FPGA on the Cmod A7 provides the highest performance-per-watt fabric, transceiver line rates, DSP processing, and AMS integration for a cost-optimized FPGA. With the MicroBlaze Soft Processor Core from Xilinx, you can create embedded applications with a variety of peripherals, memory, and interfaces.

If your design does not require the transceiver lines or higher-performance of the Artix®-7 FPGA, we recommend the more affordable Cmod S7, featuring a Spartan®-7 FPGA.

Guides and demos are available to help users get started quickly with the Cmod A7. These can be found through the Support Materials tab.

  • System Features
    • 512KB SRAM with an 8-bit bus and 8ns access times
    • 4MB Quad-SPI Flash
    • USB-JTAG Programming Circuitry
    • Powered from USB or external 3.3-5.5V supply connected to DIP pins
  • System Connectivity
    • USB-UART bridge
  • Interaction and Sensory Devices
    • 2 LEDs
    • 1 RGB LED
    • 2 Push Buttons
  • Expansion Connectors
    • 48-pin DIP connector with 44 Digital I/O and 2 Analog inputs (0-3.3V)
    • One Pmod connector with 8 Digital I/O
  • Cmod A7 Module
  • Custom Digilent cardboard box with protective foam

The Cmod A7 can be programmed with Digilent's Adept software. Digilent Adept is a unique and powerful solution which allows you to communicate with Digilent system boards and a wide assortment of logic devices. Find out more about Adept here.

To create and modify designs for your Cmod A7, you can use Xilinx's Vivado Design Suite. Vivado is a software designed for the synthesis and analysis of HDL designs. Both variants of the Cmod A7 are supported by the free WebPACK edition of the Vivado Design Suite.

If you are using the MicroBlaze Soft Processor Core from Xilinx, you can make use of the Vitis Core Development Kit or Xilinx Software Development Kit to create embedded applications for your Cmod A7.

Quickly find what you need to get started and reduce mean time to blink.

All product support including documentation, projects, and the Digilent Forum can be accessed through the product resource center.

Resource Center

Quick Links

Reference Manual
Schematic

12 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Cmod A7-35T

    Posted by Unknown on 1st Jun 2021

    Worked exactly as expected for a project.

  • 5
    Much improved USB connectivity

    Posted by David Fergenson on 19th Feb 2020

    I had previously reviewed this product and pointed out that it was not a good module for a beginner but that it was good for an experienced FPGA developer who did not want to have to design an FPGA directly onto a PCB. However, there was a nagging issue with the modules that is no longer true: they now connect flawlessly over USB. They had been picky about cables and took some work to stabilize for programming but they now connect on the first try and are stable.

  • 1
    Documentation sucks

    Posted by William D. Richard, Ph.D. on 22nd Jan 2020

    The schematic available for the part doesn't have all of the parts documented in the manual shown. Pretty sloppy. I expect better from DIgilent. I am really disappointed. --Response from Digilent-- Hello, The programming circuit in the schematic is considered proprietary. For additional information, you can contact us at support.digilent@ni.com

  • 5
    Exactly what I wanted

    Posted by Tony Peguero on 15th Aug 2019

    This my first FPGA, and it is exactly what I wanted. I considered the larger boards with more built-in bells and whistles, but I decided that the breadboard friendly form factor was a better fit for me; on-board peripherals are great, until you want to use those IO pins for something else. Very quick service, even with international delivery. Very happy.

  • 4
    Great for the Experienced; Bad Place to Start

    Posted by dfergenson on 5th Apr 2019

    FPGA-wise, the board is highly capable. For many users, the A7-15 or -35 chips will have plenty of fabric. There are 44 digital I/O pins and 2 analog inputs. There's a Pmod on top, too. With the I/O and onboard flash memory, you will be able to store a fairly complex program and drive a significant number of peripherals from it. But the idiosyncrasies and limitations of the board make it a bad place to start if this is your first design. If you are just starting out in FPGA design, I'd recommend the Basys3. It's worth the extra money. One idiosyncrasy is that the USB connection is far more noise-sensitive than other FPGA PCBs by Digilent. There are forum discussions about this with workarounds so check them out before you buy. Another idiosyncrasy has to do with USB bus powering vs. pin powering. If you are ordering this to embed in a PCB, make sure that you can switch between the two different types of power--harder than it sounds given the noise-sensitivity of the USB port--or else do not connect the PCB pins if you intend to always have it bus-connected. This issue is a feature, not a bug, but make sure to read about it in the manual. As far as PCB-mounting the board goes, there is a forum discussion about the socket mount that can be used to socket the board onto a PCB. And because it's an FPGA, the pins drive 3.3V (and read 3.3V) so make sure that you engineer protection and level shifting if you intend to use them with 5V components elsewhere on the PCB. Normal Pmod protection is not on the board itself--you'll need to follow the schematics and read the Pmod specification to do so correctly. Finally, because of the small size of the board there just aren't the switches, indicator lights and buttons that other Digilent PCBs have. There are a few but not enough to really indicate internal operations with any level of complexity. There's no display port (though you can connect one to the Pmod port). So you will need to either prototype your design on another board or become very conversant with on-chip debugging tools such as Xilinx's Integrated Logic Analyzer IP or the simulation tool in Vivado.

  • 5
    FPGA Power in a 40 pin DIP!

    Posted by Richard V on 11th Mar 2019

    I've used this before. It's a really low cost FPGA with an easy to use DIP pinout. The are more powerful FPGAs, but this one was low cost, has a high pin count for most small projects and is very low cost. The Vivado tool to program it is free (use the web version).

  • 5
    ARTY A7 vs CMOD A7 BreadBoardable

    Posted by DigitalConfig on 19th Mar 2018

    I purchased the ARTY not the CMOD version to get started knowing you had a CMOD version I thought I might buy several of the CMOD version later. Now I'm waiting upon the A7-100 I plan on buying it, thou ID Prefer a CMOD version of it. ONLY 10 less thou does not make it economically feasible, perhaps you should consider eliminating PMOD, LEDs, Buttons, and External SRAM for the next A7-100 CMOD version to increase the demand. I know if it were dollar sense between ARTY and CMOD Id buy many of them.

  • 5
    Ideal project platform with easy start-up

    Posted by William Orosz on 26th Feb 2018

    I really like the breadboard friendly form factor. By offering the essentials in a compact size, it is extremely easy to prototype with, uncrowded by demonstration peripherals found on larger dev kits. Also, coming from a background developing on a different toolchain, I was amazed by the volume and quality of support resources. The documentation took me from never having used Vivado to implementing 5 designs, including a microblaze with pmod support, in under 2 hours.

  • 5
    Excellent device for my hobby toolbox.

    Posted by Marty on 13th Feb 2018

    I checked out this device using some of my homegrown Verilog code. It meets all my expectations and then some. I love the form factor. I stuffed it into one of my breadboards, and it'll probably stay there for my various projects. I'm already ready to buy another one as soon as I've got some loose change.