So, you’ve used an ultra-low cost baseboard to try out your SmartFusion FPGA/SOM…….do want to try something rather more special instead? Introducing NetFusion, you might like the fact it can deploy into an industrial location as is? or maybe you want to choose this as your first test board…
With M2S-050 FPGA NetFusion, enjoy FREE Libero, FREE uCLinux Firmware/OS, FREE IP Cores, FREE support.
Introducing NetFusion, an industrially deployed, all-in-one development product that is 1G Ethernet based, using Microsemi’s new FPGA to create designs to allow a wealth of legacy comms and infrastructure to connect with high-speed Ethernet and USB. With an ARM-Cortex CPU, 166MHz and 64Mb RAM, it forms an extremely cost effective embedded system that integrates IP cores, Linux application software and a hardened environmentally approved design that can assist with R&D, then deploy to your customer base.
The baseboard forms several different product usages. Simplistically, it is an interface product for Emcraft’s M2S050-SOM-F484 series SmartFusion 2 FPGA sub-system to allow real-world connectivity in a deployed light/heavy industrial environment. It incorporates not only many different legacy connectors and interfaces but also compact high speed connectivity such as 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Fiber transceivers, USB and GPIO. Its versatility enables it to be an ideal platform as a conduit for the highly reputable and endurable M2S-SOM-484 family of SmartFusion2 FPGA system-on-module to interact in many given environments and deployable scenarios. On their own, the SOM FPGA units have no housing or any means to survive alone and must be hosted on a customized baseboard to allow the devices to perform the tasks that developers’ desire. NetFusion short cuts the development process in achieving a customized baseboard as much as possible with exceptions only when extremely bespoke design requirements are needed.
The product can be used either in the format of an IP core Ethernet SWITCH development kit (as most of the hardware orientates network communications – hence the name NetFusion), or as an M2S-SOM SmartFusion2 trial and evaluation baseboard (more extensive interfaces than the more basic competitors), or finally as a fully ready-to-deploy industrial product solution to a user’s needs having developed customized software and IP core designs to tailor to intended product functionality.
Nine Ways R&D are the design house and support center for the NetFusion product. The boards Intellectual Property is owned and maintained by us. We are part of a family of companies including MorethanIP GmbH who themselves create ideal and suitable extensive IP cores particularly in the area of high-end Ethernet communications.The NetFusion PCB is an interface product for Emcraft’s SmartFusion®2 series FPGA to allow real-world connectivity in a deployed light/heavy industrial environment in any situation. It incorporates many different legacy connectors and interfaces and most important compact high speed connectivity such as 10/100/1000M Ethernet, USB and GPIO. It is delivered with the SmartFusion®2 SOM-F484, a sophisticated FPGA together with a powerful ARM microcontroller in a mezzanine module based on the SoC FPGA from Microsemi Corporation. It combines a 166 MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor core with integrated hard-IP I/O peripherals and a flash-based FPGA fabric in a single chip, featuring 64 MB LPDDR, 16 MB SPI Flash and a 10/100 Ethernet. All essential voltage level generation are contained on the SOM plug-in to the NetFusion. All the connections from the SOM to the NetFusion baseboard go through durable connectors and allow for inter-changeability if needed or required by the user. The usage of a SOM on the baseboard reduces the risk of writing-off the value of the sub-system when interfacing to the real-world, damage occurs or installation faults.
The board utilizes A2F uCLinux as standard, Nine Ways has developed UIO user space device drivers beyond it to access and control all PCB hardware. All are fully available as open source in NetFusion software bundle.
Microsemi designed and manufactured the SmartFusion2 FPGA. Libero is the IDE software for programming and synthesizing IP cores. Along with the bundle of uClinux firmware compilation tools, this is the heart of the NetFusion design process for Users.
The product can be used either in the format of an IP core Ethernet SWITCH development kit, or as an M2S-SOM SmartFusion®2 trial and evaluation baseboard, or finally as a fully ready-to-deploy industrial product solution to a customer’s needs having developed customized software. With uClinux software environment embedded, application designers can easily develop application programs with SQLite (MySQL-uClinux) that provides easy database management. For instance, it is ideal for collating IP cameras, old legacy equipment using RS232,/RS485 or contact relays into an Ethernet topology at an industrial site, building or remote location.
Moreover, with a collection of modern communication interfaces, the seemingly huge number of variations of product usage allows this to be a truly powerful, efficient, interactive and versatile embedded tool to add to your portfolio.
All of the documentation relating to the NetFusion family of products can be downloaded here including related information for the SOM and Microsemi.
Functional Block Diagram (CAT5 Version)
Functional Block Diagram (SFP Version)
Functional Block Diagram (EXP Version)
SmartFusion2 M2S-SOM-F484 Block Schemtatic
All of the hardware material to the NetFusion family of products can be downloaded here including related information for the SOM
DAUGHTER CARD NETFUSION-EXP
The default available daughter cards are designed by Nine Ways Research & Development Ltd as promote the NetFusion-EXP variant of baseboard. Other designs can be implemented upon request and these will be added to this list. However, customers designing their own daughter card boards will not be required to be shown here.
Special Note: This default expansion board comes FREE with each and every NetFusion-EXP baseboard. If you do not wish to receive this as you may be supplying your own in-house designed board, then ask for at $50 discount.
All of the software bundles and IP core packages relating to the NetFusion family of products can be downloaded here including other related information
SPECIAL 1Gb/s FAST ETHERNET DEV-KITS
The NetFusion Ethernet SWITCH Development-Kit is an added layer of deliverable package to the customer. Whereas the ordinary NetFusion product delivery is a packaged baseboard PCB, whether it is for evaluation, test or full industrial deployment and mass-production purposes, the Development-Kit bundles a whole item list of additional equipment.Tailored for the Research & Development process, if you choose to order and use the Development-Kit, you will be provided and equipped with cabling, USB cables, LCD screen, desk pillar support, Ethernet CAT6e (and fiber patch leads if SFP variant) patch cables, audio phone stereo patch cables, RS232 modem cable and an L.T.E 19V 120W desk mains brick. These are all additional items over the standard NetFusion PCB deliverable that you will receive as part of the Development-Kit package.Most importantly, the Development-Kit is pre-programmed with a special bundle of IP cores in the SmartFusion2 M2S050-SOM-F484 FPGA fabric. Unlike the standard baseboard package which includes a basic fabric design that is based on the freely available and downloadable Libero NetFusion project, this Development-Kit is shipped with an Ethernet SWITCH core with MACs ready-to-run.Depending on the order code you place and also the variant of SFP/CAT5, you will either have a 3-Port SWITCH with integrated MACs whereby one port is internal to the ARM micro-processor sub-system via an AMBA AXI DMA Controller and two external ports leaving one spare on the NetFusion PCB not used. Or, you will have a 5-Port Industrial SWITCH with integrated MACs where four ports are external to the quad RJ45 connectors and the 5th is an internal pipe as MII via the internal ARM MSS MAC core.
NetFusion Development Kit Contents
NetFusion Development Kit Variants
Important Note: in the 3-Port SWITCH variant (left) not shown is the MSS MAC that connects directly to the 10/100 PHY on the NetFusion hardware which offers an entirely independent route not influencing the DMA SWITCH gateway as shown.
5-Port Industrial Black Box SWITCH via MII
Order Code: NINEWAYS-NETFUSION-CAT5-INDSWITCH
From out-of-the-box, once powered and running the pre-programmed on-board FPGA will host an industry standard MorethanIP 5-Port Ethernet Layer-2 SWITCH. This includes integrated MACs for three external GMII pathways through the PCB Marvell QuadPHY to the 10/100/1000 copper magnetic circuits and RJ45 connectors. The SWITCH IP core additionally has one external MII 10/100 MAC for the 4th HALO RJ45 10/10 gateway. This 5th channel of the SWITCH IP core is required to route as an internal MII bus via the MSS MAC to the embedded FGPA ARM processor sub-system.
The lack of DMA link to/from the LPDDR SDRAM memory and instead using the MII internal MSS MAC in the SmartFusion2 means that the uCLinux in the ARM processor has send/receive Ethernet frames with a greater CPU overhead. Nevertheless, the software applications running on uCLinux in the FGPA that the user develops can access the Ethernet switched traffic of the SWITCH in the same device including the 4th RJ45 SOM 10/100 pathway leads directly to the Smartfusion2 FPGA.
The advantage of this solution however, is a more self-contained black-box SWITCH that needs no software configuration or enabling to operate. Therefore, the software that is bundled with this version of Development Kit although is still the same package, the DMA and other drivers are not enabled or instantiated.
3-Port SWITCH with AMBA DMA
Order Code: NINEWAYS-NETFUSION-CAT5-3PSWITCHDMA
From out-of-the-box, once powered and running the pre-programmed on-board FPGA will host an industry standard MorethanIP 3-Port Ethernet Layer-2 SWITCH. This includes integrated MACs for two external GMII pathways through the PCB Marvell QuadPHY to the 10/100/1000 copper magnetic circuits and RJ45 connectors with the 3rd external port in this package, left unused. This is due to the 3rd channel of the SWITCH IP core being required to route as a FIFO interface, via a fabric Master AMBA DMA Controller to the embedded FGPA ARM processor sub-system.
The DMA link to/from the LPDDR SDRAM memory allows the uCLinux in the ARM processor to send/receive Ethernet frames with minimal CPU overhead. Therefore, the software applications running on uCLinux in the FGPA that the user develops can access the Ethernet switched traffic of the SWITCH in the same device. The spare external GMII/MDI pathway to the extra RJ45 terminal is unused, and the 4th RJ45 SOM 10/100 pathway leads directly to the SOM FPGA and direct via MII to the internal MSS MAC of the ARM sub-system environment – used for U-boot programming and back-door guaranteed access.
The DMA Controller initiates ALL DMA process as it is a MASTER memory bus device which makes this solution a lower latency, lower overhead method of bonding the Ethernet desired traffic with the ARM processing applications in the same FPGA device.
ORDERING CODE INFORMATION
You can select which version and type of NetFusion family of products you wish to purchase via the ordering code tables below. Each product begins with the code NINEWAYS-NETFUSION, and followed by the desired variation code and then the delivery package code.
Variation Code Table
||Delivery Package Information
||3 x 10/100/1000 Copper CAT5 capable with SOM 10/100 PHY CAT5
||2 x 1.25Gb/s Fiber SERDES SFP Single/Multi-Mode capable with SOM 10/100 PHY CAT5 and one remaining 10/100/1000 Copper CAT5
||2 x CAN transceiver with SOM 10/100 PHY CAT5 and 2 x Hirose high-speed expansion fitting
Delivery Package Code Table
||Delivery Package Information
||Delivery Package Type
|DEPLOY (Mass Deployment for your customers)
||Contents consist of PCB, start point basic processor sub-system IP cores.
NetFusion-EXP discounted if no Daughter Card required
|EVALUATION (Normal R&D Dev-Kit to familiarize)
||PCB with pillars, 18V DC PSU, start point basic processor sub-system IP cores, installed LCD screen, FlashPro4 JTAG USB Programmer, Stereo audio plugs, USB cables, CAT5 Ethernet cables (Fiber cables if SFP variant additional).
NetFusion-EXP EVALUATION always has default EXP Daughter Card
|Basic Development Kit
|INDSWITCH (Special 1G IP Ethernet Variant)
||PCB, pillars, 18V DC PSU, USB cables, CAT5 Ethernet cables (Fiber cables if SFP variant additional), installed LCD screen, 5-port Enterprise Industrial SWITCH IP core (not for re-sale usage), Stereo audio plugs.
Not available as NetFusion-EXP
|5-Port Industrial Kit
|3PSWITCHDMA (Special 1G IP Ethernet Variant)
||PCB, pillars, 18V DC PSU, USB cables, CAT5 Ethernet cables (Fiber cables if SFP variant additional), installed LCD screen, 3-port basic SWITCH IP core (not for re-sale usage), Stereo audio plugs.
Not available as NetFusion-EXP
|3-Port Ethernet Switch Kit
Note: for the INDSWITCH, the internal pipe to ARM via MSS MAC re-routed to MII on fabric SWITCH
Note: for the SWITCHDMA, the internal pipe to ARM via Nine Ways Fabric DMA Controller SWITCH
The SFP variant does not include the fiber or RJ45 pluggable SFP transceivers. These must be purchased separately from your preferable vendor.
Special Note: The default expansion board comes FREE with each and every NetFusion-EXP baseboard. If you do not wish to receive this as you may be supplying your own in-house designed board, then ask for at $50 discount.
NetFusion-CAT5 PCBs in Stock: 9
NetFusion-SFP PCBs in Stock: 1 (More on order)
NetFusion-EXP PCBs in Stock: 0 (Arriving soon)
If you exceed the amount remaining by ordering an excessive quantity, the order is likely to be subject to a lead time of 7 weeks.
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For Nine Ways Q&A, technical assistance please contact Nine Ways R&D or telephone +44 (0)1332 258847 Use our online customer pre/post sales tech support ticketing system with TRAC to discuss this product or make a support query.