The XEM6010 is a compact FPGA board featuring the Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA and high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity.

Designed as a full-featured integration system, the XEM6010 provides access to over 110 I/O pins on its 484-pin Spartan-6 device and has a 128-MiByte DDR2 SDRAM available to the FPGA.  The XEM6010 is designed for medium-sized FPGA designs with a wide variety of external interface requirements.

Available with LX45 and LX150 FPGA densities, the XEM6010 is designed for prototype and proof-of-concept FPGA development as well as high-performance production integration.

Documentation and Reference Materials

The following is a comprehensive list of documentation available for this device.

XEM6010 User’s ManualThis online documentation space.
XEM6010 Pins ReferenceThe interactive Pins reference for the device provides detailed pinout
information as well as automated constraint file generation. Export
functionality is provided to PDF, CSV. Constraint files are provided
for UCF, XCD (Xilinx) and QSF, SDF (Altera).
FrontPanel SDK User’s ManualThe online documentation space for the FrontPanel SDK.
FrontPanel API ReferenceOnline API reference with detailed usage for every API method.

Functional Block Diagram


The XEM6010 is offered in two variants.  These two variants are identical except for the FPGA provided.  The table below lists some of the differences between the two devices.  Please consult the Xilinx documentation for a more thorough comparison.

Slice Count6,82223,038
D Flip-Flops54,576184,304
Distributed RAM401 Kib1,355 Kib
Block RAM2,088 Kib4,824 Kib
DSP Slices58180
Clock Management Tiles46

High-Speed USB 2.0 Interface

The XEM6010 uses a Cypress CY7C68013A FX2LP USB microcontroller to make the XEM a USB 2.0 peripheral. As a USB peripheral, the XEM is instantly recognized as a plug and play peripheral on millions of PCs. More importantly, FPGA downloads to the XEM happen blazingly fast, virtual instruments under FrontPanel update quickly, and data transfers are much faster than the parallel port interfaces common on many FPGA experimentation boards.

On-board Peripherals

The XEM6010 is designed to compactly support a large number of applications with a small number of on-board peripherals.  These peripherals are listed below.

Cypress CY22393 PLL

A multi-output, triple-PLL clock generator can provide up to five clocks, three to the FPGA and another two to the expansion connectors JP2 and JP3. The PLL is driven by a 48-MHz signal output from the USB microcontroller. The PLL can output clocks up to 150-MHz and is configured through the FrontPanel software interface or the FrontPanel API.

128-MByte Word-Wide DDR2 Synchronous DRAM

The XEM also includes a 128-MiByte DDR2 SDRAM with a full 16-bit word-wide interface to the FPGA.  This SDRAM is attached exclusively to the FPGA and does not share any pins with the expansion connector.  The maximum clock rate of the SDRAM is 333 MHz.  With the -2 speed grade of the Spartan-6, the maximum clock rate is 312.5 MHz for a supported peak memory bandwidth of 10 Gb/s.

The DDR2 SDRAM is a Micron MT47H64M16HR-3:G (or compatible).

Serial Flash Memory

A 32 Mib serial flash device (Numonyx M25P32-VME6G or equivalent) provides on-board configuration memory for the FPGA as well as general non-volatile storage for your design.


Eight LEDs and are available for general use as debug outputs.

FrontPanel Support

The XEM6010 is fully supported by Opal Kelly’s FrontPanel Application.  FrontPanel augments the limited peripheral support with a host of PC-based virtual instruments such as LEDs, hex displays, pushbuttons, toggle buttons, and so on.  Essentially, this makes your PC a reconfigurable I/O board and adds tremendous value to the XEM6010 as an experimentation or prototyping system.

Programmer’s Interface

In addition to complete support within FrontPanel, the XEM6010 is also fully supported by the FrontPanel SDK, a powerful C++ class library available to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux programmers allowing you to easily interface your own software to the XEM.

In addition to the C++ library, wrappers have been written for C#, Java, and Python making the API available under those languages as well.  Sample wrappers are also provided for Matlab and LabVIEW.

Complete documentation and several sample programs are installed with FrontPanel.


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