The ZEM5310 is a compact, mezzanine-style FPGA integration module featuring the Altera Cyclone V FPGA and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity via a USB 3.0 Type C connector.

Designed as a full-featured integration system, the ZEM5310 provides access to 106 I/O pins on its 484-pin Cyclone V device and has 512-MiByte DDR3 SDRAM available to the FPGA.  Two SPI Flash devices provide a total of 32 MiB of non-volatile memory, one attached to the USB microcontroller and one attached to the FPGA.

Documentation and Reference Materials

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

ZEM5310 User’s ManualThis online documentation space.
ZEM5310 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 ZEM5310 is offered in a single FPGA density. The “A4” FPGA density includes resource counts as shown in the following table. For more detail, please see the Altera Cyclone V documentation.

D Flip-Flops73,920
Distributed RAM (MLAB)303 Kb
Block RAM (M10K)3,080 Kb
DSP Blocks66
18 x 18 Multipliers132
Hard Memory Controller1

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Interface

The ZEM5310 uses a Cypress FX3 USB microcontroller to make the XEM a USB 3.0 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 device happen quickly, virtual instruments under FrontPanel update quickly, and data transfers are blazingly fast.

On-board Peripherals

The ZEM5310 is designed to compactly support a large number of applications with a small number of on-board peripherals.  These peripherals are listed below.

Low-Jitter Crystal Oscillator

A fixed-frequency, 100 MHz, low-jitter oscillator is included on-board and outputs LVDS to the FPGA. The Cyclone V FPGA can produce a wide range of clock frequencies using the on-chip PLL capabilities.

512-MiByte Quad-Wide DDR3 Synchronous DRAM

The module also includes 512-MiByte DDR3 SDRAM with a 16-bit quad-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 400 MHz.  With the C7 speed grade of the Cyclone V, the maximum clock rate is 400 MHz for a supported peak memory bandwidth of 12.8 Gib/s.

The DDR3 SDRAM is a Micron MT41K256M16TW-107:P (or compatible).

FPGA Flash – 16 MiB Serial Flash Memory

A 128 Mib serial flash device (Numonyx N25Q128A11E1240E or equivalent) provides on-board non-volatile storage for the FPGA.  This device is attached directly to the FPGA for use in your design.

System Flash – 16 MiB Serial Flash Memory

A 128 Mib serial flash device (Numonyx N25Q128A11E1240E or equivalent) provides on-board non-volatile storage accessible to the USB microcontroller.  This device is used to store device firmware and configuration settings as well as other user assets such as FPGA configuration files or calibration data.  Erase, read, and write functions are available at all times (with or without a configured FPGA) through the use of FrontPanel API methods.


Four LEDs are available for general use as indicators.

FrontPanel Support

The ZEM5310 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 ZEM5310 as an experimentation or prototyping system.

Programmer’s Interface

In addition to complete support within FrontPanel, the ZEM5310 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 (unsupported) are also provided for Matlab and LabVIEW.

Complete documentation and several sample programs are installed with FrontPanel.


Software, documentation, samples, and related materials are Copyright © 2006-2021 Opal Kelly Incorporated.

Opal Kelly Incorporated
Portland, OR 

All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication, in whole or part, of this document by any means except for brief excerpts in published reviews is prohibited without the express written permission of Opal Kelly Incorporated.

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