The RFSoC Book and Design Examples for the ZCU208 & ZCU216 Development Boards

Hello, PYNQ community!

A new technical book Software Defined Radio with Zynq® UltraScale+ RFSoC was released in January this year (we call it the RFSoC book). This book explores the RFSoC’s multi-GHz samplers and introduces the fundamental DSP theory that enables this technology. You don’t need to purchase the book, as it is entirely free to download online. However, if you would like a physical copy, these are available to buy from Amazon.

The RFSoC book features 32 hands-on exercises and design examples facilitated through Jupyter Notebooks. You can execute the notebooks on your computer, a PYNQ-enabled platform, and an RFSoC development board. Many of the exercises interact directly with the RFSoC device. Therefore, obtaining an RFSoC development board is highly recommended to get the most out of the exercises.

Design Examples for the ZCU208 and ZCU216 Platforms

Recently, the design examples featured in the RFSoC book have been updated to support the ZCU208 and ZCU216 development boards. You can obtain a PYNQ image for each of these development boards and other supported platforms by following the links below:

You will encounter many design examples throughout the RFSoC book. Let’s explore a few of them now. At the end of this page, I will summarise the steps you need to take to get started with the RFSoC.

Introducing RFSoC-PYNQ and Overlays

Familiarise yourself with RFSoC-PYNQ, a flavour of PYNQ designed by AMD for RFSoC platforms. Explore features of RFSoC-PYNQ and a simple example design involving a Numerically Controlled Oscillator (NCO), which generates cosine and sine waves using the RFSoC’s programmable logic.

Exploring the Spectrum with RFSoC

Take a whistle-stop tour of the radio frequency spectrum enabled by RFSoC. Explore several radio bands, including Frequency Modulated (FM) radio broadcasts, Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) radio communications, Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) digital television broadcasts, and spectrum bands for mobile communications.


Transmitting and Receiving: “Hello World!”

Introduce yourself to the RFSoC’s Data Converters by exploring a simple radio design. Select from QPSK or BPSK modulation to transmit and receive a “Hello World!” message. This design example allows you to explore and control each stage of a radio pipeline running on your RFSoC platform.


Working with the Hardened SD-FEC Block

Many RFSoC devices contain integrated Soft Decision Forward Error Correction (SD-FEC) blocks. Learn how to take control of these blocks with our handy guide to practical SD-FEC development and detailed example design.

Running an RFSoC-Based OFDM Transceiver

Explore an Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) transmitter and receiver demonstrator on RFSoC. Several digital modulation schemes can be selected, ranging from BPSK to 1024-QAM. Received constellations can be inspected in Jupyter Labs.


Next Steps

You can begin working with the RFSoC Book by following the steps below.

  1. Select a supported RFSoC platform listed above that is suitable for your development and learning needs.

  2. Download the RFSoC Book for free or purchase a physical copy on Amazon.

  3. Install RFSoC-PYNQ onto your RFSoC platform. You can locate the necessary PYNQ image using the links above or by visiting the PYNQ website.

  4. Navigate to the RFSoC Book GitHub repository and follow the instructions to set up the design examples and Jupyter Notebooks on your RFSoC platform.

  5. You are ready to progress with the RFSoC-Book exercises on your chosen RFSoC platform. Enjoy!

The Software Defined Radio group at the University of Strathclyde (StrathSDR) would like to thank the entire AMD PYNQ team for their continued help and support of this work and open-source efforts targeting the RFSoC platform.


2 posts were split to a new topic: The RFSoC Book and Design Examples for the ZCU208 & ZCU216