Artix-7 FPGA module with USB 3.0

The EFM-03 BEASTBOARD is an EFM-02 upwards compatible module1 and is based on an Xilinx Artix-7® FPGA. The Artix-7 series offers higher performance and bandwidth with reduced power dissipation. With built-in power supplies for all system voltages, configuration-flash, onboard memory and a reliable, fast reference design for the USB 3.0 connection to the host computer, the EFM-03 offers everything to build powerful FPGA-based systems in a short time.

1 with respect to the form factor and the pin assignment.

Download EFM-03 Beastboard Hardware Reference 3189 KB

target applications

  • CMOS sensor interfacing
  • custom cameras
  • image processing
  • DSP co-processing
  • embedded control
  • High-performance controls for special devices
  • LIDAR controller




  • Xilinx Artix-7® FPGA
  • XC7A200T-2FBG676I
  • USB3.0 SuperSpeed (EZ-USB FX3)
  • USB UART interface
  • 16 Gbit DDR3L, 3.2 GByte/s bandwidth
  • 256 Mbit Quad SPI flash
  • 191 single ended / 95 diff. io signals
  • 16 GTP high-speed transceivers (6.6 Gb/s)
  • Only 52.6 x 82.6 mm in size
  • BeastLink Free Edition included

properties & qualities

USB 3.0 SuperSpeed performance

Real-world measured data rate of up to 320 MB/s can be achieved with the BeastLink Free Edition API and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connections.

plenty of user io

Providing 191 user-IO signals, which can also be used as differential pairs in conjunction with two GTP quad columns (8 TX-, 8 RX- and 4 CLK-pairs), the EFM03 Beastboard offers ample connectivity options.

multiple configuration options

You can configure the FPGA using

  • the Xilinx Platform Cable (JTAG)
  • your own BeastLink based software (USB)
  • the BeastLink board manager (USB)
  • the on-board flash memory (FLASH)

All this options are always available - there is no need to choose by setting switches or jumpers.

huge fast on-board SDRAM

The on-board 16 Gbit DDR3L SDRAM (eq. 2 GByte) provides plentiful memory capacity - ideal for applications like image processing or data acquisition.
It is connected by a 32-bit wide data path, resulting in a 3.2G Byte/s bandwidth. 

USB 3.0 connectivity without development effort

A powerful AXI4 Busmastering IP for the EFM-03 Beastboard is included in the BeastLink Edition. Embed this IP into your Vivado project and access the addresses of your embedded AXI4 bus from a PC that is connected via a USB 3.0 cable. Of course, the AXI4 IP core can be used in parallel with other bus masters such as Xilinx Microblaze® processors or DMA controllers.

The BeastLink Edition contains all necessary components: from the API and the driver via the EZ-USB FX3TM firmware to the GPIF connection in the IP core. Tested, functional and high-performant. Running with different Windows and Linux versions. The use of our Beastlink therefore leads to an enormous saving in time and development resources.

Xilinx Artix-7 features

The FPGA device XC7A200T-2FBG676I, which is used on the EFM-03 Beastboard, offers a total of approximately 1.5 MB internal block memory with 365 BlockRam blocks (36 kb each). This can be universally used with the Xilinx Vivado development system, for example as working memory or cache memory for Microblaze Soft processors, for FIFOs or in your own modules.

The high number of IO signals in the BG676I package allowed the USB 3.0 controller and the DDR3L memory to be connected with a width of 32 bits and still provide 191 IO signals with selectable IOSTANDARD.

As the largest representative of the Artix-7 series, the XC7200T offers 33,650 slices with 8 flip-flops each. This makes it possible to implement even complex designs or have reserves for later extensions.

management tools included

Included in the BeastLink Edition, there are tools to perform FPGA configuration, clear, write and read the on-board configuration flash, read and write the user-ID of the board and control the reset-pin.
Also included is a benchmarking tool to measure and graphically visualize the data rate between a PC and the EFM-03 on-board memory. It can also be used for long-time stability tests.

reference design

Use our extensively tested reference designs as a starting point for your projects. We use our own reference designs for many customer projects and can therefore offer you the very best support.

design-in support

We have great interest in ensuring that your project is successful. That is why we will give great effort to assist you. We will answer questions that you ask in our support-forum as soon as possible because sometimes, it's the little things that stop you. In addition to our free forum-support, we offer fee-based support and development service customized to your needs.

prototyping and OEM integration

The EFM-03 was built for prototyping systems and integration into OEM devices. Everywhere, a flexible FPGA solution with USB 3.0 interface is required, the EFM-03 is a perfect match.

block schematics

Artix-7 attributes


logic cells

CLB flip-flops

distributed RAM bits

block RAM bits

DSP slices









1 Each CMT contains one MMCM and one PLL

development tools

To develop your own FPGA solutions, Xilinx offers the Vivado design suite.
The XC7A200T FPGA is supported by the free version, called Vivado HL WebPACK Edition.

documentation and downloads

solve startup problems

Dimensional drawing of the EFM-03 Beastboard's footprint.

3D step file of the EFM-03 Beastboard's footprint.

3D PDF file of the EFM-03 Beastboard.

Dimensional drawing of the EFM-03 Beastboard, viewed from the top side.

3D step file of the EFM-03 Beastboard

EFM-03 Hardware Reference user guide

Includes detailed information about mechanical dimensions of the EFM-03 Beastboard and the reference footprint, power supply options and onboard peripherals. Also includes details about IO and GTP Quad expansion connector pinout and the evaluation breakout boards.


Provides an easy connectivity between a host with Superspeed USB3.0 interface using CESYS UDK3 and AXI based slave peripherals. Included in the reference design are interfaces for the DDR3L memory, block ram, GPIO and user led.

BERT approach to verify the GTP functionality in EFM-03


Compares of the efficiency of different cooling methods using the EFM-03

Get answers, download* drivers, tools and reference designs from the Cesys support forum.

* To enter the protected download area of the forum, you have to register in the forum and ask the forum admin to flag you as a customer.

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For further Infomation please contact

technical information

Andreas Doll
technical lead


availability & prices

Julia Gelsebach
commercial lead