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LimeSDR-PCIe v1.2 hardware description

Revision as of 10:01, 28 February 2018 by DovydasRusinskas (Talk | contribs)


1 Introduction

LimeSDR-PCIe is low-cost software defined radio board based on Lime LMS7002M Field Programmable Radio Frequency (FPRF) transceiver and Altera Cyclone IV GX PFGA, through which apps can be programmed to support any type of wireless standard, e.g. UMTS, LTE, LoRa, GPS, WiFi, Zigbee, RFID, Digital Broadcasting, Radar and many more.

2 Complete Development Kit Package

The LimeSDR-PCIe v1.2 board from full package showed in Figure 1.

Figure x. LimeSDR-PCIe v1.2

Development kit content:

  • LimeSDR-PCIe v1.2 board
  • USB stick containing following files:
    • Doc/ - Documentation files for LimeSDR-PCIe
    • Drivers/ - Windows drivers for LimeSDR-PCIe
    • Gateware/ - FPGA gateware related files for LimeSDR-PCIe v1.2
    • Gui/ - LimeSuiteGUI software and related files

3 LimeSDR-PCIe Board Key Features

The LimeSDR-PCIe development board provides a hardware platform for developing and prototyping high-performance and logic-intensive digital and RF designs using Altera’s Cyclone IV GX FPGA and Lime Microsystems transceiver.

LimeSDR-PCIe board features:

  • RF transceiver:
    • Lime Microsystems LMS7002M
  • FPGA Features
    • Cyclone IV GX (EP4CGX30CF23C7N) device in 484-pin FBGA
    • 29’440 logic elements
    • 1080 Kbits embedded memory
    • 80 embedded 18x18 multipliers
    • 4 general and 2 multipurpose PLLs
    • 4 high-speed transceivers
    • PCIe (PIPE) hard IP block
  • FPGA Configuration
    • JTAG mode configuration
    • Active serial mode configuration
    • Possibility to update FPGA gateware by using PCIe interface
  • Memory Devices
    • 2x 1Gbit (64M x 16) dual channel DDR2 SDRAM
    • 4Mbit flash for FPGA data
    • 64Mbit flash for FPGA gateware
    • 128Kb (16K x 8) EEPROM for LMS MCU firmware and 512Kb (64K x 8) LMS MCU data
  • Connections
    • PCI Express x4 (4 lanes)
    • Coaxial RF (U.FL) connectors
    • FPGA GPIO 2x8 (3.3V) headers
    • FPGA and JTAG connector
    • DC (12V) power jack and pinheader
    • FAN (12V) connector
  • Clock System
    • 30.72MHz ±250 ppb onboard VCTCXO
    • Possibility to lock VCTCXO to external clock or tune VCTCXO by onboard DAC
    • Programmable clock generator for the FPGA reference clock input or LMS PLLs
    • 100 MHz and 2x 50MHz crystal oscillators for FPGA
  • Board Size 68,9mm x 136,85mm

For more information on the following topics, refer to the respective documents:

  • Cyclone IV device family, refer to Cyclone IV Device Handbook [link]
  • LMS7002M transceiver resources [link

3.1 LimeSDR-PCIe board overview

LimeSDR-PCIe board version 1.2 picture with highlighted major connections and components presented in Figure 1 and Figure 2. There are three connector types – data and debugging (PCIe, FPGA GPIO and JTAG), power (DC jack - optional) and high frequency (RF and reference clock). LimeSDR-PCIe board version 1.2 picture with highlighted components on top presented in Figure 1.

Figure x. LimeSDR-PCIe Development Board Top Connectors and Components

LimeSDR-PCIe board version 1.2 picture with highlighted components on bottom presented in Figure 2

Figure x. LimeSDR-PCIe Development Board Bottom Components

Board components description listed in the Table 1.

Table 1. Board components
Featured Devices
Board reference Type Description
IC1 FPRF Field programmable RF transceiver LMS7002M
IC8 FPGA Altera Cyclone IV GX (EP4CGX30CF23C7N) device in 484-pin FBGA
Miscellaneous devices onboard
IC14 IC Temperature sensor LM75
IC4, IC5, IC6, IC7 IC SPDT Switch
Configuration, Status and Setup Elements
J11 JTAG chain pinheader FPGA programming pinheader for Altera USB-Blaster download cable, 0.1” pitch
LEDS1 or LED1, LED4 Red-green status LEDs User defined FPGA indication dual colour (red – green) LEDs. LEDS1 if two TH LEDs with standoff or two SMD LEDs are populated.
LED5-LED8 Green status LEDs User defined FPGA indication green LEDs (LED3-LED6).
LED9 Green status LEDs Power indication
General User Input/Output
J12, J13 Pinheader 8 + 8 FPGA GPIOs, 0.05” pitch
J14 Pinheader 12V fan connection pinheader, 0.1” pitch
J18 Pinheader 12V internal power rail. Can be used to power external devices.
SW1 Switch 4 pole switch
Memory Devices
Board Reference Type Description
IC11, IC12 DDR2 memory 1Gbit (64M x 16) DDR2 SDRAM with a 16-bit data bus
IC2, IC3 EEPROM 128K (16K x 8) and 512K (64K x 8) EEPROMs for LMS7002 MCU firmware and data
IC15 EEPROM 128K (16K x 8) EEPROM for FPGA data
IC9, IC10 Flash memory 64Mbit Flash for FPGA configuration (only one is soldered).
Communication Ports
P1 PCIe connector PCI Express x4 connector
Clock Circuitry
XO1, XO2 VCTCXO Voltage Controlled, Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (30.72MHz, only one is soldered).
IC20 IC Programmable clock generator (Si5351C) for the FPGA reference clock input and RF boards
IC19 IC Phase detector (ADF4002)
J15 U.FL connector RF connector for reference clock output
J16 U.FL connector RF connector for external reference clock input
IC18 IC DAC for TCXO (XO1 or XO2) frequency tuning
Power Supply
J17 DC input jack External 12V DC power supply (Optional)
J18 Pinheader External 12V DC power supply and internal main power rail

3.1.1 LMS7002M based connectivity

All LMS7002M RF transceiver signals are connected to FPGA Bank 8 (power rail: VDIO_LMS_FPGA; voltage: 2.5V-default or 3.3V). The interface and control signals are described below:

  • Digital Interface Signals: LMS7002 is using data bus LMS_DIQ1_D[11:0] and LMS_DIQ2_D[11:0], LMS_ENABLE_IQSEL1 and LMS_ENABLE_IQSEL2, LMS_FCLK1 and LMS_FCLK2, LMS_MCLK1 and LMS_MCLK2 signals to transfer data to/from FPGA. Indexes 1 and 2 indicate transceiver digital data PORT-1 or PORT-2. Any of these ports can be used to transmit or receive data. By default PORT-1 is selected as transmit port and PORT-2 is selected as receiver port. The FCLK# is input clock and MCLK# is output clock for LMS7002M transceiver. TXNRX signals sets ports directions. For LMS7002M interface timing details refer to LMS7002M transceiver datasheet page 12-13. [link].
  • SPI Interface: LMS7002M transceiver is configured via 4-wire SPI interface; FPGA_SPI0_SCLK, FPGA_SPI0_MOSI, FPGA_SPI0_MISO, FPGA_SPI0_LMS_SS.
  • I2C Interface: used access EEPROM memories for LMS7002M MCU firmware and data. I2C interface is using LMS_I2C_SCL, LMS_I2C_SDA signals.
  • Control Signals: these signals are used for optional functionality:
    • LMS_RXEN, LMS_TXEN – receiver and transmitter enable/disable signals.
    • LMS_RESET – LMS7002M reset.
Table x. RF transceiver (LMS7002) digital interface pins
Chip pin (IC1) Chip reference (IC1) Schematic signal name FPGA pin FPGA I/O standard Comment
AM24 xoscin_rx RxPLL_CLK - 2.5V (3.3V) Connected to 30.72 MHz clock
E5 xoscin_tx TxPLL_CLK - 2.5V (3.3V) Connected to 30.72 MHz clock
E27 RESET LMS_RESET A1 2.5V (3.3V)
U29 TXEN LMS_TXEN A7 2.5V (3.3V)
D28 SEN FPGA_SPI0_LMS_SS B1 2.5V (3.3V) SPI interface
C29 SCLK FPGA_SPI0_SCLK B3 2.5V (3.3V) SPI interface
F30 SDIO FPGA_SPI0_MOSI C1 2.5V (3.3V) SPI interface
F28 SDO FPGA_SPI0_MISO A3 2.5V (3.3V) SPI interface
D26 SDA LMS_I2C_SDA A2 (via R46) 2.5V (3.3V) Connected to EEPROMS
C27 SCL LMS_I2C_SCL G11 (via R51) 2.5V (3.3V) Connected to EEPROMS
AB34 MCLK1 LMS_MCLK1 K10 2.5V (3.3V)
AA33 FCLK1 LMS_FCLK1 H9 2.5V (3.3V)
V32 TXNRX1 LMS_TXNRX1 C3 2.5V (3.3V)
V34 RXEN LMS_RXEN C2 2.5V (3.3V)
AG31 DIQ1_D0 LMS_DIQ1_D0 D9 2.5V (3.3V)
AF30 DIQ1_D1 LMS_DIQ1_D1 B7 2.5V (3.3V)
AF34 DIQ1_D2 LMS_DIQ1_D2 H8 2.5V (3.3V)
AE31 DIQ1_D3 LMS_DIQ1_D3 C8 2.5V (3.3V)
AD30 DIQ1_D4 LMS_DIQ1_D4 C7 2.5V (3.3V)
AC29 DIQ1_D5 LMS_DIQ1_D5 C9 2.5V (3.3V)
AE33 DIQ1_D6 LMS_DIQ1_D6 H7 2.5V (3.3V)
AD32 DIQ1_D7 LMS_DIQ1_D7 G8 2.5V (3.3V)
AC31 DIQ1_D8 LMS_DIQ1_D8 E8 2.5V (3.3V)
AC33 DIQ1_D9 LMS_DIQ1_D9 G7 2.5V (3.3V)
AB30 DIQ1_D10 LMS_DIQ1_D10 F8 2.5V (3.3V)
AB32 DIQ1_D11 LMS_DIQ1_D11 E6 2.5V (3.3V)
P34 MCLK2 LMS_MCLK2 M8 2.5V (3.3V)
R29 FCLK2 LMS_FCLK2 C5 2.5V (3.3V)
U31 TXNRX2 LMS_TXNRX2 A4 2.5V (3.3V)
H30 DIQ2_D0 LMS_DIQ2_D0 G6 2.5V (3.3V)
J31 DIQ2_D1 LMS_DIQ2_D1 E5 2.5V (3.3V)
K30 DIQ2_D2 LMS_DIQ2_D2 A8 2.5V (3.3V)
K32 DIQ2_D3 LMS_DIQ2_D3 D7 2.5V (3.3V)
L31 DIQ2_D4 LMS_DIQ2_D4 D8 2.5V (3.3V)
K34 DIQ2_D5 LMS_DIQ2_D5 F6 2.5V (3.3V)
M30 DIQ2_D6 LMS_DIQ2_D6 C6 2.5V (3.3V)
M32 DIQ2_D7 LMS_DIQ2_D7 D4 2.5V (3.3V)
N31 DIQ2_D8 LMS_DIQ2_D8 A5 2.5V (3.3V)
N33 DIQ2_D9 LMS_DIQ2_D9 D5 2.5V (3.3V)
P30 DIQ2_D10 LMS_DIQ2_D10 B4 2.5V (3.3V)
P32 DIQ2_D11 LMS_DIQ2_D11 A6 2.5V (3.3V)

3.1.2 PCI Express connector

For data transfer LimeSDR–PCIe board has PCI express connector with four lanes. PCI express interface is implemented in FPGA. Pin connection and corresponding signal names are listed in Table 4.


3.1.3 SDRAM

LimeSDR-PCIe board has two 128MB (16bit bus) DDR2 SDRAM ICs (AS4C64M16D2-25BCN [link]) connected to double data rate pins on Cyclone IV GX 1.8V Bank 3, 4 and 5. RAM chips (IC11, IC12) are connected to separate memory controllers so RAM chips works in dual channel mode. The memory can be used for data manipulation at high data rates between transceiver and FPGA. Pin connection and corresponding signal names are listed in Table 5 and Table 6.


3.1.4 Low speed interfaces

LimeSDR-PCIe board low speed interfaces is presented in Figure 4. More detailed information is provided in the following sections.

Figure 4 low speed interfaces block diagram Indication LEDs

LimeSDR-PCIe board comes with 6 indication LEDs which can be controlled from FPGA. By default, two of them (FPGA_LED1 and FPGA_LED2) are trough-hole dual colour LEDs and are mounted on the back edge of the board using right-angle plastic holder. The remaining four LEDs (FPGA_LED3 to FPGA_LED6) are SMD single green colour LEDs. There is one SMD single green colour LED named VDD3P3_PWR which is hardwired to VCC3P3 power rail and lit up whenever the board is powered on.

TBD SPI interfaces

LimeSDR-PCIe board has four SPI interfaces with their own slave devices:

  • Flash for FPGA gateware: Flash memory (IC9 or IC10) is used to store FPGA gateware. I2C interfaces

Board has two independent I2C interfaces: FPGA_I2C and LMS_I2C.

  • FPGA_I2C: this interface has several slave devices temperature sensor, EEPROM and clock generator. Information for slave devices are provided in Table 12, signal connectivity information is in Table 13. FPGA Switch

4 poles slide switch SW1 is connected to FPGA. Each switch line has external pull up resistors. When switch is in position “On”, it pulls down the line. RF loopback control

LimeSDR-PCIe v1.2 board contains RF loopback switches (IC4, IC5, IC6, IC7) for LMS7002M which are controlled from FPGA. By using loopback switches RF path TX1_2 can be connected to RX1_H and TX2_2 to RX2_H. FPGA GPIO connectors

There are J12 and J13 connectors (pinheaders) there 8 + 8 FPGA GPIOs are connected (3.3V IO compatible) with GND and power pins (3.3V). In Table 18 are listed connector J12 pins and in Table 19 are listed connector J13 pins, corresponding FPGA pins and other information. Board temperature control

LimeSDR-PCIe has integrated temperature sensor which can control FAN to keep board in operating temperature range. FAN must be connected to J14 (0.1” pitch) connector. FAN control voltage is 12V. Fan will be turned on if board will heat up to 55°C and FAN will be turned off if board will cool down to 45°C. FAN control temperature range is set by FPGA. Clock Distribution

LimeSDR-PCIe board clock distribution block diagram is presented in Figure 8. Power Distribution

LimeSDR-PCIe board power distribution block diagram is presented in Figure 9.