This version (28 Jan 2021 19:15) was approved by Robin Getz.The Previously approved version (25 Jan 2021 19:33) is available.Diff

AD9129 Evaluation Board, DAC-FMC Interposer & Xilinx ML-605 Reference Design


The AD9129 is a 14-bit, high performance digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that provides a sample rate of 2.8GSPS. This reference design includes a DDS generator that drives the device. The programming is done via the USB-SPI interface.

Supported Devices

Supported Carriers

Quick Start Guide

The bit file provided combines the FPGA bit file and the SDK elf files. It may be used for a quick check on the system. All you need is the hardware and a PC running a UART terminal, ADI DAC software and the programmer (IMPACT).

Required Hardware

  • ML605 board
  • AD9129-EBZ board & Power supply
  • DAC FMC interposer board
  • Signal/Clock generator (2.4GHz)
  • Spectrum Analyzer

Required Software

  • Xilinx ISE 14.1 (Programmer (IMPACT) is sufficient for the demo and is available on Webpack).
  • A UART terminal (Tera Term/Hyperterminal), Baud rate 57600.
  • ADI DPG DAC Software Suite available here.

Bit file

  • Download the gzip file and extract the sw/cf_ad9129_ebz.bit file.

Running Demo (SDK) Program

To begin make the following connections (see image below):

  • Connect the AD9129-EBZ board to the FMC Interposer board.
  • Connect the interposer board to the FMC-LPC connector of ML605 board.
  • Connect power to ML605 and the AD9129-EBZ boards.
  • Connect two USB cables from the PC to the JTAG and UART USB connectors on ML605.
  • Connect a USB cable to the AD9129-EBZ board.
  • Connect an external clock source to AD9129-EBZ board's J3 SMA connector.
  • Connect a spectrum analyzer to AD9129-EBZ board's J1 SMA connector.

Setup the clock source to be 2.4GHz/0dBm. After the hardware setup, turn the power on to the ML605 and the AD9129-EBZ boards.

Hardware setup

Start ADI- AD9129 SPI program (see screenshot below) and click on “Run Forever” button.

Hardware setup

Start IMPACT, and initialze the JTAG chain. The program should recognize the Virtex 6 device. Start a UART terminal (set to 57600 baud rate) and then program the device.

If programming was successful, you should be seeing messages appear on the terminal as shown in figure below.


After DDS is enabled, disable and enable the DLL on the AD9129 SPI interface. You should see the spectrum analyzer displaying a 300MHz tone.


Using the reference design

Functional description

The reference design consists of a DDS module and a lvds interface.

The DDS module consists of a Xilinx IP core and a DDR-DDS. Internally the DDS runs at fDAC/3 clock. The DDR-DDS allows any pattern to be generated in the memory to be driven to the DAC. The output samples are interleaved and driven by the lvds interface.


Please see the regmap.txt file in the pcore directory.


Only Xilinx coregen xco files are provided with the reference design. You must regenerate the IP core files using this file. See generating Xilinx netlist/verilog files from xco files for details.

Tar file contents

The tar file contains, in most cases, the following files and/or directories. To rebuild the reference design simply double click the XMP file and run the tool. To build SDK, select a workspace and use the C file to build the elf file. Please refer to Xilinx EDK documentation for details.

license.txt ADI license & copyright information.
system.mhs MHS file.
system.xmp XMP file (use this file to build the reference design).
data/ UCF file and/or DDR MIG project files.
docs/ Documentation files (Please note that this wiki page is the documentation for the reference design).
sw/ Software (Xilinx SDK) & bit file(s).
cf_lib/edk/pcores/ Reference design core file(s) (Xilinx EDK).

More information

resources/fpga/xilinx/interposer/ad9129.txt · Last modified: 28 Jan 2021 19:13 by Robin Getz