This version (20 Dec 2023 12:35) was approved by Stefan-Robert Raus.The Previously approved version (28 Jan 2021 19:14) is available.Diff

AD9739A Evaluation Board, DAC-FMC Interposer & Xilinx Reference Design

Support for the eval-ad9739a is discontinued starting with 2022_R2 Kuiper Linux release and it will not be supported in future releases. Last release in which pre-build files can be found is 2021_r2. Check this link to see all Kuiper releases.


The AD9739A is a 14-bit, 2.5GSPS high performance RF digital-to-analog converter (DAC) capable of synthesizing wideband signals from DC up to 3 GHz. This reference design includes a DDS generator that drives both ports of 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). The notes below refer to ML605, but the procedure is same for all the boards.

Required Hardware

  • ML605/KC705/VC707 board
  • AD9739A-EBZ board & Power supply
  • DAC FMC interposer board
  • Signal/Clock generator (2.5GHz)
  • Spectrum Analyzer

Required Software

  • Xilinx ISE 13.2 (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_ad9739a_ebz<board>.bit file.

Running Demo (SDK) Program

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

  • Connect the AD9739A-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 AD9739A-EBZ boards.
  • Connect two USB cables from the PC to the JTAG and UART USB connectors on ML605.
  • Connect a USB cable to the AD9739A-EBZ board.
  • Connect an external clock source to AD9739A-EBZ board's J3 SMA connector.
  • Connect a spectrum analyzer to AD9739A-EBZ board's J1 SMA connector.

Setup the clock source to be 2.5GHz. If you wish to run the device at a different clock rate, please change the SDK c program accordingly. After the hardware setup, turn the power on to the ML605 and the AD9739A-EBZ boards.

Hardware setup

Start ADI- AD9739A SPI program (see screenshot below)-

  • (1) click on “Run Continously” button.
  • (2) click on “MU_ENA” button.
  • (3) make sure that “MU_LCK” has turned green.

Hardware setup

Start IMPACT, and initialze the JTAG chain. The program should recognize the Virtex 6 device (see screenshot below). 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.


Now enable the receivers via the ADI- AD9739A SPI program (see screenshot above)-

  • (4) click on “RCV_ENA” button.
  • (5) click on “RCV_LOOP” button.
  • (6) make sure that “RCV_LCK” and “RCV_TRACK” has turned green.

After DDS is enabled, you should see the spectrum analyzer displaying the 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 DDS core and DDR based DDS. Internally the DDS runs at fDAC/3 clock. The output samples are interleaved and driven by the lvds interface.


Refer to the regmap.txt file inside the pcore.


FPGA Referece Designs:

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 The pcores directory.

More information

resources/fpga/xilinx/interposer/ad9739a.txt · Last modified: 20 Dec 2023 11:50 by Stefan-Robert Raus