Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC VCU TRD 2019.1

Zynq UltraScale MPSoC VCU TRD 2019.1

Table of Contents

1 Revision History

This wiki page complements the 2019.1 a version of the MPSoC VCU TRD.

Change Log:

  • Update all projects, IPs, and tools versions to 2019.1
  • I2S capture and renderer Audio integrated into TRD
  • Memory-based SCD support – Maximum 8 streams (7 HDMI, 1 MIPI)
  • File-based PCIe transcode use case supported - host → device → host
  • HDMI video capture and display with PL DDR

2 Overview

This is the main page of VCU TRD wiki, which has links to redirect wiki pages corresponding to individual design modules. It also explains the complete feature list and the supported resources of all the designs. TRD package weblink is provided for the user to download. This page also gives information on required software tools, IP licenses.

The Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC Video Codec Unit (VCU) Targeted Reference Design (TRD) consists of an embedded video encoding/decoding application that runs on the Processing System (PS). The overall functionality of the TRD is partitioned between the Processing System (PS), Video Codec Unit, and Programmable Logic (PL) for optimal performance. 

The primary goal of this TRD is to demonstrate the capabilities of the VCU core which is an integrated hard block present in Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC EV devices. The TRD serves as a platform for the user to tune the performance parameters of VCU and arrives at an optimal configuration for encoder and decoder blocks for their specific use case. The TRD uses Vivado IP Integrator (IPI) flow for building the hardware design and Xilinx Yocto PetaLinux flow for software design. It uses Xilinx IPs and software drivers to demonstrate the capabilities of different components

The TRD supports the following video interfaces:
Sources  (up-to 4K-60FPS):

  • Test pattern generator (TPG) implemented in the PL.
  • HDMI-Rx capture pipeline implemented in the PL.
  • MIPI CSI-2 Rx capture pipeline implemented in the PL.
  • File source (SD card, USB storage, SATA hard disk).
  • Stream-In from network or internet.
  • SDI-Rx capture pipeline implemented in the PL.

Sinks (up-to 4K-60FPS for HDMI and 4K-30FPS for Display Port):

  • DP Tx display pipeline in the PS.
  • HDMI-Tx display pipeline implemented in the PL.
  • SDI-Tx display pipeline implemented in the PL.

VCU Codec:

  • Video Encode/Decode capability using VCU hard block in PL 
    • H.264/H.265 encoding
    • Encoder/decoder parameter configuration using OMX interface
    • Demonstrate the multi-stream capability of VCU at 4k 60 Hz throughput

Audio Codec :

  • AAC 2 channel 48KHz 

Streaming Interfaces:

  • 1G Ethernet PS GEM 
  • 10G PL Ethernet

Serial Communication:

  • PCIe(Peripheral Component Interconnect Express)

Video format:

  • NV12
  • NV16
  • XV15
  • XV20

The below figure shows the TRD block diagram. It consists of all the Design Modules. The components of each design module are highlighted in unique colors in the diagram. The remaining blocks are common to all design modules as shown.

The VCU TRD 2019.1 the version consists of eleven design-modules as described below. Individual links below will redirect to the corresponding wiki pages and build and run the flow of individual designs modules. 

Design Module #

Project Name

TRD Pre-built images


1VCU TRDvcu_trdMulti-stream design supporting HDMI-Rx, TPG, MIPI, HDMI-Tx, DP along with showcasing capabilities of VCU.
2SDI Capture and Display with Audiovcu_sdirxtxDesign showcasing Audio Video Capture and Display through SDI interface along with the capabilities of VCU
3Multistream Audiovcu_audioDesign supporting I2S or HDMI Audio with video capture of HDMI-Rx/MIPI Rx  and showcasing capabilities of VCU
410G Ethernet Video streamingvcu_10gDesign showcasing Video stream over 10G Ethernet along with the capabilities of VCU
5HDMI Capture and Display with SDSoC acceleratorvcu_sdx

Design showcasing PL based accelerator IP through SDSoC tool as post-processing plug-in for VCU

6PCIe transcode vcu_pcieDesign to showcase file transfer from HOST(x86) machine over PCIe interface and transcode it on ZCU106 Board having VCU connected as PCIe endpoint and write back the transcoded data to the HOST machine.


HDMI Capture


Design showcasing Video Capture through HDMI interface along with the capabilities of VCU

8HDMI Displayvcu_hdmitxDesign showcasing Video Display through HDMI interface along with the capabilities of VCU


SDI Capture


Design showcasing Video Capture only through SDI interface along with the capabilities of VCU


SDI Display


VCU based video design showcasing SDI transmit capabilities along with the capabilities of the VCU

11HDMI Capture and Display with PL DDRvcu_plddr_hdmiThis is the new design approach proposed to use PL DDR for decoding and PS DDR for encoding so that DDR bandwidth would be enough to support high bandwidth VCU applications requiring simultaneous encoder and decoder operations and transcoding at 4k@60fps.

VCU TRD User guide has more details about the list of features, software architecture, and hardware architecture of individual designs. Here is the link for the user guide :

3 Software Tools and System Requirements

3.1 Hardware


  • ZCU106 evaluation board (rev C/D/E/F/1.0) with power cable
  • Monitor with DisplayPort/HDMI input supporting 3840x2160 resolution or 1920x1080 resolution
  • Display Port cable (DP certified)
  • HDMI cable 2.0 certified
  • Class-10 SD card
  • GooBang Doo ABOX 2017 player with the resolution set to 4KP30, color space to VUY24 and HDMI cable
  • USB mouse
  • Ethernet cable
  • SFP+ optical module
  • Optical fiber cable for 10G
  • SDI Receiver - Black Magic Teranex Mini HDMI to 12G converter
  • SDI Transmitter - Black Magic Teranex Mini 12G to HDMI converter
  • Digilent PMOD Audio card [I2S2]
  • 3.5mm Aux Cables and Speakers.
  • UBUNTU HOST machine with PCIe slot


3.2 Software Tools


3.3 Download, Installation, and Licensing

The Vivado Design Suite User Guide explains how to download and install the Vivado® Design Suite tools, which includes the Vivado Integrated Design Environment (IDE), High-Level Synthesis tool, and System Generator for DSP. This guide also provides information about licensing and administering evaluation and full copies of Xilinx design tools and intellectual property (IP) products. The Vivado Design Suite can be downloaded from here.

LogiCORE IP Licensing

The following IP cores require a license to build the design.

  • Video Test Pattern Generator (TPG) - Free License but must be downloaded
  • Video Timing controller (VTC) - Free License but must be downloaded
  • Video Mixer- Purchase license (Hardware evaluation available)
  • Video PHY Controller - Included with Vivado
  • HDMI-Rx/Tx Subsystem - Purchase license (Hardware evaluation available)
  • Video Processing Subsystem (VPSS) - Purchase license (Hardware evaluation available)
  • MIPI CSI Controller Subsystems (mipi_csi2_rx_subsystem) - Purchase license (Hardware evaluation available)
  • SDI-Rx/Tx Subsystem - Included with Vivado
  • 10G/25G Ethernet Subsystem - Purchase license (Hardware evaluation available)
  • PCIe - Included with Vivado
  • XDMA - Included with Vivado 

To obtain the LogiCORE IP license, please visit the respective IP product page and get the license.

3.4 Compatibility

The reference design has been tested successfully with the following user-supplied components.

Display Port Monitor:

Make/ModelNative Resolution
Viewsonic VX2475SMHL-4K (VS16024)3840x2160 @ 30Hz
LG 27MU67-B3840x2160 @ 30Hz
Dell-p2417h1920x1080 @ 60Hz

HDMI Monitor:

LG 27UD883840x2160   @ 30Hz
Philips BDM4350UC3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz
Dell-p2417h1920x1080   @ 60Hz
BenQ - EW3270-T3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz

HDMI Input Sources:

  • GooBang Doo ABOX 2017 player


  • Cable Matters DisplayPort Cable-E342987
  • Monster Advanced DisplayPort Cable-E194698
  • HDMI 2.0 compatible cable

3.5 Board Setup

The below section will provide the information on ZCU106 board setup for running TRD.

  1. Connect the Micro USB cable into the ZCU106 Board Micro USB port J83, and the other end into an open USB port on the host PC. This cable is used for UART over USB communication.
  2. Insert the SD card with the images copied into the SD card slot J100. Please find here how to prepare SD card for specific design.
  3. Set the SW6 switches as shown in the below Figure. This configures the boot settings to boot from SD.
  4. Connect 12V Power to the ZCU106 6-Pin Molex connector.
  5. Connect one end of Display Port (DP) cable to board’s U129 connector and the other end to DP port of the 4K monitor.
  6. Connect one end of HDMI cable to board’s P7 stacked HDMI connector (lower port) and another end to HDMI source in case of HDMI design.
  7. Connect one end of HDMI cable to board’s P7 stacked HDMI connector (upper port) and another end to HDMI monitor in case of HDMI design.
  8. Connect one end of SDI BNC cable to HD-BNC connector (J68) on board and another end to SDI source in case of SDI design.
  9. Connect one end of SDI BNC cable to HD-BNC connector (J10) on board and another end to SDI monitor/HDMI monitor with SDI to HDMI Converter in case of SDI design.
  10. For a USB storage device, connect the USB hub along with the mouse. (Optional)
  11. For SATA storage device, connect SATA data cable to SATA 3.0 port. (Optional).
  12. For MIPI CSI-2, Insert the LI-IMX274MIPI-FMC image sensor daughter card into the FMC0 connector and set VADJ to 1.2V (See FMC VADJ Voltage Settings).
  13. Set up a terminal session between a PC COM port and the serial port on the evaluation board (See the Determine which COM to use to access the USB serial port on the ZCU106 board for more details).
  14. Copy the TRD images into the SD card and insert the SD card on the board.
  15. The below images will show on how to connect interfaces on ZCU106 board.

The above  figure shows all the zcu106  board connections

 The above figure shows all the zcu106  board connector slots

Determine which COM to use to access the USB serial port on the ZCU106 board.
Make sure that the ZCU106 board is powered on and a micro USB cable is connected between ZCU106 board and host PC. This ensures that the USB-to-serial bridge is enumerated by the PC host.

Open your computer's Control Panel by clicking on Start > Control Panel.

Note that the Start button is typically located in the lower left corner of the screen. Occasionally, it is in the upper left corner.

  1. Click Device Manager to open the Device Manager window. Note: You may be asked to confirm opening the Device Manager. If so, click YES.
  2. Expand Ports (COM & LPT).
  3. Locate the Silicon Labs Quad CP210x USB to UART Bridge: Interface 0 (COM#).

4. Note down the COM Port number for further steps.
5. Close the Device Manager by clicking the red X in the upper right corner of the window.

Launch any Terminal application like Tera term to view the serial messages

  1. Launch Tera Term and open the COM the port that is associated with Silicon Labs Quad CP210x USB to UART Bridge: Interface 0 of the USB-to-serial bridge.
  2. Set the COM port to 115200 Baud rate, 8, none, 1 –Set COM port.
  3. Power ON the board which has SD card. Switch ON SW1 to power the ZCU106 board.
  4. It boots Linux on board and It takes about a minute for Linux to boot. 

4 Design Files

4.1 Download the TRD

The TRD supports Rev C, D, E, F and Rev 1.0 ZCU106 evaluation boards with Production silicon.

4.2 TRD Directory Structure and Package Contents

The TRD package is released with the source code, Vivado project creation scripts, Petalinux BSP, and SD card image that enables the user to run the demonstration. It also includes the binaries necessary to configure and boot the ZCU106 board. Prior to running the steps mentioned in this wiki page, download the TRD package and extract its contents to a directory referred to as ‘TRD_HOME' which is the home directory.

Below figure depicts the directory structure and the hierarchy of the TRD package :

The top-level directory structure is described below:

  • apu: It contains VCU Petalinux BSP, command line application and GUI application.
    • apps: It contains pcie_lib, pcie_transcode, vcu_apm_lib, vcu_video_lib, vcu_gst_lib, vcu_gst_app, and vcu_qt applications
    • vcu_petalinux_bsp: It contains VCU TRD 2019.1 Petalinux BSP
  • host_x86: It contains the HOST drivers and application for PCIe transcode use case.
  • documentation: It contains test reports for all supported 2019.1 VCU TRD designs.
  • images: It contains pre-built binaries i.e BOOT.BIN and image.ub, config files, vcu_gst_app, vcu_qt, pcie_transcode and necessary scripts for all supported 2019.1 designs.
  • pl: This directory consists of subdirectories like  - pre-built hdfs,  Project creation scripts, Design constraints and the HDL source files required to create hardware project

5 Other Information

5.1 Known Issues

Refer to the individual wiki page links for known issues and limitation of that particular design.

6 Support

To obtain technical support for this reference design, go to the:

  • Xilinx Answers Database to locate answers to known issues
  • Xilinx Community Forums to ask questions or discuss technical details and issues. Please make sure to browse the existing topics first before filing a new topic. If you do file a new topic, make sure it is filed in the sub-forum that best describes your issue or question e.g. Embedded Linux for any Linux related questions. Please include "ZCU106 VCU TRD" and the release version in the topic name along with a brief summary of the issue.

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