Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC VCU TRD 2021.2

This page provides an overview of the 2021.2 version of the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC VCU TRD.  This TRD is made up of several design modules.  A description of the design modules and links to the individual design module pages can be found in the Design Modules below.

This page complements the TRD User Guide: UG1250

Table of Contents

1 Revision History

Change Log:

  • Updated all projects, IPs, and tools versions to 2021.2

  • Deprecated 10G HDMI Video Capture and Display design

  • Merged LLP2 PL DDR HDMI NV16 and LLP2 PL DDR HDMI XV20 in single design (Design Module #12)

  • Added HDR10 Pass-through use-case support

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 web link 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.

2.1 TRD Support

The TRD supports the following video interfaces.

Sources up-to 4K(3840 x 2160/4096 x 2160)-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(3840 x 2160/4096 x 2160)-60FPS for HDMI/SDI 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

  • Opus 2 channel 48KHz 

Streaming Interfaces

  • 1G Ethernet PS GEM

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.




2.2 Design Modules

The VCU TRD 2021.2 version consists of eight 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

Hardware design


Design Module #

Project Name

TRD Pre-built images

Hardware design



VCU TRD Multi Stream Video Capture and Display



Multi-stream design supporting HDMI-Rx, TPG, MIPI, HDMI-Tx, DP along with showcasing capabilities of VCU


PL DDR HLG SDI Audio Video Capture and Display



Design showcasing HLG/Non-HLG Video + 2/8 channels Audio Capture and Display through SDI interface along with the capabilities of VCU with PL DDR supporting 4:2:2 10 bit XV20 format encoding from PS DDR and decoding from PL DDR


Multi Stream Audio Video Capture and Display



Design supporting I2S and HDMI Audio with video capture of HDMI-Rx/MIPI-Rx and showcasing capabilities of VCU


10G HDMI Video Capture and Display

This Design Module is discontinued in 2021.2 VCU TRD release.


PCIe Encode, Decode and Transcode



Design to showcase file transfer from HOST(x86) machine over PCIe interface and encode, decode or transcode it on ZCU106 board having VCU connected as PCIe endpoint and write back the encode, decoded or transcoded data to the HOST machine.


PL DDR HDR10 HDMI Video Capture and Display



VCU based HDMI design to showcase encoding with PS DDR and decoding with PL DDR. It supports the reception and insertion of HDR10 static metadata for HDMI and also DCI4K Feature.

HDR10 PLDDR_V1 corresponds to old PLDDR part   :  MT40A256M16GE-075E
HDR10 PLDDR_V2 corresponds to new PLDDR part :  MT40A256M16LY-062E


Xilinx Low Latency PS DDR NV12 HDMI Audio Video Capture and Display



VCU based HDMI audio video design to showcase ultra low latency support using Sync IP, encoding and decoding with PS DDR for NV12 format


Xilinx Low latency PL DDR NV16 HDMI Video Capture and Display

These two design modules are now merged as single design module #12 - Xilinx Low Latency PL DDR HDMI Video Capture and Display.


Xilinx Low latency PL DDR NV20 HDMI Video Capture and Display


Xilinx Low Latency PL DDR XV20 SDI Video Capture and Display



VCU based SDI design to showcase ultra low latency support using Sync IP, encoding with PS DDR and decoding with PL DDR for XV20 format


Quad Sensor MIPI CSI Video Capture and HDMI Display

This Design Module is been discontinued since 2021.1 VCU TRD release.


Xilinx Low Latency PL DDR HDMI Video Capture and Display



VCU based HDMI design to showcase ultra low latency support using Sync IP, encoding with PS DDR and decoding with PL DDR for NV16 and XV20 format

VCU TRD User guide has more details about the list of features, software architecture, and hardware architecture of individual designs.

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 4096x2160 or 3840x2160 or 1920x1080 resolution

  • HDR10 supported Monitor with HDMI input supporting 4096x2160, 3840x2160 or 1920x1080 resolution

  • Display Port cable (DP certified)

  • HDMI cable 2.0 certified

  • Class-10 SD card

  • HDMI Receiver - NVIDIA SHIELD Pro for 4kp60, Panasonic Lumix GH5S for DCI 4kp60

  • HDMI Receiver - GooBang Doo ABOX 2017 player with the resolution set to 4KP30

  • USB mouse

  • Ethernet cable

  • SFP+ optical module

  • SDI Receiver - Black Magic Teranex Mini HDMI to 12G converter / AJA HA5-12G HDMI to 12G SDI converter

  • SDI Transmitter - Black Magic Teranex Mini 12G to HDMI converter / AJA HI5-12G 12G SDI to HDMI converter

  • LI-IMX274MIPI-FMC image sensor daughter card

  • Digilent PMOD Audio card [I2S2]

  • Phabrix Qx Analyzer

  • 3.5mm Aux Cables and Speakers.

  • UBUNTU HOST machine with PCIe slot


  • USB pen drive formatted with the FAT32 file system and hub

  • SATA drive formatted with the FAT32 file system, external power supply, and data cable

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 include 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) - Included with Vivado - PG103

  • Video Timing Controller (VTC) - Included with Vivado - PG016

  • Video Mixer- Included with Vivado - PG243

  • Video PHY Controller - Included with Vivado - PG230

  • HDMI-Rx/Tx Subsystem - Purchase license (Hardware evaluation available) - PG235 & PG236

  • Video Processing Subsystem (VPSS) - Included with Vivado - PG231

  • MIPI CSI Controller Subsystems (mipi_csi2_rx_subsystem) - Purchase license (Hardware evaluation available) - PG232

  • SDI-Rx/Tx Subsystem - Included with Vivado - PG289 & PG290

  • PCIe - Included with Vivado - PG213

  • XDMA - Included with Vivado - PG195

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

Note: Hardware Evaluation keys allow you to simulate and implement your design, run timing analysis and generate a time-limited bitstream to program a Xilinx FPGA. The core in the programmed device will function in hardware for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, depending on the core.

3.4 Compatibility

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

Display Port Monitor:


Native Resolution

Viewsonic VX2475SMHL-4K (VS16024)

3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz

LG 27MU67-B / LG 24UD58

3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz


1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz

HDMI Monitor:



LG 27UD88

3840 x 2160  @ 30Hz

LG 24UD58

3840 x 2160  @ 60Hz

Philips BDM4350UC

3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz


1920 x 1080  @ 60Hz

BenQ - EW3270-T

3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz

ColorEdge CG319X - DCI-4K monitor

4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz

One-plus TV (model: 55Q1) - HDR10 monitor

3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz

HDMI Input Sources:

  • GooBang Doo ABOX 2017 player for 4kp30

  • NVIDIA SHIELD Pro for 4kp60

  • Panasonic Lumix GH5S for DCI 4kp60


  • 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 the 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 the 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 the board’s U129 connector and the other end to DP port of the 4K monitor.

  6. Connect one end of HDMI cable to the 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 the board’s P7 stacked HDMI connector (upper port) and another end to HDMI monitor in case of HDMI design.

    • Important Note: It is highly recommended to disconnect DP or HDMI cable whenever not in used. Using both simultaneously might lead to unexpected behavior.

  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

  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 how to connect interfaces on the ZCU106 board.


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 the 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 bit data, none parity, 1 stop bit.

  3. Power ON the board which has an 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.

  • Download the TRD 2021.2 release package from here.

  • Download the TRD 2021.2 prebuilt boot files release package from here.

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 :

rdf0428-zcu106-vcu-trd-2021-2/ ├── apu │   └── vcu_petalinux_bsp ├── images │   ├── vcu_audio │   ├── vcu_llp2_hdmi_nv12 │   ├── vcu_llp2_plddr_hdmi │   ├── vcu_llp2_sdi_xv20 │   ├── vcu_multistream_nv12 │   ├── vcu_pcie │   ├── vcu_plddrv1_hdr10_hdmi │   ├── vcu_plddrv2_hdr10_hdmi │   └── vcu_sdi_xv20 ├── pcie_host_package │   ├── COPYING │   ├── include │   ├── LICENSE │   ├── readme.txt │   ├── RELEASE │   ├── tests │   ├── tools │   └── xdma ├── pl │   ├── constrs │   ├── designs │   ├── prebuild │   ├── README.md │   └── srcs └── README.txt └── zcu106_vcu_trd_sources_and_licenses.tar.gz 22 directories, 7 files

The top-level directory structure is described below:

  • apu: It contains VCU Petalinux BSP.

    • vcu_petalinux_bsp: It contains VCU TRD 2021.2 Petalinux BSP.

  • zcu106_vcu_trd_sources_and_licenses.tar.gz: This file contains sources and licensing information of all petalinux recipes used to generated VCU TRD images.

  • pcie_host_package: It contains the HOST drivers and application for PCIe use case.

  • images: It contains pre-built binaries i.e BOOT.BIN, boot.scr, system.dtb, Image and rootfs.cpio.gz.u-boot, config files and necessary scripts for all supported 2021.2 designs.

  • pl: This directory consists of sub-directories like  - pre-built XSA's,  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 limitations 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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