BEAM Tool for VCK190 Evaluation Kit

The Board evaluation and management (BEAM) tool is a brand new System Controller based tool for enhanced out-of-the-box experience for Versal Evaluation Kit users


The BEAM Tool is currently in OPEN BETA and this version gives you an early view of the features planned for the upcoming production release. For features unavailable in this version of the BEAM tool, users can follow instructions (Appendix A) to launch the existing Board UI / Board Interface Test (BIT) tool which is also supported by the pre-programmed System Controller micro SD card image.

Table of Contents


The Board evaluation and management (BEAM) tool is a web-based GUI application that connects to the webserver running on the System Controller. It allows users to monitor and modify different parameters (clocks, voltages, power, etc.) on the evaluation board and also run the Board Interface Test (BIT) to ensure that the board functions properly. The BEAM tool home page consists of various navigation options and links. The purpose of the BEAM tool is to provide Versal users a much easier and far more intuitive experience with Xilinx Evaluation Kits. The goal is to help users get started faster and have all the available resources at one place for easy access. Depending on the persona type (Hardware, Software or Embedded developer), users can choose to start with either testing the board, using the power advantage demo, downloading Versal reference designs or learning more about the latest Xilinx tools and libraries.


You must have a VCK190 Evaluation Kit and some of the accessories provided inside the kit to launch the BEAM tool. These accessories are as follows:

  • Micro SD Card (16GB) provided for the System Controller. It is shipped with an image pre-installed as shown below

  • Ethernet Cable

  • USB-C to USB-A Cable

A Windows PC (Host) with ethernet port is needed to connect an ethernet cable to the System Controller ethernet connector on VCK190 Evaluation Board.

Board Setup and Connection

The VCK190 Evaluation Kit comes with an image pre-installed on the System Controller micro SD card. You can proceed to the Board Connections step and skip the instructions below for writing the image to micro SD card.

If your micro SD card is corrupted and would like to install the micro SD card image from scratch, please follow the micro SD card instructions below.

Download the pre-programed system controller Micro SD Image

Writing the image to micro SD card

  • Insert your micro SD card (16 GB) into the card reader slot of your system.

  • If you're using a new micro SD card, you should have all the memory space available to use (there should not be any partitions)

  • If you’re using a previously used micro SD card, ensure that it is correctly formatted

    • Go to "This PC" and open Windows Explorer, right-click your microSD card and then choose "Format". This will erase all the contents on the micro SD card

    • If the above doesn’t work, right click on the ‘Window Start’ icon located at the bottom left of the screen, choose ‘Disk Management’

    • Navigate to the ‘Removable Disk’ volume and clear all the partitions. This can be done by right clicking on the volume and selecting ‘Delete Volume’

    • The removable disk should show all the space as 'Unallocated' and in FAT32 File System, see below image as reference


Use the Win32 Disk Imager utility for Windows or ‘dd’ command line utility for Linux to write the given raw disk image ‘sdcard.img’ to the micro SD card.

A. Using the Windows Extractor

After unzipping the image file using windows extractor, use the following steps to write a raw disk image to a removable device using the Win32 Disk Imager utility. Download Win32 Disk Imager utility from here.



  1. Browse to the location of the unzipped image in the Win32 utility

  2. Choose the correct micro SD card under ‘device’

  3. Select ‘Write’ to the microSD card, click ‘Yes’ at the prompt to continue writing and wait till the operation is complete

Alternatively, windows users can also use the Balena Etcher tool to flash the image to the micro SD card

B. Using Command-line utility for Linux

Steps to write a raw disk image to a removable device using dd command-line utility for Linux

  1. Unzip the given image file “” in linux

    • unzip

  2. Use dd to write sdcard.img to correct enumerated disk for uSD card(check output of mount command to know sdxx mount point) in the Linux machine:

    • sudo dd if=sdcard.img of=/dev/sdbx bs=1M

Once the raw image is written to the micro SD card, you will be able to see two partitions. In the first partition (FAT32 format) resides:

  • the boot image (BOOT.bin)

  • the u-boot boot script (boot.scr)

  • and the kernel image (Image)

while in the second partition (ext4 format) resides the root file system.

Note: A Windows OS would only allows FAT32 partitions to be viewed, which is the boot partition, where as ext4 format is not recognized.

Board Connections

Please make the necessary connections and switch settings as per the image shown above. You will only need the Pre-programmed Micro SD card (SysCont) to launch the BEAM tool. Plug the Micro SD card (SysCont) into the SD card slot as shown below.

IP Configuration

NOTE: The current SD image has been configured to support Board UI (Appendix A) by default. When connecting to the System Controller’s console, the boot won’t reach Linux’s login prompt. In order to obtain the prompt, please enter the following key-sequence. If you exist the Board Framework by entering these key-sequence and wish to use Board UI, please refer to Appendix A for instructions on how to re-enable Board Framework.

  1. Set up a Tera Term session between a Windows PC COM port and the serial port (JTAG / UART) on the evaluation board. Ensure that the correct COM port is selected and port speed is set to 115200.

  2. Board and Windows PC with Ethernet port can be connected with an Ethernet cable provided in the kit [Picture: Direct connect to laptop] OR the board can be connected to network with DHCP server running to provide address [Picture: Wall RJ45].

  3. If board is in network with DHCP, jump to step 6. If board is connected to the host, continue with step 4 below.

  4. Please follow below instructions to set a static IP address in the Windows PC.

    • For example, IP address: and Subnet mask:

    • Go to: Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections and open Properties

    • Please make sure:

      • The last digit of the IP Address on Windows PC should be different than what is being set on the Board.

      • The default gateway should have last digit as one, rest should be same as IP Address field.

      • Refer to the snapshot below for IP Setting


5. If your board Ethernet is directly connected to your PC, you will need to manually set your IP Address (because there is no DHCP to automatically assign an IP Address). Enter the following command in your Linux terminal to manually set your IP Address.

1 ifconfig eth0

Note: The Linux console may instruct you open a browser to a URL. Please ignore those instructions.

Or to make the IP Address persistent through boot, follow this procedure. (To make the IP address again configurable by DHCP, undo the change by un-commenting line 3 and commenting out lines 4 though 7.)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Edit: /etc/network/interfaces auto eth0 #iface eth0 inet dhcp iface eth0 inet static address netmask gateway

6. Verify/check the IP address of the board. If you are on DHCP but the IP Address is coming up as please check if someone has set it to be persistent as in step 5.

1 ifconfig

7. Ping the Windows PC with the below command. To stop the ping command, use (Ctrl+C)

1 ping <host_ip>

Launching to the Home screen and Navigation options

On Windows PC, Open Chrome web browser and enter the below in the address bar of your web browser. The BEAM tool GUI is displayed once the loading is finished.

1 <ip of system_controller>:50002

The GUI contains Home, Help, About and various navigation options such as Test the board, Linux prompt, Demos & Design and Develop using Tools tabs. At the bottom right, the BEAM tool version is displayed.


The home screen contains pictures and links to two Versal pages, product page link and navigation options to other tabs. Click on the “Home” button located on the top-right to navigate to this screen from any other tabs.

Now we’ll be looking at each of the navigation options in the BEAM tool

‘Test the board’ tab displays board temperature, board call-out picture, device details, boot mode and link to product page. Board temperature is displayed at the top left in degrees centigrade. Navigation options below “Board Temperature” are links to ‘Board Settings’ and ‘Board Interface Test’ tabs

The Board call-out picture at the center shows labels of various components of VCK190 Evaluation board. Block below board image is the link to product page. Clicking on “View Product Page” button opens product page in new browser tab. Right most top section of the GUI displays device information such as device name, board part number, rev, serial number, MAC1 and MAC2 addresses.

Boot mode section displays the active boot mode and it has option to change the boot mode to a different mode. Click on the dropdown beside “Change” label in boot mode section. It displays various boot modes available. Select the required boot mode and click on “set” button to set the boot mode and reset. A loader is displayed while setting the boot mode. On successful set, a green tick mark is displayed beside “set” button. On failure, a red colored cross icon is displayed. Once the boot mode is set, updated boot mode is displayed besides the “Active” label in boot mode section. Reset button applies power-on-reset.


Click on “Board Settings” tab in “Test the board” screen to display the Board settings menu. Board settings (formerly SCUI) helps in monitoring and modifying various parameters like clocks, voltages, power, etc. Click on elements in left to toggle between each menu option.

Click on “get” button to obtain corresponding rail information. Users can also click on “get all” button to read all selected rails information. On success, a green tick is displayed under status column. On failure, a red cross is displayed. Hover on status icon to display status message for each status. Few tabs has multiple sub-tabs like get, set and reset values. Click on corresponding sub-tabs to display appropriate sections. Click on get button to fetch values of corresponding items. In set tab, click on set button to set value. Restore will reset the values.

For “zSFP Data” and “zQSFP Data” tabs, optional hardware are required to gather valid information. There are 2 SFP28 connectors and 1 QSFP28 connector available on the board. The following optional adapters could be connected to the board:


Click on “Board Interface Test” tab in “Test the board” screen to display Board interface Tests (BIT) section. BIT tab helps in running i2c/xsdb based board interface tests. This tab displays the available board interface tests. Click on run button to start the test. The progress bar displays the current status of the test running state.

If the test is in progress, the progress bar color will be yellow. If the test fails, the color will be red and the color is green when the test passes. Please hover the mouse cursor on the “cross” or “tick” icon beside run button to see the status message of test result.

This tab links to a wiki page that contains instructions to fetch Linux console logs.

Click on “Run Demos & Design” button in home screen to obtain the above screen. This tab contains links to download BSP designs, Jupyter notebook based power advantage tool demo, Target Reference Designs (TRDs) and corresponding learn more links. Clicking on the link opens a new tab in your browser. As more and more designs for the evaluation kit is released, this tab will be updated to showcase them.

Click on “Develop using Tools” button in home screen to get this screen. This tab contains links to various Xilinx tools to download, developer site, libraries, etc. Clicking on the link opens a new tab in your browser.

Known Issues

  • User has to logout from jupyter notebook before exiting. Failing doing so may show login screen for next notebook launch.

  • User cannot run jupyter notebook and Board settings and BIT at the same time. User has to shut down any jupyter notebook kernels to use “Board Interface Tests” or “Board Settings” tabs components.

  • Terminating notebook server using kill command may not able to launch notebook in new tab.

  • Run below command to start notebook server or when “No Active notebook sessions” error message is shown.

    • jupyter notebook --no-browser --allow-root --debug --ip=

Appendix A - Launching Board UI / Board Interface Test (BIT) tool


  • Make sure that you have already followed the above steps [Board Setup and Connection] to download the SD card image and flashed it to the System Controller SD card

  • System Controller’s serial console needs to be closed, otherwise Board UI can not operate properly.

  • You need to have the Vivado Design Suite HW Manager installed on your host system.

  • The 'Production Test' mode of Board Interface Test is used in Manufacturing environment and some tests may require additional hardware/configuration to pass.

Enable/Disable Board Framework

  • Start Board Framework from Linux command line:

1 # /etc/init.d/
  • Exit Board Framework to Linux command line:

1 EXT<Enter><Tab>
  • Disable Board Framework persistently:

1 2 EXT<Enter><Tab> # sed -i -e '/nohup/s/^/#/' /etc/init.d/
  • Enable Board Framework persistently:

1 2 # sed -i -e 's/^#//' /etc/init.d/ # reboot

Download the Board UI / Board Interface Test (BIT) tool from the VCK190 Evaluation Kit product page.



Appendix B - Create micro SD card image file from Petalinux BSP

  1. Command to create empty scard.img file

    1. dd if=/dev/zero of=sdcard.img bs=1048576 count=4096

  2.  Command to create partitions, please follow steps in image to create 2 partitions. (See image below)

    1. fdisk sdcard.img

  3. Command to map the partitions

    1. sudo kpartx -av sdcard.img

  4.  Format the partitions with vfat and ext4

    1. sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/mapper/loop0p1

    2. sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/loop0p2

  5.  Mount partition1 and copy the content

    1. sudo mount -t vfat /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /tmp/fat/

    2. # copy the contents (BOOT.BIN, boot.scr, Image)

  6.  Mount partition2 and copy the content

    1. sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/mapper/loop0p2 /tmp/ext4/

    2. # copy the contents(rootfs)

  7.  Unmount the partitions

    1. sudo umount /tmp/fat/

    2. sudo umount /tmp/ext4/

  8.  Remove mapping

    1. sudo kpartx -dv  sdcard.img

SD card image Version History

Latest version - Beta (Intermediate) release – May 2021

Major updates:

  • Clocks - Set si570 Frequency, Set si570 Boot Frequency, Restore si570 Device Default

  • FMC (Current) - Set VADJ_FMC and Get VADJ_FMC

  • FMC (Boot Up) - Set Boot VADJ_FMC

Please note that all the default Board Interface Test (BIT) are still not supported in BEAM tool. Users need to use Board UI to run all the BIT (refer to above Appendix A section)


Past version - Beta (First) release – November 2020

Download this version (it’s always recommended to use the latest version, only download if absolutely needed)

Related Links