GX3700 - High-Performance FPGA PXI Card

High-Performance FPGA PXI Card

High-Performance FPGA PXI Card
  • User configurable, on-board Altera Stratix III FPGA
  • Module software is fully compatible with Altera configuration files
  • No proprietary FPGA design tools required
  • Compatible with Altera’s free, web-based Quartus II design tools
  • 160 digital I/O signals available for user specific applications
  • Integral DMA controller
  • 700 MHz digital I/O clock rate
  • 8 MB of on-board SSRAM
  • Supports user defined expansion boards for custom interfaces
  • 3U PXI Card, available also in 3U PXI Express (GX3700e)
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The GX3700 is a user configurable, FPGA – based, 3U PXI card which offers 160 digital I/O signals which can be configured for single-ended or differential interfaces. The card employs the Altera Stratix  III FPGA, which can support SerDes data rates up to 1.2 Gb/s, digital I/O clock rates of 700 MHz, and features over 45,000 logic elements and 1.836 Kb of memory. The GX3700 is supplied with an integral expansion board providing access to the FPGA’s 160 I/Os. Alternatively, users can design their own custom expansion cards for specific applications – eliminating the need for additional external boards which are cumbersome and physically difficult to integrate into a test system. The design of the FPGA is done by using Altera’s free Quartus II Web Edition tool set. Once the user has compiled the FPGA design, the configuration file can be loaded into the FPGA directly or via an on-board EEPROM.


The GX3700’s digital I/O signals are 5 volt tolerant. Logic families supported by the I/O interface include LVTTL, LVDS and LVCMOS.  The FPGA device supports up to four phase lock loops for clock synthesis, clock generation and for support of the I/ O interface. An on-board 80 MHz oscillator is available for use with the FGPA device or alternatively, the PXI 10 MHz clock can be used as a clock reference by the FPGA.

The FPGA has access to all of the PXI bus resources including the PXI 10 MHz clock, the local bus, and the PXI triggers; allowing the user to create a custom instrument which incorporates all PXI bus resources. Control and access to the FPGA is provided via the GX3700′s driver which includes DMA and interrupt support tools for downloading the compiled FPGA code as well as register read and write functionality.

Programming and Software

The board is supplied with the GXFPGA library, a software package that includes a virtual instrument panel, and a Windows 32/64-bit DLL driver library and documentation. The virtual panel can be used to interactively program and control the instrument from a window that displays the instrument’s current settings and status. In addition, interface files are provided to support access to programming tools and languages such as ATEasy, LabView, LabView/Real-Time, C/C++, Microsoft Visual Basic®, Delphi, and Pascal. An On-Line help file and PDF User’s Guide provides documentation that includes instructions for installing, using and programming the board.
A separate software package - GtLinux - provides support for Linux 32/64 operating systems.


Automatic Test Equipment (ATE)
Semiconductor test
Custom interface emulation
Custom instrumentation
SerDes interfaces



Digital I/O Channels
Logic Families LVTTL, LVDS, configurable for 1.2 / 2.5 / 3.3 volt logic,
5 volt compatible
Output Current +/- 4.0 mA
Input Leakage Current +/- 10 uA
Power on State Default is disconnect at power on (unprogrammed FPGA) or defined by FPGA program
Number of Channels 160 I/O signals
Direction is configurable on a per channel basis
Up to 64 I/O can be differential (32 differential channels)
(4) I/O are single-ended or (2) differential clock inputs
Protection Overvoltage: -0.5V to 7.0V (input)
Short circuit: up to 8 outputs may be shorted at a time
Expansion Board Interface
Board ID 4 bits
External Digital I/O Interface 160, up to 84 differential I/O
Can be configured as 42 differential I/O
Master Clear From PXI interface
Power +/- 12 volts, +5 volts, +3.3 volts, +2.5 volts, +1.2 volts
Timing Sources
PXI Bus 10 MHz
Internal 80 MHz oscillator, +/- 20 ppm
FPGA & Memory
FPGA Type Altera Stratix III, EP3SL50F780
Number of PLLs Four
Logic Elements 47.5K
Internal Memory 1.836 Mb
On-Board Memory 256Kx32 SSRAM
On-Board Flash 16 MB
Power(actual power is dependent on the specific FPGA and expansion board design)
3.3 VDC 3.6A typical, 4.9A max
5 VDC 0.045A max
12 VDC (For Expansion Board) Expansion board dependent
Operating Temperature 0 to 50° C
Storage Temperature -20° C to 70° C
Size 3U PXI
Weight 200 g


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