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Altera Arria® V GZ Low Profile PCIe Board with Dual QSFP+ and DDR3, QDRII+, or RLDRAM3
  • NPP Network Packet Processing
  • HPC High Performance Computing
  • SP Signal Processing
  • NPP HPC  
  • C&D Compute & Data Center
  • M&A Military & Aerospace
  • GOV Government
  • I&T Instrumentation & Test
  • FIN Financial Services
  • B&V Broadcast & Video
  • C&D   GOV I&T FIN B&V
  • High performance Altera Arria V GZ FPGA
  • PCIe x8 interface supporting Gen1, Gen2, or Gen3
  • Dual QSFP+ cages for 2x 40GigE or 8x 10GigE
  • Board Management Controller for Intelligent Platform Management
  • USB 2.0 for programming and debug
  • Timestamping and synchronization support
  • Memory options:
    • up to 8 GBytes of DDR3 SDRAM with ECC
    • up to 512 MBytes RLDRAM3
    • up to 72 MBytes QDRII+

BittWare’s A5-PCIe-L (A5PL) is a low-profile PCIe x8 card based on the Altera Arria V GZ FPGA. The high-performance, power- and cost-efficient Arria V GZ provides a high level of system integration and flexibility for I/O, routing, and processing. Up to 8 GBytes of on-board memory includes DDR3, QDRII/II+, or RLDRAM3. Two front-panel QSFP+ cages allow two 40GigE or eight 10GigE interfaces. The A5PL also features a Board Management Controller (BMC) for advanced system monitoring, which greatly simplifies platform management. All of these features combine to make the A5PL a versatile and efficient solution for network processing, security, broadcast, and signals intelligence applications.

Altera Arria V GZ FPGA

The 28nm Arria V family of FPGAs deliver optimal performance, power, and cost efficiency for mid-range applications. The Arria V GZ variant, which is featured on the A5PL, offers the highest bandwidth of the Arria V FPGAs. The Arria V GZ provides Gen3 PCIe x8 via a hard IP block and features 16 full-duplex transceivers with data rates up to 12.5 Gbps, and up to 450K equivalent LEs.

I/O Interfaces

The A5PL provides a variety of interfaces for high-speed serial I/O as well as debug support. Two QSFP+ cages are available on the front panel, each supporting 40GigE or four 10GigE channels using optical transceivers as well as passive copper cabling up to 8 meters. The QSFP+ cages can optionally be adapted for SFP+.

The Gen3 x8 PCIe interface provides 8 SerDes lanes to the Arria V GZ FPGA. A USB 2.0 interface and an optional JTAG connector are available for debug and programming support.

Timestamping and Synchronization

The board supports timestamping and synchronization with optional SMA connectors on the front panel for a 1 PPS and reference clock input.* A tunable, high accuracy, temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO) and a programmable clock synthesizer (Si5338) provide sophisticated timing and clocking options. IP is also available for IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP).


The A5PL features an extremely flexible memory configuration, with a SODIMM site that supports DDR3 SDRAM, RLDRAM3, and QDRII+. Memory card options include the following: up to 8 GBytes of DDR3 with optional error-correcting codes (ECC); up to 72 MBytes QDRII+ (2 banks x18); or up to 512 MBytes RLDRAM3 (2 banks x18). Additional on-board memory includes flash memory for storing multiple FPGA images. An on-board PROM provides access to the board’s MAC ID.

Board Management Controller

Boards in BittWare’s A5 family feature an advanced system monitoring subsystem, similar to those typically found on today’s server platforms. At the heart of the board’s monitoring system lies a Board Management Controller (BMC), which accepts Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) messaging protocol commands. The BMC provides a wealth of features, including control of power and resets, monitoring of board sensors, FPGA boot loader, voltage overrides, configuration of programmable clocks, access to I2C bus components, field upgrades, and IPMI messaging. Access to the BMC is via PCIe or USB. BittWare’s BittWorks II Toolkit also provides utilities and libraries for communicating with the BMC components at a higher, more abstract level, allowing developers to remotely monitor the health of the board.

BwMonitor in the BittWorks II Toolkit provides a view into the baseboard management capabilities of your BittWare hardware.

Development Tools

BittWorks II Toolkit

BittWare offers complete software support for the A5PL with its BittWorks II software tools. Designed to make developing and debugging applications for BittWare’s boards easy and efficient, the Toolkit is a collection of libraries and applications that provides the glue between the host application and the hardware. A variety of features allow developers to take full advantage of the Arria V GZ FPGA capabilities on the BittWare board, including FPGA control via PCIe, Flash programming, custom ISR scripts, and convenient control of FPGA loads. The Toolkit supports 32-bit, and 64-bit Windows and Linux platforms and can connect to the board via PCIe or USB, providing a common API no matter the connection method.

* Requires full-height front panel

BittWare Firmware and Network Solutions Partners

BittWare offers firmware for the Arria V GZ FPGA on the A5 family PCIe boards, targeted specifically for networking applications. BittWare’s FPGA framework provides a solid base for your application, including the following:

  • 10GigE MAC
  • PCIe multi-channel DMA engines
  • DDR3 SDRAM and QDRII/II+ controllers

BittWare has also partnered with several companies to offer solutions for financial acceleration:

  • Algo-Logic: Market feed handler and low latency gateway libraries
  • Argon Design: Design services specializing in multimedia and FPGA-based high performance trading
  • Enyx: UOE, TOE, book building IP, order management IP, Market Feed Handler
  • Fraunhofer HHI: 10 GigE TCP & UDP Offload engines, 10GigE MACS and custom services
  • InDeLabs: Market Data Feed Handler and custom services
  • Intilop: Ultra low latency TOE, UOE, and MAC
  • LeWiz: Ultra low latency, multi-session TOE IP cores
  • Network Allies: IBM and Intel server computing systems
  • PLDA: Low latency TCP/IP offload engine, UDP and PCIe IP cores
  • PolyBus: Infiniband link layer and transport layer
  • Tamba Networks: Ultra low latency Ethernet and Interlaken cores

A5-PCIe-L Specifications

Board Specifications


  • Altera® Arria® V GZ FPGA
  • Up to 16 full-duplex, high-performance, multi-gigabit SerDes transceivers @ up to 12.5 GHz
  • Up to 450K logic elements available
  • Up to 34 Mb of embedded memory
  • 1.6 Gbps LVDS performance
  • Up to 2278 18×18 multipliers

On-Board Memory

  • Flash memory for booting FPGA

Optional SODIMM

  • DDR3: x72 w/ECC
    • Up to 8 GB
  • RLDRAM3: 2x banks of x18
    • 2x (32 M x 18): 128 MB
    • 2x (64 M x 18): 256 MB
    • 2x (128 M x 18): 512 MB
  • QDRII+: 2x banks of x18
    • 2x (8 M x 18): 36 MB

PCIe Interface

  • x8 Gen1, Gen2, Gen3 direct to FPGA

USB Header

  • USB 2.0 interface for debug and programming FPGA and Flash

Timestamp and Synchronization (Optional)

  • Tunable high-accuracy TCXO
  • Programmable clock synthesizer (Si5338)
  • 2 front panel SMA connectors*
    • 1 PPS input
    • Reference clock input

QSFP+ Cages

  • 2 QSFP+ cages on front panel connected to FPGA via 8 SerDes
  • Each supports 40GigE or 4 10GigE
  • Can be optionally adapted for use as SFP+

Baseboard Management Controller

  • Voltage, current, temperature monitoring
  • Power sequencing and reset
  • Field upgrades
  • FPGA configuration and control
  • Clock configuration
  • I2C bus access
  • USB 2.0 access
  • Voltage overrides


  • Half-height, half-length (low profile) PCIe slot card
  • 168mm x 68.9mm
  • Max. component height: 14.47mm

Development Tools

System Development

  • BittWorks II Toolkit – host, command, and debug tools for BittWare hardware; source code porting kit also available

FPGA Development

  • Altera Tools

* Requires full-height front panel

Block Diagram

RW Ruggedization
0U = Commercial (0C to 50C)*
AAAAAAAA Arria V Family, HardIP, and Size
GZME12C3 – Arria V GZME12C3*
GZME32C3 – Arria V GZME32C3 †
GZME52C3 – Arria V GZME52C3 †
GZME72C3 – Arria V GZME72C3
00 = None
99 = No socket †
D3 = DDR3 8GB x72*
Q2 = QDRII+ 36MB 2×18
R3 = RLDRAM3 512MB 2×18 †
C Oscillator
N = None
A = Adjustable TCXO
D Timing
0 = Not installed
X = On-board circuits only*
S = Front panel SMA connectors
E Misc. Configuration
1 = Default
F Envelope Assembly
6 = RoHS 6/6*
0 – Not Installed*
1 – Installed

* Default
† Contact BittWare for availability

Software Support
BittWare Arria V Board Software Support
BittWare Feature Arria V Family
Program Flash
via PCIe
via USB

Configure FPGA From Flash
 via PCIe
via USB

Configure FPGA Directly via USB
Reset FPGA
via PCIe
via USB

Access FPGA Registers, Memory Spaces From User Applications
via PCIe
via USB

Virtual PCIe Hot-Swap
On-board JTAG Pod
Factory Backup Image with PCIe
Multiple User Images in Flash
Serial Number
via PCIe
via USB

MAC Addresses For Each Network Interface
via PCIe
via USB

BMC Voltage, Current, Temperature Sensors
via PCIe
via USB

BMC Clock Re-programming
via PCIe
via USB

BMC FPGA Core Voltage Override
via PCIe
via USB

Upgrade BMC Firmware
via PCIe
via USB

Quick-start Guide
User’s Manual
How-to Index
BMC User’s Guide

10G Ethernet
DDR3 Memory
BMC Host (without using BittWare drivers)

Why BittWare?

Quality & Life Cycle Management

Technology refresh capability with 10+ year supply, quality and timely manufacturing and a trustworthy supply chain. ISO 9000 certified FPGA platform vendor with a history of proven, successful, on-time supply.

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FPGA Board & Integrated Platforms

Standard form factor boards including PCIe, VPX, VME, AMC and XMC.  Bittware's board and integrated platforms support configurable hardware options, data conversion I/O options, and air-cooled and rugged operation.

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Value Added Products for FPGAs

FPGA application development using HDL and OpenCL workflows, FPGA Development Kits (FDKs), and complete application solutions from BittWare's technology partners leveraging the technical expertise of industry leaders.

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System Development & Integration

Host development tools, Board Support Packages (BSPs), Baseboard Management Controller and integrated "boxes" including chassis, backplanes and all other items necessary for a full solution to get to market more quickly.

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