Vitis Embedded Platforms


The Vitis™ unified software platform provides product developers an environment for creating embedded software and accelerated applications on heterogeneous platforms based on FPGAs, Zynq®-7000 SoCs, and Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoCs. This document focuses on using embedded platform for Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC.

Platform Naming Convention

The platform name is used when creating acceleration applications in Vitis or targeting platforms when using the Vitis compiler (v++). Pre-built platform images also use the same file name and directory name.

Pre-built Vitis embedded platforms use the following naming convention.
<Vendor>_<Board>_<Feature>_<Supported Vitis Tool Version>_<Release


The board vendor. For all Xilinx-created pre-built platforms, use xilinx.
The special function of this platform. For example:
  • base indicates that it connects all possible resources for you to use in an acceleration application.
  • DFX indicates that it supports Xilinx Dynamic Function eXchange (DFX).
Supported Vitis Tool Version
The specific version of the Vitis development platform that the platform is designed for. This also indicates the version of the Vivado® Design Suite tools that the pre-built platform is created by.
Release Version
The release version of the platform. The first version is 1.

For example, the following platform names follow the naming convention:

  • xilinx_zcu102_base_202010_1
  • xilinx_zcu104_base_202010_1
  • xilinx_zc706_base_202010_1
  • xilinx_zcu102_base_dfx_202010_1
Note: Platform source code uses a git branch for versioning. The directory name is <Board>_<Feature> (for example, zcu102_base). The platform generated from the source in has the name xilinx_zcu102_base_202010_1.

Embedded Platform Components and Architecture

A platform is the starting point of your Vitis design. Vitis applications are built on top of the platforms.

An embedded platform includes a hardware platform and a software platform.

Hardware Platform

The hardware platform is the static, unchanging portion of your hardware design. It includes the Xilinx Support Archive (XSA) file exported from the Vivado Design Suite.

The hardware platform describes platform hardware setup and the acceleration resources that can be used by acceleration applications, for example, Input and output interfaces, clocks, AXI buses, and interrupts. Vitis adds kernels and infrastructure modules to the hardware design as needed to facilitate data movement. Acceleration kernels can share data with platform IPs, but cannot change or modify them.

Software Platform

The software platform is the environment that runs the software to control acceleration kernels for acceleration applications. It includes the domain setup and boot components setup.

By default, all Xilinx pre-built platforms have a Linux domain that has enabled Xilinx Runtime (XRT) so that acceleration applications can run on this environment. The pre-built binaries for Linux kernel image and rootfs are located in a separate download file on the PetaLinux download page. See the "Common images for Embedded Vitis platforms" section of the Xilinx download center. Because the device tree is unique to each platform, it is provided as a component with the Linux XRT domain inside the platform.

Linux Domain Components must be provided when there is a Linux domain in the embedded platform. These components can be generated by PetaLinux, Yocto, or third-party frameworks. Because these components can be shared across all Xilinx demo boards for the given FPGA family, a common Linux component image generated by PetaLinux is provided for Zynq-7000 SoC and Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC devices.

The following Linux images can be downloaded from the PetaLinux download page:

Root File System (RFS)
Includes binaries, libraries, and setups for a Linux file system. In the Xilinx-provided common rootfs, XRT has been installed so that acceleration application can run on this Linux environment.
Kernel Image
A compiled Linux kernel. The common kernel image provided by Xilinx includes most Xilinx peripheral drivers.
Used for cross compilation. It provides the libraries to be linked when compiling applications for a target system.
Note: Optionally, you can pack Linux domain components into embedded platforms. When creating a Linux application in the Vitis IDE, the Linux domain components in the platform setting will be the default and initial settings if they have been set in the platform. You can overwrite these settings with components installed elsewhere.

Xilinx pre-built embedded platforms and pre-built common Linux components are provided in separate download files. You can regenerate the common Linux components from the platform source files hosted on the Vitis Embedded Platform GitHub repository by setting the environment variable COMMON_RFS_KRNL_SYSROOT=FALSE before running make .

Installing Embedded Platforms

Pre-built Vitis embedded platforms must be downloaded from the Xilinx website:

After you download the embedded platforms, there are three ways to include them in your project:

  • Extract the pre-built platforms to /opt/xilinx/platforms.
  • Extract the pre-built platforms to any folder. Set the PLATFORM_REPO_PATHS environment variable to the folder path.
    export PLATFORM_REPO_PATHS=/path/to/platforms
  • Extract the pre-built platforms to any folder. In the Vitis IDE, select Xilinx > Add Custom Platform and select the folder path.

Common Linux components can be extracted to any folder. When you create a Linux application, you will specify the path for the components in the Vitis New Application Wizard.