What's New in Embedded Software 2021.1

Expand the sections below to learn more about the new features and enhancements in 2021.1 embedded tools.

Yocto Components


  • The ZynqMP and Versal PetaLinux BSPs boot to tinyram based rootfs and the switch to ext based full rootfs. the default rootfs config is for full rootfs on ext4.
    • ZCU102,ZCU104 and ZCU106 all have now Vitis enabled design and XSA.
    • New ZCU670 BSP is available.
    • PetaLinux tool has distro boot support for MicroBlaze.
    • PetaLinux uses bitbake instead of devtool during config by default.

AI Engine Debugging

  • SYSFS nodes for AIE status dump.

FSBL, PLM, and BootGen (Boot)

  • PLM support to receive DDR image store from run-time application
  • Permission and check for one subsystem to manage lifecycle of other subsystem
  • Event management notification support added in different software layers
  • Add a CRC value on IPI messaging going to/from the PLM
  • XilSecure Client support for bare-metal applications
  • Subsystem restart success indication to PLM
  • PLM periodic check to ensure PSM is alive
  • Boot Image creation wizard for Versal added in Vitis

PLM (Runtime)

  • (PLM) NOC runtime clock gating when NOC is not in use
  • (PLM) Keepalive with PSM for FuSa
  • (PLM) Subscribe/Notify for system errors – enhancements to support with kernel


  • Upgrade to v2021.01
  • Block protection commands support in U-Boot for Micron SPI flash devices.
  • zynqmp mmio_read and zynqmp mmio_write commands are available to access secure registers from U-Boot.

4Arm Trusted Firmware

  • Event management interface support added in ATF
  • Arm Trusted Firmware v2.4


  • Update to Linux Kernel - 5.10.x
  • VFIO framework support – allow userspace applications to map virtual memory into IOVA addresses
  • DMABUF and DMA Fence support – allow userspace applications to directly manage kernel space memory for buffer sharing between applications and drivers
  • Rebase patches available


  • Upgraded FreeRTOS version to 10.4.3

Linux Device Drivers

  • Updated AXI Ethernet Driver to support all Linux ethtool features
  • Added Linux EDAC driver support for Versal

Bare-Metal Drivers

  • Bare-metal driver for AXI Timer (Versal ACAP)
  • Change ULPI reset logic in DWC3 driver


  • Updated open source libraries: binutils (2.35), gcc (10.2), gdb (9.2), glibc (2.32), newlib (3.3), Device Tree Compiler - v1.6.0

Xen Hypervisor

Software Stack Update

  • Arm: ATF v.2.4
  • Yocto Project: 3.2 Gatesgarth
  • Denx: U-boot v2021.01
  • Xen: v4.14
  • Linux: v5.10.x

Zynq® UltraScale+™ Multimedia and Video Codec Unit

General VCU Updates

  • HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) support in VCU
  • Live video pipeline demonstrating Low Latency Phase2 mode @ Ctrl SW
  • NTSC Resolution (486i) Enhancement
  • Dynamic IDR frame insertion for Pyramidal GOP
  • IDR slice type enhancements
  • Monochrome (GRAY8/GRAY10) support @ GStreamer
  • VCU PL DDR4 Controller IP Enhancements: Provides mechanism to user to add DDR custom part

VCU TRD Designs (ZCU106)

  • HLG support Full pipeline
  • SDI Rx (HLG) à Encode à Decode à SDI Tx (HLG)

VCU Region of Interest (ROI) TRD (ZCU106)

  • Avnet Quadsensor camera input
  • Based on Vitis AI v1.4

4Power Advantage Tool: (ZCU111, ZCU208, ZCU216, (ACAP): VCK190, VMK180)

  • Expanding the support of Power Advantage Tool to new tool releases, production silicon, and new products
  • ACAP Python libraries to integrate power measurement into TRDs and demos

Mixed Security: Disable Lower Security Power Management Master 

  • Can disable lower security APU power management for Mixed Security support
  • Can disable lower security APU reset
  • Integrated tool support via flag selections

Versal Power Domains: FPD, System Power Domain

  • Tool and architecture building blocks for Deep Sleep in upcoming release. 

Board Evaluation and Management (BEAM) Tool: VCK190, VMK180

  • Out-of-the-box experience. Board configuration and test.
  • Easy access to Dev/Demo dashboards: Versal Power Tool, ACAP Cockpit, Power Management Dash (Beta)

Power Advantage Tool (SC): VCK190, VMK180

  • Independent from Versal so can be mixed-and-matched with TRDs/Demos/Customer Designs
  • Integrated ACAP setup with BEAM Tool, video demo, cut-and-paste Python customization Wiki

ACAP Cockpit (Security updated for public)

  • Easy view and editing of Versal registers. Plotting and file features.
  • Corresponds with Register documentation.
  • Building block for System Controller IP Dashboards.

Power Management Dashboard

  • Beta release shows the power state of domains and islands at-a-glance, GUI allows future expansion to Clocks and Performance.
  • Independent from Versal so can be mixed-and-matched to view PM state of any Versal application

HSDP/SmartLynq+ EDT and Video

Debug PCIe

  • PS High speed debug over PCIe interface  in Early Access.
  • PL (Chipscope) High Speed Debug over PCIe Interface in Early access
  • PS + PL debug over PCIe Early Access.

Soft Aurora HSDP Example

VCK190 / VMK180 (Versal™)

  • VMK180 TRDs
    • VMK180 Multimedia TRD (end June)
    • VMK180 PCIE TRD (end June)
  • VCK190
    • VCK190 Ethernet TRD(end July)
    • VCK190 Single Sensor TRD with DPU(end July)
    • VCK190  Quad Sensor TRD with DPU (end July)
    • VCK190 HDMI TRD with AI Tiler and Stitches (end July)


  • New beta rollout of BEAM Tool (System Controller Image) for VCK190 and VMK180 which includes
    • Power Advantage tool
    • Board Tests
    • Board Configuration
  • Production by end September

Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

  • Updates to RF DC Evaluation Tool for RFSoC Gen1, Gen2 and Gen3
  • Updates to PetaLinux BSP for RFSoC Gen1, Gen2 and Gen3
  • Production support for RFSoC Gen 3



What's New in Embedded Software 2020.2

Embedded Software:

  • PetaLinux available in Xilinx Unified Installer (Linux only)
  • PetaLinux documents UG1157 and UG1144 merged
  • Binary Linux distributions available per architecture at petalinux.xilinx.com
  • Device Tree Generator support for Linux kernel v5.0+ support
  • Device Tree Generator support for complex multimedia pipelines
  • Vivado CED support in KC705, AC701, KCU105 PetaLinux BSP
  • Micron DDR End-of-Life mitigation in KCU105, ZCU106, VCU118 PetaLinux BSP
  • Production Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Gen3 PetaLinux BSP

What's New in Embedded Software 2019.1

Embedded Linux Tools

  • PetaLinux Tools – Download the PetaLinux tools on the Xilinx Download Center
    • Support for GCC 8 series toolchain
    • Host OS Support
      • Red Hat/CentOS  -  7.4, 7.5, 7.6
      • Ubuntu - 16.04.5 LTS, 18.04 LTS
    • BSP Support
      • SP701 (Spartan-7) – Initial board support
      • ZCU1275 (Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC) – Ethernet connectivity via FMC add-in card and TFTP boot support via Uboot
      • ZCU1285 (Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC) – Lounge Access Only

Software Stack Update – Calendar Year 2019

All sources available on the Xilinx GitHub page: https://github.com/Xilinx

Bootloader and Firmware Updates

  • FSBL Updates
    • Vivado support for DIMM SPD data on Xilinx evaluation boards
    • Use PSU_DYNAMIC_DDR_CONFIG_EN Tcl parameter to enable
  • PMUFW Updates
    • Update to version 1.6
    • PMUFW safety assessment assessments are ongoing with planned completion by July 2019

U-Boot and ARM Trusted Firmware

  • U-Boot Updates
    • USB 3.0 host support
    • Multi-Master I2C support
    • XilSecure-based SHA and RSA operations
    • Flash device updates
Flash Device Density (Mb) Voltage
IS25LP128F 128 3.3
IS25WP128F 128 1.8
IS25LP256D 256 3.3
IS25WP256D 256 1.8
IS25LP512M 512 3.3
IS25WP512M 512 1.8
  • ATF Updates
    • Checksum support for IPI messages
    • Improved API support for clocking infrastructure
    • Expanded runtime detection of devices

Multimedia Frameworks Update

Feature Control
Gstreamer Support
32 simultaneous streams - 480p (Encode & Decode) Yes Yes
VCU Decoder – Dynamic resolution change support Yes No
VCU Encoder – Dynamic resolution change support Yes No
VCU Encoder – Frame skipping support Yes Yes
VCU Encoder – Temporal Layer visual quality improvement (Pyramidal GOP only) Yes Yes
VCU PL DDR Controller support (4KP60, 4-2-2, 10-bit, Simultaneous Encode/Decode) - Public Release Yes Yes
DCI 4K (4096x2160@60fps ) support (-2, -3 speed grades) Yes Yes
NAL Unit insertion support No Yes
Multi-stream Audio+Video Encode/Decode Support No Yes
Capped VBR rate control support Yes Yes

RTOS and Libraries

  • FreeRTOS Updates
    • Update to v10.1.0
  • LwIP Updates
    • Update to v2.1.1

OpenAMP & Xen Updates

  • OpenAMP
    • RPU master support for bare-metal applications
  • Xen Hypervisor
    • Official Dom0-less support
    • Guest-controlled per-device power management (EEMI-based)

MicroBlaze Soft Processor

  • Public release of 64-bit MicroBlaze support
    • Supported throughout the Xilinx ecosystem
    • Bare-metal and FreeRTOS BSPs

Updates for Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

  • Tools Support
    • Full Vivado and XSDK support for Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Gen2 and Gen3
    • RF Data Converter Evaluation Tool support
    • RF Analyzer support
    • Power Advantage Tool support
  • Runtime Software Support
    • API support for dither toggle
    • SDFEC Linux kernel drivers upstreaming has begun