Sidewinder-100TM is the world’s first Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+TM ZU19EG Storage Accelerator PCIe card. But don’t let the ‘Storage Accelerator’ title limit you, Sidewinder’s ZU19EG is also well suited for anything NVMe, NVMe Over Fabrics (NVMEoF, NVMF) workload acceleration, high-frequency trading, and general Zynq US+ development and experimentation.

Researchers leverage the flexibility of the Fidus Sidewinder-100 to deploy HSA compliant FPGA accelerators. Download a comprehensive paper to see/learn how HSA compliant soft processors are implemented on MPSoC.




A huge Zynq UltraScale+ ZU19EG device is housed under the cooling system.

The Zynq US+ features:

  • Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53 Application Processing Unit
  • Dual-Core ARM Cortex-R5 Real Time Processing Unit
  • ARM Mali™-400 MP2 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
  • Lots of extremely high-speed peripherals

PCIe Host Connector

PCIe endpoint supporting Gen4 x8 or Gen3 x16.

PCIe Expansion Port

A PCIe x8  Host Port supporting expansion SSDs or other PCIe add-in cards (you will recognize this port as a x16, but it’s wired only as a x8).

2x 100G QSFP+ Cages

Each with 25Gbps x4 connectivity to ZU19EG.

M.2 Connectors

Sidewinder includes two M.2 sockets to support on board NVMe Solid State Drives (SSD). Add lots of onboard storage! One of the M.2 ports can optionally be used as a boot device for the card. Drives not included.

8643 connectors

Two (2) 8643 connectors at the back end of the card enable connection to off-board SSDs (typically via an 8643 to U.2 cable).

10/100/1000BaseT LAN port

The GigE capable LAN port on Sidewinder is connected directly to the Zynq UltraScale+’s PS. Use this port for management, status, debug, or data plane activities.


Sidewinder is outfitted with two DDR4* PC4-2400 memory modules. One module is connected to the Zynq UltraScale+ PS while the other is connected to the PL (the internal FPGA fabric). With this memory the ARM processors can run extensive operating systems and execute other sophisticated instruction sets. In addition, by dedicating memory to the PL (the internal FPGA fabric), the algorithms that are being accelerated with the FPGA have plenty of buffer in which to operate. The SO-DIMMs are each 16GB, 72-bit with ECC, with a dual rank structure.

*As per Xilinx specification, with this structure of memory, maximum achievable PS rate = 1866MT/s, and PL rate = 2166MT/s.


A micro-USB connector (device only) backed by a USB-to-UART chip, provides access to two (2) serial port connections on the Zynq US+ PS. Intended for use during development.

uSD Card Slot

Carefully hidden away on the back of Sidewinder is a uSD slot. This slot is intended for program storage.

ATX Input Power Connector

When “in-system” the ATX power connector input, in conjunction with the PCIe edge connector, work in tandem to power Sidewinder. The same is true for desktop operation – that is, the “PCIe Power and Loopback Adapter” is required as well as the ATX power connector input.



  • Flexible enough to adapt to your development needs
  • Provides a great development platform for universities or colleges
  • Reduced latency in accessing SSDs
  • Ability to exercise multiple mass storage device types through the M2 or 8643 Connectors
  • Full Zynq XCZU19EG platform to develop custom applications

development. loop it.

The Sidewinder Loopback Kit is an invaluable tool during your development.
Purchase separately from Sidewinder.

Included in the loopback kit:

PCIe Power and Loopback Adapter

This simple, yet invaluable card allows you to not only power Sidewinder on a desktop (ATX power also required), but it also loops back the high-speed PCIe differential pairs to assist in development and debug. Card ships with banana jacks (not shown below). An onboard oscillator provides the PCIe clock.

PCIe Expansion Port Loopback

Speed up your development by looping back the PCIe expansion port.

M.2 Loopback

Want to confirm that your signals are correctly reaching the M.2 slots? Plug in an M.2 loopback PCB, and using Xilinx’s IBERT, check to see if you’re ready to access a real M.2 SSD. As there are two M.2 slots on Sidewinder, the loopback kit includes two M.2 loopback cards.

8643 Loopback Cable

Test out the 8643 functionality by looping one 8643 connector back into the other.

Technical Documents

To view all technical documentation regarding Sidewinder, including technical notes, example designs, and user documentation, visit link below.


Technical Support

Fidus prides itself in offering top notch support. Contact us for answers about your Sidewinder by emailing or click the button below.


PN: 10243-01-SW100-003

Description: Sidewinder-100 PCIe Platform:

Package Contents:

  • Sidewinder-100, PCIe add-in card (1)
  • Excludes: M.2 drives and QSFP pluggables

PN: 1029x-01-LBTEST-001

Description: Sidewinder-100 Loopback Kit

Package Contents:

  • PCIe Power and Loopback Adapter (1)
  • PCIe Expansion Port Loopback (1)
  • M.2 Loopback Card (2)
  • 8643 Loopback Cable (1)


An inside look around the Fidus lab during Sidewinder development.

A fully provisioned loopback system. 

Sidewinder with the Loopback Kit installed. Also installed stand-offs.

Sidewinder connected to two (2) SSDs

Sidewinder with QSFP pluggables installed, and two (2) M.2 drives in place, PCIe Power and Loopback Adapter, two (2) Intel SSD drives, oscilloscope, ATX power supply.


As with any highly programmable, multi-market targetable platform, Sidewinder application development and support consists several on-going and ever engaging tasks. The following top notch companies are working cooperatively to develop end solutions to enable Sidewinder customers.

Providing world class chips and IP, Xilinx is second to none! Xilinx enables Sidewinder with NVMEoF (NVMe Over Fabrics, NVMF) IP. Learn more…


Contact us now for more information or to
request a quote.

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