AMD Xilinx has a new Kria development kit. The new AMD Xilinx Kria KR260 kit is designed to bring a similar experience to the KV260 kit that we reviewed previously to the robotics industry in a push against NVIDIA and other solutions.
AMD Xilinx Kria Background
Since this new solution is based on the Kria K26 that we looked at in: Xilinx Kria KV260 FPGA-based Video AI Development Kit is a Huge Step, that is worth looking at if you have not already.
The right way to think about the new kit is that it has a more expansive set of connectors for the purpose of controlling robotics, rather than more desktop vision related tasks. The KR is Kria Robotics while the older KV was Kria Vision.
To be a bit more precise, this new starter kit is still designed to be a starter kit for the same Kria K26 SOM that we looked at previously. The difference is really the baseboard that has things like SFP+ optical networking, more Ethernet ports, and new connectors.
Xilinx is still using these development kits as discounted kits with the idea that companies will purchase them, develop their applications, then build the production modules into designs using application-specific harnesses, not the development kits. We will quickly note that we have had many users say they have had challenges getting the Kria Vision kits due to supply constraints since we published our piece last year.
AMD Xilinx Kria KR260 Robotics Kit
The new starter kit supports Sony SLVS-EC sensors for better machine vision. This solution supports up to 860 MPixel/s and utilizes the Xilinx Zynq FPGA fabric to implement IP behind this.
The ability to add things like grippers and LiDar while also adding more Ethernet for connecting modules and facilitating inter-Kria communication. For modern robotics platforms, it is likely that several Kria SOMs would be used at different parts of the robot.
AMD is also extending the Kria App Store to have more robotics applications, both that the AMD-Xilinx team makes, but also third parties. We showed how to use the app store in our KV260 piece linked above.
AMD is also supporting the same Zynq UltraScale+ SoC, but is also bringing support for things like Robot OS 2.
For the KR260, here is the basic block diagram with the different connectors. There is a lot more here, but that is also why this costs more than the original KV260 kit:
This is designed for robotics, so it is naturally unlikely any of our readers are going to see a SFP+ cage, Ethernet ports, and a FPGA and think about networking applications. That is not what this board is designed for.
Robotics has become a huge field, and it makes sense that Xilinx is finding interest and traction to the degree that it is building a dedicated kit. The real goal of these kits is to get developers onboarded, and then have the Kria K26 SOMs built-into systems in the future. That is the same model that NVIDIA uses with Jetson. We just hope the supply is catching up since we have heard challenges with both NVIDIA and AMD-Xilinx parts in the past year.