Connecting EXOSTIV

Standard connectivity.

Exostiv probe connects to FPGA transceivers / SERDES at up to 12.5 Gbps with standard connectors available on many FPGA boards, including ASIC / SoC prototyping platforms.

  • SFP+ (copper or optical cables) – up to 12.5 Gbps per link;
  • QSFP+ or QSFP28 (copper or optical cables) – up to 12.5 Gbps per link;
  • HD Mini SAS or Mini SAS (copper or optical cables) – up to 12.5 Gbps per link;
  • FMC HPC and LPC with a plug-in adapter – up to 12.5 Gbps per link;
  • SATA with a SFP+ to SATA connectivity kit. – up to 6.6 Gbps per link
Alternative solutions involve choosing a mezzanine connector and making an adapter for it.
Please contact us to discuss it.

Custom connectivity.

Exostiv can also use HDMI type-A, type-C or type-D connector with a custom pinout in case you’d like to add a cheap & small footprint connector to your custom board.

  • Compact / Reduced footprint on PCB necessary for debug.
  • Right angle or vertical connectors available.
  • High availability of connectors and cables.
  • Limited impact on BOM costs.
Used at up to ~8 Gbps – 10 Gbps per link (size and board layout-dependent)
Require the transceivers and 2 addional standard pins on FPGA for IP downstream control.
Click here for an example of schematic for this type of connectivity(PDF)

QSFP+ connectivity with add-on board.
Micro-HDMI connector on a target FPGA board

Which connector works for you?

1. Is there an existing SFP/SFP+/QSFP/QSP+ directly connected to the FPGA transceivers?

  • Check if you can reserve this FPGA resource (and the board connector) for debug – at least temporarily. You’ll need 1 SFP/SFP+ connection per used gigabit transceiver
  • QSFP/QSFP+ connectors can be used with a 4xSFP to QSFP cable with splitter.

Note: most of our partners’ boards or FPGA vendor standard demo kits feature SFP/SFP+, quad SFP/SFP+ or QSFP/QSFP+ connectors by default. And they are directly connected to FPGA transceivers.

2. Is there another type of connector directly connected to the FPGA transceivers?

  • With a board adapter, you can use EXOSTIV
  • FMC (‘FPGA Mezzanine Card’) is a good example.
    Exostiv Labs has created a HDMI to FMC module adapter that works with EXOSTIV. Many other FMC to SFP/QSFP adapters can be found commercially.
  • Would you like to make your own adapter? We can help and review it with you.

Please contact us for details on our adapters, external references and custom adapters support.

3. For all other cases: you’ll need to modify your board and add a connector.

    • Is space on the board critical? Go for HDMI or even Micro-HDMI !


  • You do not have space constraints (lucky you)? Pick the one you like: SFP/QSFP/HDMI/micro-HDMI/other (+ adapter).
Still can’t decide? Check our decision flowchart below

Quick links:
List of supported boards from the market.
Contact us.