AXI Interconnect Switches

Versal Adaptive SoC Technical Reference Manual (AM011)

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1.6 English

Transactions are routed through the interconnect switches based on address and, in some cases, register-based routing information. The interconnect channels can carry physical and virtual addresses. The transactions travel on the AMBA® interconnect and other protocol channels between the source of the transaction, through one or more interconnect switches, and finally to the destination.

The majority of the interconnect carries a 44-bit physical address. The virtual address transactions are routed to the FPD SMMU or the PL, which consists of a 48-bit address and the 49th bit for software context designation.

Note: The term channel generally means the entire group of AMBA signals going from one interface to another, which includes the set of signals for a read, a write, and a transaction response. Channel also means the path through an interconnect switch.

Ingress and Egress Ports

Transactions enter the interconnect switch on ingress ports (iPort) and leave the interconnect switch on egress ports (ePorts). The transaction source asserts its request to an iPort. Inside the interconnect switch, the transactions goes through isolation and parity logic in the iPort. The transaction is steered through the switch and might go through a memory or peripheral protection unit (XMPU or XPPU). Before exiting the interconnect, the transaction is monitored by a timeout unit and a parity checking unit in the ePort. In the last stage before exiting on the ePort, the isolation unit can be used to halt traffic and turn back new traffic in the interconnect.

Note: An iPort receives read, write, and write response signals from the destination. The iPort provides parity generation for write data and parity checking for read data.

Interface Protocols

There are several types of interface protocols.

  • AXI4 with 128, 64, and 32-bit data widths
  • AXI4-Lite
  • APB (32-bit single data): APB 3
  • NPI (32-bit words with burst)

The AXI4 channels connect to interconnect switch iPorts. Then interconnect switch ePorts can interface to a single AXI channel or multiple APB register module programming interfaces. The AXI4 interface on an ePort can also provide access to memory resources, other interconnect switches, or a configuration interface for a MicroBlaze processor, including access to its local memories and caches.

Address and Transaction Context

Each transaction includes an address that is interpreted as either 44 or 48 bits. All transaction sources are capable of generating a 48-bit address. The upper 4 bits are only looked at by the FPD SMMU TCUs as a transaction with a virtual address.

The 48-bit virtual address also includes a 49th bit to indicate a kernel or application context for the FPD SMMU.

Burst Size

Transactions can have a burst size of up to 256 data beats. However, many destinations can only accept 16 beats or single data beats. The iPort accepts the number of beats from the initiator and measures out the data beat counts and data widths to satisfy the needs of the block attached to the ePort.


The interconnect switch passes the QoS signals along with the transaction request. It does not use the QoS signals to determine routing or priority. Priority for a transaction reaching a destination is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Poisoned Transactions

When a problem has been detected in a transaction, its poison signal is asserted. The poison signal propagates to the destination. For example, the interconnect poisons a transaction when an access is blocked by a protection unit or a parity error is detected. In some cases, the iPort receives a transaction that is already poisoned. The interconnect can signal this with an interrupt and allow it to propagate through to the ePort and out the switch.


Isolation has a number of purposes. Processors simultaneously run multiple applications. These applications can be physically and logically isolated from one another. The system enables an exchange and communication of information in a controlled manner. An application can be partitioned using interconnect inhibitors, as well as physical isolation where blocks are not sharing logic, such as using the fabric to expand the isolated system. Isolation can also be used when it is necessary to reset or power down logic.