This project is a falling sand game that is running on Altera Cyclone II field-programmable gate array. Skyler Schneider’s software is written in Verilog and treats each pixel of the 640×480 VGA screen as its own cell following a set of rules to change the cells around it. Check details on the link below. [via]
Falling sand game on an FPGA - [Link]
Student’s at Cornell University are designing great projects using microcontrollers for their class ECE 5760. All final projects are published on this page and it’s a great resource for ideas. This year’s fall projects are published on this page. Projects are innovative and really interesting to check it out! Each project has it’s own website with full hardware and software description. [via]
New projects from Cornell University – [Link]
Phil @ retroleum.co.uk has build this 8 bit laptop based on Zilog Z80 microprocessor and two Spartan II FPGAs. The device is running on 8MHz, has it’s own 5″ LCD screen, a 2.5″ IDE HDD, a Compact Flash Card Slot and home-brew operation system. The overall size is quite small and it’s like a laptop.
V4Z80P – A Z80 Based Laptop - [Link]
A2601 is an FPGA-based clone of the legendary ATARI 2600 video console, developed completely by retromaster.wordpress.com, including VHDL code and a custom PCB. Retromaster recreated 6502 CPU in FPGA along with TV interface which enables NTSC TV and audio playback. Check project details on the link below.
A2601: FPGA-based clone of the ATARI 2600 - [Link]
Actel has introduced nano versions of its IGLOO and ProASIC 3 FPGAs. The new devices reduce power consumption to as low as 2 mW in standby mode with package sizes as small as 3×3 mm.
IGLOO nano FPGAs provide 10k to 250k system gates and support 1.2-V to 1.5-V core and I/O operations, ultra-low-power Flash*Freeze mode with bus hold capability, and advanced I/O features such as hot swapping and Schmitt trigger inputs. [via]
Actel introduces nanopower, nanosize FPGAs – [Link]
GALs are the simplest member of the programmable logic family that also includes CPLDs and FPGAs. They are the modern replacement for the one-time programmable PAL devices that were first introduced in the late 1970′s. Unlike PALs, GALs can be erased and reprogrammed many times. And unlike CPLDs and FPGAs, GALs don’t require using a hardware synthesis language like VHDL or Verilog, or any other special design tools. Although it’s possible to use fancier tools to configure GALs, the simplest method is just to write logic equations in a plain text file, defining each output in terms of the inputs. Run your equations through a command-line tool to create the binary GAL data, and you’re ready to go. Easy as pie! [via]
Getting started with GALs - [Link]
In this project LCD interfacing is based on using delay elements with Finite State Machine (FSM). Programming logic devices are different from microprocessors, because of its different structure. To achieve step-by-step program execution there is a FSM used which allows implementing series of commands (actually waveforms) with desired delays that can be sent to LCD.
As Edvin NC Mui says – generating signals would require huge amount of logic elements on FPGA, so it is better to construct a Finite State Machine that would act as microcontroller and send necessary signals to communicate HD44780 LCD. His experiment was based on Spartan-II XCS200-5 FPGA and FSM layout was synthesized by using Xilink ISE 8.1i VHDL Compiler. He achieved that device occupies 87 FPGA slices out of 2352 and his FSM can operate at speed of 108.98MHz. Full document to read And Xilink FPGA project files. [via]
Interfacing HD44780 to FPGA using Finite State Machine - [Link]