Tag Archives: FPGA

DE1-SoC Development Board from Terasic

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by Joel Bodenmann:

The DE1-SoC board is populated with a six digit 7-segment display. All digits are connected to the FPGA. Therefore, in order to control the 7-segment display out of the Linux userspace code, one has to create a new component in QSys that is connected to the AMBA-AXI bus.
But first of all, please note that this is a blog post, not a comprehensive tutorial. The text below does not replace the official Altera documentation. Furthermore, the post does just show some code snippets. However, the fully working project can be found as a download at the very bottom.

DE1-SoC Development Board from Terasic – [Link]

Supercomputing Video Card for Personal Computer

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This circuit is designed for dedicated graphic display applications. It shows the basic configuration of personal computer hardware and functions. It is a generic type of a processing unit that handles display and improves image quality. It also manages data transfer from flash drives and other serial devices such as computer mouse and keyboard.

The design is comprised of different parts that serve different functions. The PX1011B-EL1 device is a high-performance, low-power, single-lane PCI Express electrical PHYsical layer (PHY) that handles the protocol and signaling between FPGA and Motherboard. The FPGAs or field-programmable gate arrays serves as the main processors of this designed circuit. It is configured to process data at very fast rate and control bidirectional data buses including I/Os for the display. It has memory interfaces that handle the SRAM, DRAM, and Flash memory. It also has accelerator functions that handle displays and other monitoring applications and fixed peripherals that handle GIGe, USB, CAN, I2C, SD, UART and GPIO. The Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) device is a memory component that is used as a cache memory of FPGA. The Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) stores bits of data in separate capacitor within an integrated circuit. It also serves as the main memory element so that the FPGA’s work will be lessened. The PTN36242L is a dual port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 redriver IC that enhances signal quality by performing receive equalization on the deteriorated input signal followed by transmit de-emphasis maximizing system link performance. The USB microcontroller is a programmable interface chip that is used to integrate USB 2.0 port. The USB 2.0 is provided for longer cable length applications. The PCA24S08A is Electrically Erasable and Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM), which allow you to reprogram the VID/PID for the USB device Identification.

The CBTL06122AHF device is a six-channel (‘HEX’) multiplexer for display port and PCI express Gen2 applications and provides four differential channels capable of switching and multiplexing applications. The PTN3361B device is a high-speed level shifter which converts four lanes of low-swing AC-coupled differential input signals to DVI v1.0 and HDMI v1.3a compliant open-drain current-steering differential output signals, up to 1.65 Gbit/s per lane and it is connected to a HEX multiplexer. The design is practically excellent since it considers the components’ cost. It can be used for commercial applications and as a reference for CPU development. It is also suitable for data management applications such as accounting or inventory.

Supercomputing Video Card for Personal Computer – [Link]

DIY FPGA-based HDMI ambient lighting

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by  Scarab Hardware :

Ambient lighting is a technique that creates light effects around the television that correspond to the video content. It has been pioneered by Philips under the brand Ambilight. In this project we will create a basic FPGA-based ambient lighting system that reads the video signal over HDMI. This means we are not limited to computer output. We can use it together with DVD players, video game consoles, etc.

DIY FPGA-based HDMI ambient lighting – [Link]

miniSpartan3

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The miniSpartan3 is our new, low cost, tiny, FPGA kit. It starts at just $25, and there is a more powerful FPGA chip available for $35.

  • The Spartan 3A XC3A50 FPGA ($25), or the Spartan 3A XC3A200 FPGA ($35) from Xilinx.
  • An on-board USB JTAG Programmer to power and program your FPGA.
  • An on board USB to Serial Interface.
  • One HDMI port.
  • 41 digital I/O pins.
  • A 4-channel analog to digital converter running at 200 KSPS with 8 bit resolution.
  • 4 Mbit SPI Flash.
  • 32Mhz oscillator.
  • 3 LEDs for debugging.
  • 2 DIP switches.

miniSpartan3 – [Link]

Oscillators: How to generate a precise clock source

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by Ashish Kumar and Pushek Madaan @ edn.com:

In our modern era, digital logic has become the core of all the electronics circuits either in the form of an FPGA, microcontroller, microprocessor, or discreet logic. Digital systems use many components that must be interconnected to perform the required functions. The vital element for proper operation of such a digital system is a CLOCK signal that enables all these digital components to communicate and establish synchronization between them. Hence, we always need a source to generate this clock signal.

This source comes in the form of an oscillator. Although most of today’s microcontrollers have an integrated RC oscillator, the clock generated by such an internal RC oscillator is typically not good enough to support the precision required for communication with other modules in the system. Thus, an external oscillator is required that can provide a clock signal to the complete system and yet meet all the requirements for precision, signal integrity and stability.

Oscillators: How to generate a precise clock source – [Link]

96×48 full-color LED Matrix

by fw.hardijzer.nl:

A few years ago I built a red-only 32 pixels high, 96 pixels wide LED Matrix, and due to all the positive responses I sought out to do it again the year after with a bigger better matrix. I did some research into affordable solutions, and as usual ended up with Chinese vendors. I got my hands on about 10 32×16 RGB LED panels with a 1cm pixel pitch, and a HUB75 connection, quite similar to the ADAFruit 32×16 matrix. ADAFruit had a bunch of information on them, and there are several other places where they’re being used, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I even bought a Digilent Basys 2 FPGA development board, as these boards are apparently best driven by an FPGA, and I was willing to pick that up.

96×48 full-color LED Matrix – [Link]

Lattice FPGA Voice Processors

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by elektor.com:

Lattice Semiconductor has developed two power-saving IP cores intended for use in smartphones and mobile devices. Known as ‘Voice Solution’ the two IPs are: Voice Command supporting hands-free and always-on applications, and Voice Recognition which improves the user experience by enhancing security and reducing false trigger inputs. They essentially act as a processing front-end, allowing the main processor to remain in low power dormant mode until voice commands have been processed and recognized by the Lattice Voice Processor.

Lattice FPGA Voice Processors – [Link]

Cheap FPGA Development Boards – What to look for

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by Joel Williams @ joelw.id.au:

I bought Avnet’s $49 Spartan 3A development board but it was discontinued not long afterward – right about the time when I decided I needed a few dozen more. I’ve since done some extensive research (thanks, Google!) to find a comparable thrifty thrill.

When choosing a development board, consider what you get with it and what you want to use it for. FPGAs are ideal for use with high speed peripherals, and in general it is much easier to buy a board that contains the part you want, rather than trying to add one on later (and inevitably giving up and upgrading to a more capable board).

Cheap FPGA Development Boards – What to look for – [Link]

Who Can Build The Best P-O-V Contest

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PyroElectro.com proudly presents their new contest:

View the Pyro Propeller Clock POV Project to learn more about the concept Persistence of Vision (POV) – a phenomenon where an afterimage persists for roughly one twenty-fifth of a second on the retina after the stimulus that produced it is removed.

Build an original electronic device demonstrating POV and photograph in action in a darkened environment. You may use any electronic parts desired as long as the POV signals are driven by either an FPGA or CPLD.

Submit your entry to contests@pyroelectro.com with the subject line “PyroElectro POV Contest.” Your entry must contain two photos of the device – one of its components in a well-lit environment and one of it in action in a darkened environment – as well as a circuit diagram and the VHDL code to run the device.

Who Can Build The Best P-O-V Contest – [Link]