Tag Archives: FPGA

A FPGA controlled RGB LED MATRIX for Incredible Effects

A dot matrix RGB LED graphic panel, managed by a FPGA-based controller board that may be separately used as a demoboard, so to evaluate the potential of the on-board Spartan 6. First installment.

A FPGA controlled RGB LED MATRIX for Incredible Effects – [Link]

Low-Cost FPGA With Reconfigurable Electronics Feature

Iolinker is a cheap 64 FPGA board with a MachXO FPGA that functions as a dynamically configurable IO matrix. Its main functionality, besides IO extension, is to dynamically set up a matrix of GPIO connections, that allow direct pass-through of high-frequency signals. Circuits can thereby be configured and programmed on the fly. There are UART / SPI / I2C connections that allow for easy integration of up to 127 chips connected in parallel.

Thanks to the open source library, Iolinker allows developers to create reconfigurable, easy to self test electronics within minutes. It can be used to be an IO extender and can output PWM signals. In addition, its revolutionary “IO linking” feature allows to dynamically pass through high-speed signals between IOs, better than any microprocessor ever could.

Check this teaser about the new board:

Iolinker has the following specifications:

  • Reprogrammable FPGA board with Lattice LCMXO3L-4300E-5UWG81CTR50
  • Preprogrammed and usable out of the box as your IO interface of choice.
  • 49 GPIOs for PWM or IO extension usage, VCCIO is 3.3V.
  • Boards can be connected in parallel, to create endless IO extension.
  • IOs can be linked to each other, i.e. you tell the FPGA to connect them, and it forwards the input signal from one pin to another. (Read more about the iolinker chip function.)
  • UART, SPI or I2C interfaces are available.

In order to make the ultimate IO interface for users, the team are accepting feature requests at the contact page.

In short, the Iolinker board is easy to use and can reconfigure schematics on the fly, what makes it ideal to reduce prototyping time and jumper cable mess, and to maximize the ability of using IO extensions.

More technical details about Iolinker and its price will be announced soon at the Kickstarter campaign at Feb 14. Some special offers are for everyone who register in the website’s newsletter, so register now and stay tuned!

 

DueProLogic – USB-CPLD Development System

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The DueProLogic is a complete FPGA Development System designed to easily get the user started learning and creating projects.

The DueProLogic makes programmable logic easy with an all inclusive development platform. It includes an Altera Cyclone IV FPGA, on board programming, four megabit configuration flash, and an SD connector for add on memory. You can create your HDL code, program it into the flash and interact with the hardware via a Windows PC.

DueProLogic – USB-CPLD Development System – [Link]

TE0722 Zynq DIPFORTy1 “Soft Propeller” Module

The DIPFORTy1 is a powerful Xilinx based FPGA board with small form factor and many programmable I/Os. It is popular for its high performance at most competitive price.

DIPFORTy front face-FPGA Board
DIPFORTy front face

Introduction:

The TE0722 is based on the Xilinx Zynq-7000, a System on Chip. It contains a FPGA and a Dual Core ARM A9+ processor with enough logic gates to become a Propeller. The board also has 16 MByte of flash used for configuration. Everything fits on a Propeller-compatible DIP 40 pin board. The 16 MByte storage space is good enough for primary boot, though a micro-SD card can be attached as MIO/ZYNQ secondary boot media.

DIPFORTy back side-FPGA Board
DIPFORTy back side

The DIPFORTy1 ‘Soft Propeller’ is the lowest cost Zynq based module ever made. It’s also the first Zynq module that can use existing bases and project boards (Parallax Propeller chip compatibility). All this in a compact 1.8 x 5.1 cm form factor, at the most competitive price.

Quick look at specs:

DIPFORTy1 quick specs-FPGA Board
DIPFORTy1 quick specs

About FPGA:

It’s good to have some knowledge about FPGA before getting to know about DIPFORTy.

field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a designer after manufacturing. The FPGA configuration is generally specified using a hardware description language (HDL), similar to that used for an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).

FPGA
A Spartan FPGA from Xilinx

FPGAs contain an array of programmable logic blocks. The hierarchy of configurable interconnects allows the blocks to be “wired together”. It’s just like many logic gates that can be inter-wired in different configurations. Logic blocks can be configured to perform complex time-independent logics. Blocks also can perform merely simple logic gates like AND and XOR. In most FPGAs, logic blocks also include memory elements. It can be simple flip-flops or more complete blocks of memory.

Features of TE07722 DIPFORTy1:

The DIPFORTy1 has lots of features. Lets have a look:

  • Xilinx ZYNQ-7: XC7Z010-CLG225
    • Dual Core ARM A9+
    • 16 MByte SPI Flash (primary boot)
    • 33.333 MHz clock (MEMS Oscillator)
  • DIP40 form factor
    • 2 x 20 holes for socket pins or pin-header
    • Size: 18 mm x 51 mm
  • 3.3 V single supply
  • RGB LED (PL I/O connected)
  • “Done” LED (inverted polarity)
 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Total user accessible PL I/O: 46 (+3 Input only)
    • DIP40 header pins: 34 I/O
    • XMOD J1: 6 I/O
    • XMOD J2: JTAG + 2 I/O (or 3 input + 2 I/O)
    • XMOD J3: 4 I/O
  • User LED (ARM CPU MIO GPIO)
  • MicroSD card socket (MIO, ZYNQ secondary boot media)
  • Sil1143 proximity and ambient light sensor

Pin-Out Of DIPFORTy1 :

dipforty1-pinout-FPGA-Board
dipforty1-pinout

Processor of DIPFORTy1 :

The FPGA board is designed using Xilinx ZYNQ-7: XC7Z010-CLG225.

zynq-mp-core-dual-FPGA Board
zynq-mp-core-dual

Zynq-7000 devices are equipped with dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors integrated with 28nm Artix-7 or Kintex®-7 based programmable logic for excellent performance-per-watt and maximum design flexibility. With up to 6.6M logic cells and offered with transceivers ranging from 6.25Gb/s to 12.5Gb/s, Zynq-7000 devices enable highly differentiated designs for a wide range of embedded applications.

Conclusion:

As the DIPFORTy1 is an industrial-grade Zynq-7000 SoC module, it’s highly powerful and appropriate for wide range of embedded applications including multi-camera drivers assistance systems and 4K/2K Ultra-HDTV. The board is totally value for money.

You can purchase it from trenz electronic or Digi-Key.

Vivado HL WebPACK Edition (free Version) is the recommended software.

FPGA-Based Arduino Shield

Inspired by an interest in spreading the concepts of FPGA, and because its ability to overcome most of other platforms limitations such as IO, memory, and peripherals, technolomaniac had worked on developing the first Arduino FPGA shield.

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A Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or a designer after manufacturing. FPGAs contain an array of programmable logic blocks which include memory elements, and a hierarchy of reconfigurable interconnects that allow the blocks to be “wired together” to perform complex combinational functions, or merely simple logic gates like AND and XOR.

The FPGA shield includes additional I/O and memory resources, and it can be programmed either by SPI flash or via Arduino Due. Programming by the SPI flash from Arduino is done via the ICSP header which is carried on the shield board. The shield also include a second chip select (GPIO) to enable the ICSP to connect to the FPGA via SPI.

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The PCB board contains these components:

The flash memory is large enough to be used by an FPGA processor, and also can hold multiple images of the FPGA configuration.

How-to video

The project is open source and all design files are available on Github.

For more details, build instructions, and project updates you can follow the project’s page on hackaday.

Test application for the FPGA Tibbit in the smart LED controller configuration

This application example shows how to connect and use RGBW LED stripe with TPS hardware platform. The main difficulty is that LEDs have their own color generation circuit inside. New FPGA Tibbit #57 can generate fast PWM signal, which is needed for proper LEDs operation. Also, the topic shows the main advantage of FPGA technology. It allows the user to create any external interface, which will be easily connected to the TPS platform.

Test application for the FPGA Tibbit in the smart LED controller configuration – [Link]

Space Invaders FPGA Game

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Patsiatzis Nikos and Katsaros Nikos build the space invaders game using a ZedBoard FPGA. The project’s code is available on github.

This two person project was completed through the course of Embedded Systems at the University of Thessaly, Department of Computer Engineering. In the context of this game we implemented the classic space invaders game using a zedboard fpga. The code is in Verilog and you can find it on github . The project consists of 3 parts. First the connection with the monitor through the vga interface, the game logic and the sprite memory modules.

Space Invaders FPGA Game – [Link]

TFoC: FPGA & Forth = VGA

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Here is a fun project, created from start to finish by Matthias Koch:

In itself, this is no big deal. The generated pattern is a 16×16 expanded pixel image, and 640×480 displays are pretty basic by now – although they’re fine for presenting text-mode information and retro games.

TFoC: FPGA & Forth = VGA – [Link]

Hacking the OWON SDS7102 Scope

scope

Christer Weinigel did a teardown of OWON SDS7102 oscilloscope. He explained how its internals are connected, ported Linux to its Samsung SoC in the scope, succeeded in getting its peripherals working, and set to work programming the Xilinx FPGA that’s responsible for signal processing.

One of the reasons I bought this specific scope was that I had seen some teardowns of it and knew that the scope has a Samsung System-on-Chip (SoC) and a Spartan 6 FPGA in it and I have some familiarity with both. At the back of my head I had the idea that I might be able to reverse engineer the scope and do something interesting with it.

Hacking the OWON SDS7102 Scope – [Link]

Consolite – a Tiny Game Console on an FPGA

mimasv2-diagram

Robert Fotino has design a video game system on a FPGA. He writes:

For my latest project, I am diving back into Verilog to create the hardware side of Consolite. For those who don’t know, Consolite is the name I’ve given to my design of a tiny hobbyist game console and associated software toolchain. In my previous posts, I demoed a compiler that translates from a flavor of C to Consolite Assembly, an assembler that translates from Consolite Assembly to binary files, and an emulator that runs the resulting binaries.

Consolite – a Tiny Game Console on an FPGA – [Link]