Jaraqui Peixe

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Posts posted by Jaraqui Peixe

  1. I have an old Spartan 3E Starter Kit and I need to develop an embbeded system.

    Such system targets an acceleration for a specific computation process.




    To do so, I will employ MicroBlaze for the management process connected to a vhdl block which is the piece of hardware that will perform the acceleration itself according to Figure 1.



                   Figure 1 - basic scheme for my acceleration process


    The design is being done in XPS (the hardware) and in Eclipse SDK (the software).

    In the C software I will employ a send function which will pass to the acceleration VHDL block. The process will be performed and a receive function will gather the result to be presented, e.g., in the LCD.

    It is my intention to develop my vhdl block will be specified via "Create and Import Peripheral Wizard".


    My problem: I don´t know how can I specify my VHDL acceleration block net ports, i.e., if they are external, or how type I can classify them.


    I have examples of how to connect actual peripherals, such as dip switches, leds, LCD. In all these examples, they are classified as "Make External" ones. I go to the .ucf file, insert the respective information, and everything goes fine. But, in my case, as show in Figure 1, my connection to the MicroBlaze is internal, inside the FPGA.


    Trying to solve this, I am using a 4-bit integer multiplier as my "acceleration block". This MWE block receives the a and b operands, each one of them with four bits, performs a basic multiplication, and gives an 8-bit result. 


    Any help will be appreciated.





  2. I have in my Education Center 20 Basys 2 boards as well as 20 Spartan 3E Starter Kit boards.

    Spartan 3E Starter Kit Boards state is as good as new ones.

    There is absolutely no way to negotiate directly with Xilinx requesting a full license which would allow us to work with XPS (Xilinx Platform Studio) and with microblaze. If I enter in my license manage center, I cannot create full licenses anymore. That is, if I format my old lenovo, I will lost my last XPS which can deal with microblaze.

    We are forced to work in assembly with picoblaze. I already know that there are some developers who provided a C2psm compilers allowing people develop C programs for picoblaze.

    But if I have 20 Spartan 3E boards in good conditions, I want to work with microblaze, not picoblaze.


    Is there any way Digilent deal with Xilinx to provide a license for me (and very probably a lot of other people in same condition)?

  3.    The main experiments I need to develop are based on acceleration processes, i.e., the computer doing some basic processing, passes a complex task to the FPGA kit, the process is done, and the results are returned to the computer. This whole process needs to be faster than conventional-old style parallel computing or even with GPUs.

    --->The challenge is to develop a hardware code, dynamically changeable or not, which explores the specificity of specific task with a massivelly parallel processing. 

       If the hardware code is ordinary, simple, weakly thoght, it can even win the performance when compared to parallel computing, but it will lose the battle with the GPU!


       My main concern is that I never developed one single application with this and it is been dificult to find a development kit compatible with my needs. I am making my best efforts to chose Digilent, because I alread have experience with basys 2, and Spartan 3E.


       At a first moment, I need: full and partial dynamic reconfiguration, soft processor, two kinds of memory (one with fast access which can be small, and another with regular speed access with more capacity), and some kind of high speed interface. We have here at my institution some dificulties with finnancial funds and the software licensig which manages the development kit is also one of my concerns.


  4. 2 hours ago, [email protected] said:

    @Jaraqui Peixe,

    Looking at your description of what you need, it sounds like the Basys3 board is an ideal candidate for what you are looking for!  It has VGA, 7-seg display, PS/2 mouse interface (which accepts a USB mouse--how cool is that?), can be programmed via USB stick,  .... sounds like everything you want, right?  Cool!

    I like to think of each board as a series of projects to be done.  Combinational logic, sequential circuits, FSMs, etc, these can be done with *ANY* FPGA board you buy.  7-seg display's can be done with the Basys3, or even the Arty with an appropriate 7-segment display PMod purchase.

    Where the Arty really excels is in memory and the ethernet port.  These are really great for CPU+logic designs, and it doesn't sound like you are looking for that feature.  If your advanced students want to design their own CPU, the Basys3 will work for that as well--it's just that the limited block RAM will keep you from doing too much with it.  The problem with the SDRAM on the Arty is that .... the controller necessary to use it is just *so* complex it's hard to teach what's going on to your students rather than just telling them to "trust me, it works."  Somehow that doesn't seem all that satisfying, although many have done it and aren't bothered by it.  The other thing the Arty has that the Basys3 doesn't is color LEDs--still, not a deal breaker or maker one way or another.

    My point being (and I don't represent Digilent, so don't sue me) the Basys3 sounds exactly like what you are looking for--if for no other reason than it has the 7segment display already installed, and a VGA is just such a *wonderful* show+tell example of FSMs ... you'll enjoy seeing your students faces light up when they see what's on the screen.


    Thank you Dan,


       I have two scenarios:

    • one for my mentioned basic experiments (comb + seq + fsm); and
    • another for advanced experiments


       The earlier was already defined thanks to the cooperation I received at this thread. I will write some additional notes at it that are related to what you described.


  5. 1 hour ago, jpeyron said:

    Hi @Jaraqui Peixe,

    The reference manuals and resource centers are here and here for the Basys 3 and here and here for the Arty-A7.  The Arty has DDR memory, ethernet and an Arduino styled header. The Basys 3 does not have DDR memory but does have a 7 segment display,more switches and LED's as well as a USB HID. 



    Oh... sorry. I confess that I didn´t notice the seven segment display feature.

    We really do need the seven segment display in our boards due to the sequential and fsm experiments.

    Thank you

  6. I am looking for a basic development board and my goals with it are the devlopment and implementation of:

    • combinational circuits
    • sequential circuits and
    • finite state machines

    These three goals are been reached with a good satisfaction with Basys2 in our lab. Sliding switches, push buttons, and seven segment displays are very used.

    The only thing that requires some extra-work to explain is the multiplexed seven segment display, but we can address this task for the students.

    None of the implementations have reached the 100E FPGA capacity.


    It was my intention to proceed with Basys3 acquisition, but I saw Arty 7 at a lower price.

    At a first moment, I didn´t figure out what are the main advantages Basys3 has over Arty 7. Rather, in other words: what I miss if I choose Arty 7 instead of Basys 3?


    Can any of you guys help me?