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Read from MicroSD in HDL, Write on PC


I am using a Nexys 4 DDR board and want to use the microSD as an external memory to read from. right now:

  • I am using HDL only
  • Want to read from SD in SPI mode as a continues loop
  • Want to write to Micro SD offline via PC

I have an HDL code, and I am able to write to and then read-back  from the SD inside the HDL correctly, but have no idea how a data file on my computer can be turned into something on SD that  I can read properly in FPGA


  • What file format am I supposed to use for the  SD card? (FAT32? )
  • What tool to use? I am using HxD  http://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd/
  • I wrote a random file to the SD using the HxD, when I initiate read in FPGA, I see data, but don't know what it is! Maybe I only need to figure the address for beginning of my data???

Thanks in advance.

Edited by dcc

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Hi @dcc,

I'm not certain how you are verifying that the HDL is writing to and then reading back from the SD card in a normal formatting style, but in general FAT32 is a widely used format for SD cards that has existing material for it.

I am uncertain why you are using a special tool to write to the SD card though; from what I can tell the tool is Windows compatible, so why not just use the Notepad program which comes with Windows and save a .txt file with the data you are interested in reading to the SD card or just using Windows Explorer (the file manager) to move the file of interest onto the SD card? If you do have a header in your file, you will need to take account for that, though I do not know what you mean by "random file" in this case.


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