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Hello,

my name is Robert and I am a teacher (Professor) at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover/Germany.

For the next semester I create a new lecture "Development of Digital Circuits" and I decided to emphasize and train the application of FPGAs and CPLDs. I'm just researching the different IDEs of several FPGA suppliers with the following requirements:

  • independence from PC operating system (I mostly use UBUNTU and Linux Mint, seldom W10)
  • free licenses to attract students to work at home with their own installation of the IDE
  • available low cost development boards (student budgets are small in Germany)
  • detailed documentation with background information and technical basics

Till now, only the Xilinx environment seems to meet all my requirements. So I installed Vitis 2020.1, bought an ARTY A7 and now I am here.

I think, I will make a lot of mistakes at the beginning and have to learn a lot. Beside this learning, I start to write a script for my students, so they hopefully get a usable description for programming their own devices.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello All,

I am Sridhar, getting into FPGAs and ASIC designs and Verilog since Feb 2020. Having some experiences in electronic hardware development, and now trying to add vlsi into my career.

Now been able to write RTL code, develop test bench in System Verilog, simulate in Vivado, can synthesize, implement and generate bit stream files.

Able to understand couple of errors and critical warnings, can solve them.

Now talking to my basys-3.

See you around the forum topics. Have a good day!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/10/2020 at 9:13 AM, tt12345678 said:

My name is Tony. I'm a total beginner but am hoping eventually to be able to use a Zedboard to stream data from an AD7768 evaluation board to a PC.

Welcome to the world of FPGA development. The AD776x class of converters are pretty nifty for the right applications. I've done what you want to do for the AD7761 EVM, which is the AD7768 16-bit little brother, for the Nexys Video and Genesys2 boards. At the maximum 256 KS/s conversion rate across 8 channels for the 24-bit converter AD7768 this works out to about a 6 MB/s sustained streaming data rate.  Getting this to a PC will be a bit more challenging on the Zedboard as you'll need the Ethernet interface. ADI has some pretty good FPGA support for its evaluation boards but I wrote my own HDL. I suggest that you use the HDL design flow. The Zynq for a project like this just adds unnecessary complexity.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

I'm a newbie when it comes to FPGAs, but I'm fine with micro-controllers and (ARM) assembly code. I have an old Spartan-6 board (Papilio Pro) which I never did much with :-( Now I'm investigating whether to have another go at FPGAs, in which case I'd be getting the Arty A7 board...

--chris

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31 minutes ago, chris235 said:

Now I'm investigating whether to have another go at FPGAs

There are subtle but immense differences between coding for a processor and programmable logic design so it's easy to get confused. There are a lot of new conceptualizations that need to replace older ones and the amount of knowledge needed to be competent is considerably larger for programmable logic. I think that the effort is well worth it.

If you were an obese 50 something who never did any exercise it would be unrealistic to decide on a Thursday to get ready to do a triathlon on Saturday. Same idea with logic design. Here's some advice suitable for most people:

  • Take your time and don't let your imagination set too difficult goals.  As you learn, the universe of unknown expands
  • Master concepts in small steps before adding new ones.

I suggest that even beginners start with the HDL design flow rather than the GUI 'drag and drop' board design flow. But this really depends on how far you want to go.

In ancient times, the days of Z80, S100 bus, 6502 etc., even processor coding was a mysterious art. People got together and formed clubs because learning as a group is always easier and more productive than learning as an individual. Those groups started out pretty informally....

You should start off with minimal investment in hardware, like the Arty A7.

Here's a dirty little secret. The latest tools are not the best or most appropriate tools. New versions include new bugs and don't necessarily fix old bugs. Currently, Vivado install weighs in at 40+ GB. Older versions of Vivado might be better suited to your board in that available demo projects for it just work. A version of Vivado that dates to approximately when the Arty A7 first came out is probably the best one to start with. It's certainly a lot less painful to install. I only try out the newer versions of tools from FPGA vendors if I need support for a new device. The ARM based FPGA devices are a bit different in this regard but I encourage beginners to start with the non-ARM devices.

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2 hours ago, zygot said:

There are subtle but immense differences between coding for a processor and programmable logic design so it's easy to get confused.

Yup, that's been made clear in a variety of introductory texts! I am forewarned :-)

2 hours ago, zygot said:

I suggest that even beginners start with the HDL design flow rather than the GUI 'drag and drop' board design flow. But this really depends on how far you want to go.

It's more that I'd like to design using logic gates and wire-wrap -- but you can't really get the fastest logic in DIL or wire wrap sockets any more...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all,

I just bought the ARTY-S7 FPGA dev board!

I got Xilinx Vivado up and running and I'm using the board to test my Verilog HDL designs.

If anyone is interested in Verilog, I got some synthesizable examples in my Verilog repo 

https://github.com/JeffDeCola/my-systemverilog-examples

For fun I did try to use Vitis, installed it, but it gave me a lot of licensing issues so I reverted back to the "Xilinx Vivado HL webPACK Edition".

For my next project I want to control some of the I/O pins of the FPGA.  So I'm thinking on using my raspberry Pi's GPIO pins and connect it to the Pmod.  Just thinking out loud right now. 

Cheers all,

- Jeff

 

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Hi @jeffdecola,

Connecting GPIO between the Raspberry PI and a Pmod port on an Arty S7 can work since they both operate at 3.3V.

Be sure to connect the grounds between the two boards though to better ensure you have a common reference voltage. I would also recommend using JC or JD on the Arty S7 as both of those Pmod ports have current limiting resistors to help prevent any problems (though I believe the gpio pins on both sets of boards are current limited to begin with).

Thanks,
JColvin

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