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Help selecting FPGA dev board for camera project




I need advice on which FPGA board to select for a camera project I'm working on. This is the first time I have considered using an FPGA so my knowledge is limited. Any general advice about first use of FPGAs would also be appreciated.

It needs the following main features and capabilities.

1. It needs to be able to interface with the image sensor which uses 1.8v logic. I read somewhere that different voltages can be used for certain sections of some FPGAs which would be very useful in this case.

2. SDRAM as a temporary store for captured images. I see that some boards already have this.

3. Mirco SD card slot, for permanent storage of multiple captured images.

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Sure, different voltages can be used for different banks of an FPGA and that is the strength of an FPGA, but .... you need to build that into your design.  To my knowledge, all of the peripheral ports Digilent produces are at 3V (or above?).  This leaves you with the option of getting a voltage level translator, but not knowing the number of pins that need to be translated from 1.35 to 3V it's hard to say if that will work.

As for the memory, there are lots of boards Digilent offers with memory: Arty, Nexys4 DDR, Nexys Video, and I'm sure someone else will pipe in with the full list--those are only the ones I know about.

MicroSD is a little harder.  On the other hand, if you could use a full size to micro adaptor, than an PModSD could be added to any of the boards and probably suit your purpose.


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Hi Dan

Thanks for your input. 

I need 11 1.8v I/O lines. D0-D7 for data, clock, frame sync and line sync. However I want to find a solution that doesn't require a level translator as that's what I'm using in the current implementation and they don't like the high speed.

A full size SD socket is fine. I can use an adapter.


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Hi Ben,

I would maybe take a look at our PmodLVLSHFT which might meet your needs compared to your current Level shifter here. Otherwise I would suggest either the Zedboard or the Nexys Video depending on if you want zynq or not. Both have a FMC which you can adjust to 1.8v and would meet your pin count needs as well as both have an sd card. With the FMC you would also need something like these here.



Edited by jpeyron
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