Question

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? 

 

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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, VGA, and LED's as well as a USB HID. 

cheers,

Jon

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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. 

cheers,

Jon

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

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@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.

Dan

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2 hours ago, D@n 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.

Dan

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.

Regards

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