Posts Tagged ‘FPGA projects’

Litecoin Mining With FPGA – This Is Cool

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Is anyone keeping up with the newer Bitcoin successor, Litecoin?

We wanted to provide some information for you about the newest peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Yes, it’s completely open-source, and you can mine these little guys on your FPGA platform.

Educate yourself a “bit” before we go on:

I’m thinking I want to ask Jack how much work it would be to implement this on Papilio, but if any of you guys and gals have already accomplished this, or want to hack it in, and post to the GF forums, it would help to extend all of our savvy!

(via Wikipedia, Litecoin, and Kramble on Git)

Clever Exploitation Of Vivado HLS To Make A FIR Filter And More

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

By way of Colin O’Flynn over at NewAE, we’ve got a wonderful video showing how to basically exploit the Xilinx HLS (High-Level Synthesis) in Vivado to make your own FIR filter in only about 25 minutes! I could attempt to write a synopsis of what is covered in the video, but as they say – a video is worth 10,000 words. It is a bit long, but if you’ve got the patience for it you might walk away with a couple of new tricks up your sleeve!

Vivado – it’s Xilinx’s new design tool system. Part of this is the ‘High Level Synthesis’ option – something you can also get it seems for ~$2k. I’m using these design tools in the “wrong” way, in that I’m generating HDL & then synthesizing it with the normal ISE chain. Some of the parts I’m using aren’t officially supported in Vivado it seems. Plus I’m currently more used to the ISE design flow, so don’t want to throw everything away.

After you watch the video, don’t forget to click on over to Colin’s site at NewAE to check out the full scoop.

(via NewAE)

Initial Impressions: Firing Up The Papilio Pro

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Well, what do ya know! Duane Benson over at All Programmable Planet has another nice article up, this time on the subject of getting his Papilio Pro ready. Ready to do his bidding, that is!

If you read the previous article here about the progress of the tele-presence robotic avatar that Duane is working on, I think you’ll agree that this one sheds a bit more light on where he’s coming from and how he is approaching his endgame. Let’s check in real quick – regarding how he seems to blow up his GPIO:

In order to deal with my exploding GPIO problem, I didn’t go to group therapy. Instead, I purchased two Gadget Factory 16-bit I/O buffer wings when I ordered the Papilio Pro. They cost a lot less than a new FPGA board and are completely transparent to the FPGA configuration. The image [above] shows the Papilio Pro, one of my I/O buffer wings, an LED/button wing, and a breadboard with a switch and four LEDs.

Before getting back to work on my robot avatar, I wanted to give the Papilio Pro a quick run-through to see what changes I might need when migrating my existing designs from the Avnet/Xilinx Spartan-6 LX9 board.

Click through to Mr. Benson’s article to see what his thoughts and ideas are. It is a great read, as per usual:

Thanks for the great feedback about the Papilio Pro, Duane. It’s cool to see what you have been working on!

(via All Programmable Planet)

Status Update On Papilio-Based Robot Avatar Project

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Here’s a great follow-up on the progress of Duane Benson’s Papilio-based tele-presence avatar project which we covered here on the blog a little while back. Looks like he is moving forward with the overall implementation in strides.

Referring to the photo above, Duane gives us the run-down from a hardware standpoint:

Toward the lower-left, we see a Papilio One FPGA development board from the Gadget Factory. The small green board hanging off the left-hand side of the Papilio One is a “Wing” (similar in concept to an Arduino “Shield”) carrying a few push button switches and LEDs. I’m using this Wing to mimic some of the final controls — two buttons must be pressed simultaneously to energize the robot; one button will act as an emergency power cut-off.

On the lower-right is a joystick board of my own design. This employs a PIC16F1825 to read the two potentiometers and one switch on the analog joystick. It converts the readings into I2C data to be sent back to the Papilio.

The board stack in the upper portion of the photograph is the power motor driver set. On top is a PIC microcontroller, which communicates with the Papilio over I2C. The board in the middle has voltage regulators and a power relay. Finally, the board on the bottom is a power H-bridge.

So, that’s the hardware! Awesome. Now all you need to do is cruise on over to All Programmable Planet, (where Duane is a resident blogger) to read his status update on the tele-presence avatar project. Duane has put up a video on the original article as well as some code examples that he’s working on.

Here’s more on the project so far:

(via All Programmable Planet)

Tutorial: Running Nut/OS On DE0-Nano For Internet Radio

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Courtesy of Emb4fun, Michael Fischer posted a wonderfully detailed tutorial for getting the Nios II soft processor up and running on his Altera DE0-Nano FPGA, complete with Nut/OS.  The tutorial is as about as in-depth as they come. The tutorial comes in three easy-to-follow sections, and is complete with screenshots and step-by-step instructions.

The first part focuses on setting up the FPGA to run the Nios-II processor. The second section instructs you on how to compile the Nut/OS for the soft processor, then how to upload it and debug the thing. In the third part of his tutorial you’ll learn how to set up a basic Internet radio project and enjoy the results via your sound system. Sign me up!

If you’re done with FPGA LED blinking projects, its time to do more serious projects that involve soft processors running real time OS. Micheal Fischer suggests his series of tutorials on how to setup Altera FPGA board to run Nios II soft processor and even run Nut/OS on it.

You need to head over to Emb4fun to get all the juicy details! I’m excited to imagine what could be done with this concept in your own projects!


Vector Graphics Arcade Games On An FPGA

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

This is a pretty cool reincarnation of the old-school vector graphics arcade games – now reborn on FPGA. You just might recognize vector graphics from such classic arcade games as Asteroids, Gravitar, and Tempest. Vector was an interesting display technology at the time, differentiating itself from pixel-based video game graphics by using a method of line drawing rather than pixels and sprites. In this gamer’s experience, the vector games always looked so much sharper while lacking the color and animation of many standard arcade games.

Project creators Todd and Andrew got ahold of an old-school vector graphics display from an Asteroids cabinet and decided to go crazy with it, creating their own vector video card, and so much more.

The guys made their own DAC and Amplifier board that plugs right in to a Nexys2 FPGA dev board. This was after they tested out some 3D drawing code with a gnarly handmade R2R DAC they used to draw and rotate a cube on an oscilloscope screen.

Not only did the guys build a vector video card, they also connected the FPGA’s VGA out to a monochrome monitor for an in-game HUD. Awesome work that blows away anything available in the golden days of vector arcade games. It’s a beautiful piece of engineering that certainly deserves its own cabinet.

Enjoy the video and let us know what you think in the comments section!

(via Hackaday)

Augmented Reality Edge-Detection Game On DE-2 FPGA

Monday, August 12th, 2013

The cool FPGA projects just won’t let up over at Cornell University. In this one, we’ve got students Chris Fairfax, Matheus Ogleari, and Aadeetya Shreedha with their realtime edge-detection physics-based ball game implimented on an Altera DE-2 dev board. This is some seriously cool design.

The project uses the Sobel operator to detect the edges of a map drawn on a whiteboard. A physics engine implemented on a Pancake processor controls the motion of a ball on the map. The map and the ball are displayed on a VGA screen.

The game is played by controlling the switches and keys on the DE2 development board. Player 1 draws an arbitrary number of straight lines on the map. Player 1 and Player 2 each try and move the ball to the destination. The ball’s motion is controlled by a fixed impulse that can be applied at any angle. The number of impulses required to reach the destination is recorded and displayed on a seven segment display. The player who applies the minimum number of impulses to the ball wins. Player 2 then draws the obstacles on the map, and the game proceeds as before.

So head on over to the project page to check out a lot of really good photos, info on how they designed everything from the physics engine to the system architecture, and a whole lot more!


Accelerometer Tilt Sensing On Altera DE0 Nano FPGA

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

We found a great tutorial for using an accelerometer’s tilt data on an FPGA over at Pyro Electro. In this particular project, they’re using an Altera DE0-Nano board (and using the built-in accelerometer), a breadboard, the DE0-Nano Development Suite software, (32x) 100 mega resistors, (32x) green LEDs, and jumper wires.
Check out the video above, and here’s a brief project overview to help explain this project:

The goal of this project is to create a system that can interface with an accelerometer using digital communication, find out the currently detected g-force detection and then translate that information into a +/- 1g value that will tell us how much the DE0-Nano has been tilted. Output should appear on an array of 32 LEDs.
Since I want to use the breakout board I made in this project, you definitely need to have a DE0-Nano to follow along. The DE0-Nano has a Cyclone IV FPGA and the on-board accelerometer is an ADXL345 13 bit 3 axis accelermoeter, but we’ll only use 1 axis of data.

Head on over to the full tutorial at Pyro Electro to get started with using tilt sensing on your FPGA board! It would be pretty cool to do this project on the Papilio – is anyone up to making an accelerometer wing?

(via Pyro Electro)