Posts Tagged ‘ZPUino’

Alvie Is The Newest Blogger On All Programmable Planet!

Friday, July 26th, 2013

We wanted to congratulate our longtime friend, colleague, and collaborator Alvaro Lopez on being selected as the newest contributor on All Programmable Planet’s list of heavy hitters. Alvie is the man responsible for the ZPUino SoC softcore system, and much more. So, congrats Alvie! Here’s his introduction from APP:

Álvaro Lopes is a Senior Software Engineer at the Critical Software company in Portugal. He works in ASDT (Aeronautics, Space, Defense, and Transportation) and his specialties cover a wide range of areas, from hardware (analog and digital) to software (specification, development, and validation), primarily for embedded systems. He is the creator of several CPU cores and digital systems, such as the ZPUino SoC softcore, whose versions include one that actually runs uCLinux. Although Álvaro mainly does digital design just for fun, he ranked 1st (ex-aequo) in the 2011 “Open 7400″ contest by Dangerous Prototypes, with his 7400 Triple Seven Segment Capacitance Meter that could measure from 0.1nF up to 999µF.

You should head on over to APP and check out Alvie’s first article, of which we’ll share an excerpt with you here:

…I started to target the Papilio boards for my ZPUino design. Things went so well that Papilio became the main driver of the ZPUino project. We have been improving the design ever since — supporting more devices, improving the documentation, adding software libraries, and helping all of our users to accomplish their goals.

It’s great to see Alvie on APP – he definitely will add to the greater knowledge base for all who read All Programmable Planet. And here at Gadget Factory, he is certainly an indispensable member of our team, so again our congrats!

(via All Programmable Planet)

Tutorial: Adding Two Extra Serial Ports To ZPUino

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013


Hey there folks! There have been several questions on the forums recently about how to add some additional serial ports on the ZPUino, so Jack has put up a great tutorial over on the ZPUino documentation regarding this subject. I popped the video in above so you can take a look-see!

Here are your resources:

Thanks, Jack!

(via the forums)

Introducing ZAP IDE – ZPUino And AVR8 Together At Last!

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Howdy, hacker types!  What’s new, you ask?  Well, I’m happy to say there’s a cool little development coming your way called ZAP IDE.

What’s ZAP IDE you ask? Why, it’s the first version of the ZAP (ZPUino Arduino Papilio) Soft Processor IDE, that’s what! It’s basically ZPUino and AVR8, all in one. How about more of the nuts and bolts? Let’s ask Jack:

The ZAP IDE puts the AVR8 and the ZPUino Soft Processors together in the latest and greatest Arduino IDE (1.5.2) and makes using either one super easy. We’ve cleaned up all of the source code for both the ZAP IDE and the ZPUino HDL and pulled it all together with new documentation. The goal is to make the ZPUino extremely useful for anyone who uses a Papilio, whether you are just starting or an old hat. This is a new beginning for Soft Processors on the Papilio and the first step in making Open Source System on Chip designs as easy as using an Arduino.

New Features:

  • All soft processors together in one release, the ZPUino and AVR8 together and a framework for any future Soft Processors.
  • ZPUino board types are associated with their corresponding bit file. Just select, “Burn Bootloader” and the ZPUino version you need is loaded to your Papilio board. No more searching the website and trying to figure out what ZPUino bit file you need.
  • Code Examples built in that are specific to what Soft Processor you are using.
  • ZPUino code examples specify what kind of board type/ZPUino variant is required. Just select the required board type, burn the bootloader, and run the code.
  • ZPUino documentation for:

    You can find more on the ZAP IDE topic by checking out the ZAP IDE forum thread.  You can find more on the release notes and join in the discussion there!

    (via the forums)

Sneak Peek – Build Arduino-Compatible SOCs With New Schematic Editor

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Today we wanted to give you a sneak peek at a new SOC (System On Chip) schematic editor for Papilio that we are working on.  The editor is a drag and drop system that makes it easy (even for beginners) to draw schematics even without necessarily having VHDL experience.  Jack says,

What we need is a bridge that allows people to pick up a Papilio and build their custom designs without learning a line of VHDL. Then as they become comfortable with all of the concepts they can start tackling VHDL when they need it.

Here are the goals for the Papilio SOC system:

  • Provide schematic symbols for the ZPUino, AVR8, and any future Soft Processors we want to include.
  • Create a library of Wishbone peripherals such as VGA controllers, Stepper controllers, Delta-Sigma DACs, UARTs, etc.
  • Write Arduino libraries to support those Wishbone peripherals
  • Write documentation for the Wishbone cores and the supporting libraries.

A new user with zero experience would be able to drag and drop a ZPUino symbol onto the schematic editor and then drag and drop whatever peripherals they need onto the wishbone slots. Next they connect the external I/O pins, update the ucf file, and they are ready to synthesize their custom design! Need two UARTs? Just drag and drop two uarts into the wishbone slots… Next they would fire up the Arduino IDE and in the define section they would add the library they need and specify what wishbone slot that library should communicate with. Voila! A custom Arduino compatible system that anyone of any skill level can design and use!

Please note that this is a work in progress, and we’ll spill more details as they become available. Take a look at the resource list below if you’d like to mess with the editor, and please throw in your comments or suggestions in the comments section.  Any and all feedback is appreciated!

(via the forums)

Watch My Pins! Serial Pro Compatible With Papilio, ZPUino

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

We’ve got a quick resource list for Alvie’s Serial Pro (SerPro) here for you today.  Serial Pro is compatible with Papilio and ZPUino, and is RPC-like, fast, small and useful for when you don’t want your data to be lost or corrupted. Alvie says,

This library (actually a set of C++ templates) was developed for my arduino oscope, but can be used on any project, and used as-is in both arduino and PC, provided you have a C++ compiler.

Some people have been asking me to write better examples on how to use it, so I decided to give it a quick shot at a very simple one yet powerful. The sketch (if you remove the not yet used PWM code) is 90 lines long.

I decided to call it “Watch My Pins”

This is a GTK+ client for it. From this client you can control arduino pins in a very simple way (a more complex way is on the forge) and also watch your arduino digital inputs.

Here are the resources:

Thanks to Alvie for the update!

(via the Arduino.cc forums)

ZPUino Wishbone Simulator

Friday, February 1st, 2013


Want to simulate your Wishbone peripherals without the overhead of synthesizing or simulating the full ZPUino Soft Processor?

We’ve been working on porting a stepper control core to work as a wishbone peripheral on the ZPUino. To help us out with this process Alvie put together a really cool wishbone testbench that lets us simulate the core by manually writing to the wishbone registers. This is a very lightweight solution that lets you verify your wishbone peripherals without the overhead of simulating or synthesizing the full ZPUino Soft Processor!

Feel free to get the code for this on github.

Many thanks to Jack and Alvie for all their work on this!  If you’ve got anything to add to the discussion, please do so in the comments section.

(via the Gadget Factory forums)

ZPUino Linux Framebuffer

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Ah, the start of another week.  Let’s see what’s in the news around here.

Well, we’re getting word from Alvie over at his ZPUino page that we are getting closer to a Linux implementation of ZPUino.  The picture above is an example of a video framebuffer running on physical hardware.  ZPUino also now has video output support for the Papilio.  Nice job!  I’m told that that was a major technical hurdle, and it’s looking like we are that much closer to being able to enjoy the fruits of Alvie’s endless labor. Before this update ZPUino was just outputting data from a serial port. After this update we can now connect a VGA monitor!

(via Alvie’s ZPUino blog)