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1  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Why do you need a LCD... when you can have a LCD in a VGA screen ? on: October 06, 2011, 01:57:18 pm
Here's a VGA 640x400 12-bit color output interface, using an embedded VGA controller core.

This is the new Spartan6 board from Gadget Factory, with 512KB (4Mbit) 16-bit wide SRAM. The framebuffer is exported to CPU (memory mapped). Pixel clock is 25MHz, with 16-bit (4 bits are not used).
2  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: avrdude Apple on: September 12, 2011, 04:27:11 am

If you wish to know where your file is, open a terminal where your file resides, then type "pwd -P", or in case it does not work, just "pwd"

Then use that absolute path.
3  Using Arduino / Interfacing w/ Software on the Computer / Re: Serial: I must use Arduino's RXTX libs with Java in Mac Snow Leopard on: September 06, 2011, 01:44:17 pm

can you try Arduino 1.0 beta 3 (use the RXTX+jnli from there)?

Just to make sure.

4  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Why do you need a LCD... when you can have a LCD in a VGA screen ? on: September 03, 2011, 10:58:30 am
You can buy a S3E250 board, with FPGA + SPI flash and USB programmer/UART (FT2232) for US $50: The S3E500 is a bit more expensive, but IMHO is worth the money (USD $75).

GadgetFactory is also working on new boards, based on Spartan6 with integrated SRAM. Those will be amazing for sure, I haven't got my hands in one yet.

Even if they are marginally more costly than Mega, they do offer you other possibilities - one is you don't require that much external components (digital) for your projects. Disadvantage is lack of internal ADC - you can use a SPI one if you wish, and they are cheap and with very good performance (500ksps).

So, I guess is time for you to wake up smiley

5  Community / Bar Sport / Why do you need a LCD... when you can have a LCD in a VGA screen ? on: September 02, 2011, 02:37:10 pm
... and use the "standard" libraries ?

But you'll find it hard to do with an Arduino, but a ZPUino will surely do the job (and much more). Like playing a Tetris game.

Video here:

Same IDE, same libraries (or "almost" the same), all open-source, hw design, IP cores and software included. All you need is a FPGA.

Cool, isnt' it ?

6  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: 32 bit Microcontoler on: April 28, 2011, 12:13:44 pm
I meant 20 PWM pins simultaneously
Yes, a single device output can map to more than one pin. Basically each "device input" has a muxer which selects the input pin, and each output pin has a
muxer which selects the "device output".

What's more interesting is that you might change this in runtime, without need to rebuild anything.


7  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: 32 bit Microcontoler on: April 28, 2011, 05:07:23 am
Can you get arduino-like PWM or serial on "any" pin (up to ~20 pins, anyway) by dynamically changing the definition of the logic on each pin?

Yes. Most IO devices (timers, SPI, ADCSPI) can be bound to any pin. This is very similar to microchip PPS.

8  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: 32 bit Microcontoler on: April 27, 2011, 12:42:57 pm
Well, ZPUino Premium Core (which is published right now) uses mostly 2-clock cycles per instruction, and ZPUino Extreme will do mostly 1 cycle/instruction.

See this post for a core overview.

Also don't forget it is able to run at significant higher speeds even in low-end FPGA (right now 96MHz).

And yes, power consumption varies a lot, and you have to take special care about it. Gated clocks are a solution (ie, disable parts of the design when you don't use them). I'm not paying yet attention to that, but power optimizations are in my to-do list.

Also you have the power to put dedicated hardware inside the FPGA, thus saving on external components (and in some scenarios even power).

9  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: 32 bit Microcontoler on: April 27, 2011, 03:06:20 am
You're right, that was meant for @westfw. smiley

10  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: 32 bit Microcontoler on: April 26, 2011, 02:31:08 pm
I can't see it taking more than about 14 bytes on a typical RISC processor (without being totally familiar with ARM instructions, which are sometimes weird.) 

@bubulindo: Here's how it goes with ZPU:

im variableaddress ; 1 to 5 bytes, depending on address
loadsp 0 ; Duplicate that address in stack
load ; Load variable value
im 1 ; Load 1 into stack
add ; Add to value
loadsp 4 ; Load saved address
store ; Store to variable again

That's 11 bytes, worst case, 7 bytes best case.

11  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: 32 bit Microcontoler on: April 26, 2011, 02:03:02 pm
In case you don't feel that ZPUino is as easy to work with as Arduino is, here's a small example I just uploaded, which interacts with an LCD, a rotary encoder, and some LEDs:

Stay tuned for a music player (44100Hz, 2-channel, Stereo, from SD card [wav], 99% in pure software) which I'll be releasing soon. And guess - no external devices needed, the two 16-bit internal SigmaDelta DAC modulators just do the job (and way better than PWM).

12  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: 32 bit Microcontoler on: April 08, 2011, 01:59:20 pm

Might fit your needs. smiley
13  Development / Other Hardware Development / ZPUino Alpha 3 is out on: April 08, 2011, 01:59:13 pm
Hi all,

Alpha 3 is now out. Some stuff was not yet published as I wished (like win32 support, and some documentation), but I decided to publish anyway.

Again, all news in

Here are the release notes:


    * Programmer now uses a dual-speed transfer. It starts at 115200 baud for identification, then ramps up speed if required.
    * Some bugfixes and refactoring.
    * Preliminary direct memory upload. Still untested.


    * New main ZPU core: ZPU Premium. You should expect almost a 3x performance increase, when compared with old core.
    * New PPS implementation. Things should have become clearer now. See more information on PPS page
    * IO selection is now clearer, so to ease adding new devices. See  Implementing or porting IO devices document for more information
    * Fixed RAM indexing, which caused synthesis warnings


    * Added per-board SPI clock dividers for bootloader

Spartan 3E Evaluation Board

    * First prebuilt image for this board
    * Design was not being properly built, fixed that.
    * Changed clock speed to 96MHz, instead of 100MHz. This helps meeting timing and give accurate baud rate dividers
    * Fixed GPIO mappings
    * Added proper IO pads


    * Added IO device tutorial: Implementing or porting IO devices
    * Added Advanced IO: Advanced IO
    * Added PPS documentation for users: Peripheral Pin Select

Known Issues

  * There is still no Win32 port. Some dificculties arose so I'm delaying  to next release. But good news is that compiler is now built, but other  parts of the toolchain still need some tweaking, as well as the IDE set  up.
 * Resetting the serial port sometimes fails when using a real  RS232 cable. This is probably due to ringing - I'll address this on  next release (this only affects S3E evaluation board, but since there's  a manual reset button you can get it to work)
 * S3E P&R is  having difficulties due to both DCM used, but it does meet timing.  However I'll address that on next release, to speed up the  implementation process.

14  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: ZPUino Alpha 2 is out on: March 25, 2011, 03:26:02 am

Yes, it's a 32-bit open-source core.

The advantages are it's extreme small size (about 520 LUT for the smallest code), and also its very compact code (for same features it's roughly the size of arduino code, Zylin says about 80% code size of ARM Thumb).


15  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: More Serial ports! on: March 06, 2011, 12:00:45 pm
With ZPUino ( you can have as many serial ports as you wish (however you might need to reduce UART receive fifo, if not enough memory on FPGA).

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