Building the ZPUino

Posted by: Dave Vandenbout in Blog Post 6 years ago

In my last post, I introduced Alvaro Lopes' ZPUino port for the XuLA2. As I pointed out, the bitstream file he provides only works on the XuLA2-LX9, so now I'll show you how to rebuild the ZPUino from source. <<more...>>


I've never bought an Arduino, but now I have 1,000 of them.

Posted by: Dave Vandenbout in Blog Post 6 years ago

My confession: I've never owned an Arduino; I've never used an Arduino. There, I said it.

It's not that I dislike the Arduino. Some people disparage it as a "toy", but anything that helps you get your project done quicker is fine by me. I just haven't worked on anything that would benefit from it.

So it surprised me when I found out I actually had an Arduino. In fact, I had thousands of them! Let me explain. <<more...>>


Schematics? Really!?

Posted by: Dave Vandenbout in Blog Post 6 years, 1 month ago

Hearing talk about using schematics for FPGA design makes me feel like I'm standing at the top of a steep hill next to a toddler on a trike with loose wheel nuts. Some advice may be in order, to wit:

Get the hell off that bike! ARE YOU CRAZY!

Here's some ancient history: We used schematics back in the '80s for FPGA designs. We stuck with them through the '90s as FPGAs kept getting bigger, designs kept getting more complicated, and hardware description language (HDL) synthesizers got better and cheaper (and free!). Eventually, schematics got clubbed like a baby seal. Nobody uses 'em for anything serious, now. <<more...>>


Playing Around with Sound!

Posted by: Dave Vandenbout in Blog Post 6 years, 1 month ago

The StickIt! AudioIO board has been out for a while, but the current FPGA design example that shows it off is pretty lame: a simple loopback that echoes the audio signal on the input back to the output. In my previous post, I developed a design to take samples from an eight-channel analog-to-digital converter (ADC), store them into SDRAM, and then upload them to a host PC. I decided to take that design as a starting point and modify it to use the AudioIO board for recording and playing back sound. The architecture of the modified FPGA design is shown below. <<more...>>


Test Results for My First KiCad Board!

Posted by: Dave Vandenbout in Blog Post 6 years, 2 months ago

I talked last time about my move to KiCad and the eight-channel analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) board I used for an initial test of the design software. I submitted the Gerber files to Itead on March 24th and received twenty-four PCBs on April 4th for a total charge of $14 USD. <<more...>>

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