FPGA Development Board

An FPGA is a device that can be programmed using HDL (hardware description language, either VHDL or Verilog) source code to implement various logical functions of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). As the name implies (field-programmable gate array) the device can be programmed subsequent to manufacturing.

The beta code-name for this baby is Mimzy and it is a FPGA development board intended for some future projects, as well as Your First CPU project. Its contribution plays a crucial role in the implementation and testing of the custom soft processor core and ucLinux. The board featured is the Xilinx XC3S400 FPGA development board coupled with XCF02SV020C Platform Flash, having 8MB Flash ROM and 32MB of SRAM.  The rest of the features are as follows: an 8 port ADC, an SD card slot, a sound codec (the PCM3008 Hi-Q Burr-Brown Stereo Audio Codec) with digital volume control, an FTDI USB 2.0 UART, a switching power supply (3.3V and 1.2V),  4 user LEDs, a program button and a JTAG port.

The current version of the project does not support user I/O, but this feature will be available when PCBs will start being manufactured. The user will have a header with FPGA and ADC pins at his or her disposal. The ADC mentioned earlier supposedly had a self-diagnostic role (voltage, battery), but the circuit was removed from the design and this role will be fulfilled by an Atmel programmable integrated circuit that will also be used for programming the device using the USB port or an SD card.

For networking capabilities, the wireless 802.11 will be added in the future. The board is intended for robotic devices, so wired networking would not have been suitable. This design requires a 4 layer PCB, which is expensive, so further testing is needed to ensure that no errors are overlooked. For schematics and pictures, check the link.

FPGA Development Board: [Link]