Starting up on VHDL with a home-made XC9536XL development board

If you want to start learning or is trying to learn very-high-speed integrated circuit hardware description language (VHDL) – then project is perfect for you! It comes with a XC9536XL CPLD – or a complex programmable logic device in a PLCC package that you can replace in a breeze! It also comes with eight red LEDs that will serve as outputs, a dual in line package (DIP) switch that will serve as your inputs for your experiments. Instead of settling for an ordinary clock source this project comes with a ATtiny2313 to provide the clock source – making the clock source not only accurate but also programmable. The board also features two programming ports the first is a JTAG port for programming the XC9536XL CPLD and the other is a 3×2 AVR programming port for the ATtiny2313. The board also breaks out the pins of the ATtiny2313 and XC9536XL CPLD into  female headers when you decide to use just the microcontroller Continue reading

NES On-A-Chip – The Embedded System in VHDL

First of all, did you know what VHDL is? For your information, VHDL is commonly known as a design-entry language for field-programmable gate arrays and application-specific integrated circuits in electronic design automation of digital circuits. VHDL is derived from VHSIC hardware description language, where VHSIC stands for “Very-high-speed-integrated circuit”. Based on the information, VHDL was originally developed at the US Department of Defense. The main purpose of the mission is to document the behavior of the ASICs that supplier companies were including in equipment. This means, VHDL was developed as an alternative to huge, complex manuals, which were subject to implementation-specific details. Well, this NES On-A-Chip’s main goal is to implement an older embedded system entirely in VHDL. In this case, you might want to choose the NES, as its complexity and variety of subsystems. The whole idea is to prove that chips can be modeled in VHDL and synthesized on an FPGA. Furthermore, it can be used to replace, either single ICs in old systems or the systems themselves. You have to prepare the Altera UP3 development board to… Continue reading

Interfacing HD44780 to FPGA using Finite State Machine

In this project LCD interfacing is based on using delay elements with Finite State Machine (FSM). Programming logic devices are different from microprocessors, because of its different structure. To achieve step-by-step program execution there is a FSM used which allows implementing series of commands (actually waveforms) with desired delays that can be sent to LCD. As Edvin NC Mui says – generating signals would require huge amount of logic elements on FPGA, so it is better to construct a Finite State Machine that would act as microcontroller and send necessary signals to communicate HD44780 LCD. His experiment was based on Spartan-II XCS200-5 FPGA and FSM layout was synthesized by using Xilink ISE 8.1i VHDL Compiler. He achieved that device occupies 87 FPGA slices out of 2352 and his FSM can operate at speed of 108.98MHz. Full document to read And Xilink FPGA project files. Continue reading

SPC music player on FPGA

FPGA player uses same hardware part as in Super Nintendo game console. It plays .SPC music files stored in flash memory through Sony SPC700 8-bit sound chip. SPC files are more complex than usual mp3 files as they contain so called memory state of SNES sound module. Anyway this is more or less a theory, which you have to study well before start doing something. The project is developed by using Altera DE2 board equipped with Cyclone II FPGA chip. Hardware part is written with VHDL language. 8 bit microprocessor that executes program is also emulated in software. Seems to be it is very valuable source to study, as project directory can be downloaded freely. Continue reading