November 24th, 2015
A CPLD (Complex Programme Logic Device) is a very useful tool in the hands of a techie. Their complexity comes between a PALs and an FPGA, and architectural features of both. As implied by its name, these chips can be programmed to meet the logic functions that suit your needs. In this amazing tutorial, Bill Herd shows us how to build a CPLD module using Project files, an Oscillator and a PCB.
November 23rd, 2015
Synthesizer fans are usually fond of programming them. In the following article, you’ll find out about the author’s approach to program every instrument at a time. Moreover, when reproducing the complex sounds of a particular instrument, the author breaks up the formulas into several articles and details how he got the results.
November 20th, 2015
Google Glass, Oculus Rift, head mounted displays are becoming a reality and the number of their users is on the rise. But have you ever heard of lenses made with a 3D printer? Well, all that was required is: a CAD model, a 3D printer, and silicone mold material! Are they operational? Yes sir! An iPhone can even be attached to a homemade head mounted display (once again) to view 3D videos and images!
November 18th, 2015
There are tons of ways of creating a home-made microcontroller. Today we present a very detailed tutorial on how to achieve this using the rotary encoder from the scroll button of a mouse.
This is part 5 of a series. The goal here is to achieve a constant frequency signal at the output of the Papilio Pro and be able to vary the duty cycle just turning the wheel of the mouse. The other parts of the series would teach how to wire the whole circuitry as well as how to capture the encoder info for the different modules. Have fun!
By Jan Cumps’ Blog
November 17th, 2015
The first successful flight of a drone, or unmanned air vehicle (UAV) running on ArduPilot was recently announced.
This UAV is powered by a Zynq, a dual-core ARM with an onboard FPGA. This FPGA makes the difference, leaving alone the first flight of a drone using ArduPilot. Using this FPGA allows the controller to handle real-time control tasks including video feeds and flight dynamics much quicker and more efficiently.
The code implemented will be published on the OcPoc project, an open source initiative with Dronecode.
November 16th, 2015
after a few years being forced to play with other targets, I revisited the Papilio One and ported my in-house ‘MaSoCist’ setup to it. Yet another solution, you might think. Well, the motivation was to go minimal, but configureable. The MaSoCist is different in that respect that it rather is an environment than an actual design, however it is powered by the resource-saving ZPU architecture by default. The original Zealot ZPU variant, enhanced with a bit of debug logic, is doing an ok job for configuration, but is wasting quite a few cycles on the dual port RAM I/O and had shortcomings on the interrupt handling side, so I had bashed out a pipelined variant which does things a little differently. It’s been in use as configuration processor or even test bench for more complex logic so far. Logic usage is a little higher than the original Zealot. The full SoC with UART, PWM, Timer, IRQ controller, and simple Cache logic for virtual adressing of a SPI flash takes less than 50% of the Papilio One.
Currently, the CPU is running at 32 MHz only. There’s more in for it, if the memory system and fetch logic is improved (v2, in the making). The v0 and v1 variant of the core run on a three-stage pipeline.
Anyhow, I managed to upload a (crappy) video, moving pictures speak more:
November 12th, 2015
In a very interesting column on embedded.com, Max Maxfield explains the features of Altium’s circuit maker. Making several changes to one of his previous designs, he showcases the capabilities of the CircuitMaker. Those of you who are familiar with CircuitMaker will be happy to learn about the latest news related to the software. Altium proposes the latest and best version of its software for free. Provided that users make their designs open source. More information on Max’s take can be found in the link below.
October 20th, 2015
We still have some retro for the old-school enthusiasts. Many of you knew about the BBC Microcomputer System. It was an innovative machine created during the 1980s. It is possible to link the BBC Micro to an FPGA board, following specific designs, via a tube interface. You can find out more about the BBC Micro in the video, and find the detailed designs on the link below.