The Papilio DUO and the new shields are finally here!

February 25th, 2015

CC4Here at Gadget Factory we are happy to announce that our next generation of products are now available at our online store. The long awaited Papilio DUO along with the new Papilio Shields are finally here after a successful Kickstarter campaign that helped us raise more than $62.000 in funds to make this dream come true, here is a short description of each product:

  • The Papilio DUO has an FPGA on the top and the same chip that is used in the Arduino Leonardo (ATmega32U4) on the bottom. It’s like having an Arduino with a full circuit laboratory connected to it! For example, you can draw circuits to move pins, connect extra serial ports, or connect a bitcoin miner to the Arduino-Compatible chip. Just plug it into your computer using a USB cable, download our software and start drawing your own circuits.
  • The LogicStart Shield provides everything needed to get started with VHDL and FPGA development on the Papilio DUO with one convenient and easy to connect circuit board.
  • The Computing Shield provides all of the hardware needed to recreate classic computing systems on the Papilio DUO. Here are some existing retro computing projects that can be easily converted.

To have an in depth look at the DUO and the new Shields please visit the hardware guides and the product pages here, feel free to drop a comment and send us your feedback.


HDMI Audio and Video for Neo Geo MVS

February 24th, 2015

Here is a cool project that adds HDMI output to a Neo Geo arcade board using an FPGA.

When he tested the HDMI with his monitor, it was out of spec but still worked. His TV, on the other hand, refused to play it at all. This was due to the Neo Geo outputting 59.1 fps – not the standard 60 fps. Using the FPGA, [Charlie] overclocked the NeoGeo by approximately 1% and used the 27Mhz pixel clock to change the FPGA output to a 720 x 480p signal.

Papilio DUO Pre-Order Is Now Enabled In The Store!

February 19th, 2015

Good news everyone :) the Papilio DUO and the Papilio Shields are expected to arrive in stock early next week and we are now taking pre-orders for the new items in the Gadget Factory Store. We encourage you to pre-order now and reserve your DUO because the numbers will be limited since the big part of the first batch went to Kickstarter backers.

Please electronic hobbyists… start using FPGA’s!

February 17th, 2015

We were just emailed about this cool FPGA/Papilio video so we thought we should share it on the blog. Check it out!

This video will explain why FPGA’s are great to build your projects on!

Universal Active Filters: Part 2

February 12th, 2015

Here is another great Bil Herd article about Active Filters. Thank you HackaDay!

In this installment I’ll test the theory that filtering out the harmonics which make up a square wave results in a predictable degradation of the waveform until at last it is a sine wave. This sine wave occurs at the fundamental frequency of the original square wave. Here’s the video but stick with me after the break to walk through each concept covered.

Putting laptop LCDs to use with an FPGA

February 10th, 2015

And here is another HackaDay post about driving an LCD with an FPGA!

LCD panels don’t use a simple protocol like VGA for turning pixels on and off. Instead, the very high-speed LVDS is used. LVDS is beyond the capabilities of simple microprocessors, so [EiNSTeiN_] built himself a clone of an XuLA FPGA prototyping board and set to work. After figuring out the signal lines to the panel, [EiNSTeiN_] pored over the timing diagrams for the LVDS controller and the LCD panel. From the data sheets, he figured out data is usually sent to the panel at about 500 MHz. The homebrew FPGA board couldn’t manage that speed so [EiNSTeiN_] cut the FPGA clock in half.

Reverse Engineer then Drive LCD with FPGA

February 5th, 2015

Nice! A Ben Heck episode where he drives a LCD with an FPGA!

This project is a soup to nuts demonstration of replacing electronics drivers; the skill is certainly not limited to LCD modules. He starts by disassembling the hardware to find what look like differential signaling lines. With that in mind he hit the Internet looking for common video protocols which will help him figure out what he’s looking for. A four-channel oscilloscope sniffs the signal as the unit shows a blue screen with red words “NO SIGNAL”. That pattern is easy to spot since the pixels are mostly repeated except when red letters need to be displayed. Turns out the protocol is much like VGA with front porch, blanking, etc.