August 26th, 2015
The latest project from GadgetFactory has just been finished and we’re very happy to show you ROMVault!
Running old school video games on a Papilio Arcade hardware is a thrilling experience for old time gamers and a good challenge for technology enthusiasts. There is sometimes an issue while running those games: It is not always easy to determine what ROMs will actually run on the old hardware!
ROMVault is the tool you need to get past this issue.
ROMVault is a .NET Papilio Arcade Alternative and runs on both Papilio Pro and Papilio One (500k) with the Arcade MegaWing. It also supports the Papilio DUO with the Computing Shield. Arcade data is based off of MAME compatible files
- For further information on ROMVault, click here
- The download link for ROMVault is found here
- The install instructions are under this link
August 18th, 2015
Ever wondered if you could run a J1a CPU on an FPGA using only open source hardware? This is possible using these three open source tools:
- an Open Source Forth kernel, SwapForth
- running on an Open Source CPU, the J1a
- built using an entirely Open Source FPGA toolchain, IceStorm
When you develop software, you need some kind of toolchain. For example, to develop for an ARM processor, you need a suitable C compiler, a linker, a library, and a programmer. FPGAs use a similar set of tools. However, instead of converting source code to machine language, these tools map the intent of your source code into configuration of FPGA elements and the connections between them.
July 30th, 2015
Here is an interesting GUI toolkit that we’d love to see running on the ZPUino!
µGFX is a library to interface all kinds of different displays and touchscreens to embedded devices. The main goal of the project is it to provide a set of feature rich tools like a complete GUI toolkit while keeping the system requirements at a minimum.
July 28th, 2015
Altium’s free version of their PCB software called Circuit Maker is open to the public now. We gave it a spin and liked it, here is a video showing some more details.
Dave gives his first impression of Altium’s new FREE PCB design tool for the maker community, Circuit Maker.
July 23rd, 2015
Great reference from Bil Herd about TTL Electrical properties.
On the path to exploring complex logic, let’s discuss the electrical properties that digital logic signals are comprised of. While there are many types of digital signals, here we are talking about the more common voltage based single-ended signals and not the dual-conductor based differential signals.
July 21st, 2015
This is great news! Ever since first hearing about the memristor we have been wondering how long it will be before we see it show up in commercial applications. While 8 memristors for $249 is not very useful it is a very encouraging sign. Just imagine an FPGA made with memristors instead of transistors…
For the last few years, the people in the know have been wondering about the memristor. The simplest explanation of what a memristor is comes from the name itself – it’s a memory resistor. In practice it’s a little more complex, but this basic understanding is enough to convey the fact that it’s a resistor that changes its resistance based on how much current has gone through it. The memristor was first described in the 70s by [Leon Chua], the idea sat in journals for nearly forty years, and in 2008 a working memristor was created by HP Labs.
July 16th, 2015
This is a positive first step towards an open source toolchain for FPGA’s. Hopefully we will see something for Xilinx FPGA’s as well. We can always dream that Xilinx will open the format!
After months of work, and based on the previous work of [Clifford Wolf] and [Mathias Lasser], [Cotton Seed] has released a fully open source Verilog to bitstream development tool chain for the Lattice iCE40LP with support for more devices in the works.
June 25th, 2015
Here at Gadget Factory we’ve been thinking about the best way to provide support for the OV7670 Camera Wing that we have. This page we came across provides a treasure trove of information about how the OV7670 camera works.
The OV7670 is a low cost image sensor + DSP that can operate at a maximum of 30 fps and 640 x 480 (“VGA”) resolutions, equivalent to 0.3 Megapixels. The captured image can be pre-processed by the DSP before sending it out. This preprocessing can be configured via the Serial Camera Control Bus (SCCB). You can see the full datasheet here.