Use You FPGA To Bring The BBC Back To Life!

February 4th, 2016

BBC is the short name for the Acorn BBC Micro, which was very popular in the mid-to-late 80s. There were several versions of this computer but the one that has been revived in this project is the BBC B.

The core of this device was the famous 6502 processor.  This article thoroughly defines each part of the BBC B and its current status on the FPGA. Some of the parts have not been implemented, either for physical restrictions or not real need for them. So, another challenge for you to build a complete BBC B with you FPGA.

A PAL TV was used as the author did not try to add a scan-doubler for the video output. But don´t worry. Everything is very well explained. Plus, there is a Design Detail page that guides you step-by-step through the implementation process.

The source code has been written on VHDL (given). Also the ROMs info is provided as well as some known bugs so you can avoid them beforehand.

So now, what is stopping you from playing again “Pole Position” or “Boffin”???

It couldn´t be easier! Have fun!


By Mike Stirling

How To Add A LCD To Your FPGA And Control What It Displays!

February 2nd, 2016

This great tutorial brings you all the information you need to add a screen to your FPGA.  You will learn about how to choose the appropriate parts for this project, the schematics and as it couldn´t be otherwise, you will also get to know the theory. Mainly, this article explains the theory behind the control of the LCD screen.

The control of the screen is achieved using a VHDL module. It is very important that you understand the theory so you can improve your design. The source code is given for the control of the LCD screen, so all you need to care about is for reading this carefully.

Finally, some quick instructions for building this up are given. This is quite simple as this project is very easy to implement but it has a great potential on your hands…

Have fun with this article and show it to the world with your screen!


By Chris

Commodore PET is Back!

January 28th, 2016


You read it right. Commodore PET has come back to stay…if you want. Thanks to this article you will be able to bring back old memories and, of course, have some fun.

Basically all you need is a FPGA, implemented in Verilog. Well, and you will also need some other tweaks and stuff in order to recreate the slow-paced world of the Commodore PET.

All the effort will be paid off once you see the aliens trying to catch you (for those who don´t know what I am talking about, this is Space Invaders).

Everything you need is available at github.

Really nice FPGA project to feel like a child once again.


By Thomas

How Building a DPLCM To Learn About FPGAs Turned To Be A Possible Business

January 26th, 2016


First of all, yes, what is a DPLCM? At least I had to look this up. Now, I can tell you that DPLCM stands for Digital Audio Peak Level and Correlation Meter. At this point we have covered the most difficult part.

This tutorial is so well explained, the author even tells you why he started this project, that all you need is to follow along. The DPLCM from this design can display the correct value of a single audio sample because it considers each sample on an individual basis.

This design is composed of three modules: the I/O board, the FPGA and the LED board. All the schematics are provided as well as different options to consider before selecting the boards.

At the core of this project you´ll find the FPGA, for which you will need VHDL and also you can learn about the theory behind this peak level meter. The code is provided as well, in case you were wondering.

At the end we find the funny part. Some DIY instructions for those who like the smell of the solder rather than go online and buy the boards!

Oh, I almost forget. This guy is looking for collaborators for a possible commercialization, so be quick about reading the post and getting in touch if you want.


By Uwe Beis

How to Display Video On A Screen With Only One Wire

January 21st, 2016


In today´s article we bring you a great tutorial about NTSC. For those who don´t know this, NTSC is another video standard, like VGA, very popular in the Americas and Eastern Asia. However, unlike VGA, NTSC only uses 1 signal wire!

The principal behind that is quite complex. Thus, the example developed on the article only aims at displaying black and white images. Luckily, all the physics that NTSC is based on are explained here so we encourage you to go on and play with NTSC color signals.

This is a highly recommended tutorial that only takes 1 hour to do! And it is very cheap to set up, remember that there is only 1 signal wire. Oh yes the code! The controller is built using an FPGA running VHDL, which is given =).

Don´t miss this article and try to implement the recommendations at the end, substituting the resistors for a DAC.

Happy play!

By Chris

Easiest 3D Viewer for EAGLE PCB boards we’ve ever seen!

January 19th, 2016

Alvie pointed us to this amazing new website that lets you drag and drop an EAGLE board file and view it in 3D. While there are other sites that have been around for a while do the same thing, this is the first site that lets you edit the components on the board with ease. We were able to make a fully populated 3D view in a matter of minutes with this tool! It usually takes over half an hour to do the same thing with the other tools we use. This is great if you want to show off your board or make a very clear view of your board for your board manufacturer’s.

Thanks for the great tip Alvie!

Check it out for yourself – Website Link.

How To Control What You See On A Screen in Two Hours and For Less Than $25!

January 14th, 2016

Imagine how cool it would be to control what appears on your screen and at a bargain price, just using your FPGA (yes! Your Papilio!) and some other easy-to-get components.

All you need is read today´s article (and buy the tiny things of course). This how-to post is one of those which are written thinking of the user. It explains everything, even the physics that rule the system.

For this specific example, a DAC resistor is connected to the FPGA on a CPLD board so it can output 512 colors to a VGA screen. Knowledge of VHDL is needed in order to implement your own code, otherwise, simply use the one given although you can follow the links on the article to learn some more about VHDL.

The real advantage is that you will be able to implement your own VHDL modules so you will actually control what appears on the screen!


Now it´s your time. Show the World what you can do…through a VGA monitor!


By Chris

Feeling like Barenboim? Check it with your FPGA!

January 12th, 2016

Today´s article shows how a group of students from Cornell University, created a hardware-software set of tools to develop and composed your own music, the Audio Composer and Conducting Suite (A.C.C.S).

This virtual conducting environment platform is capable of inputting the compositions from a video camera and a keyboard or a conductor waving his/her hands at the same time the music is playing on the background in real time. This way you can know pretty soon if you are the right fit for the composition world (This is if you don´t start to feel pain in your ears when hearing your own music).

All this is possible thanks to the brain of the system, composed of two Altera FPGA´s. One is responsible for filtering the video signals and capturing the movements of the hands. The other FPGA is in charge of the musical notation. Both running in parallel.

The only drawback (there is always something…) of this project is that you need to wear a special kind of gloves

Read the full article to find out more and be more serious about feeling like Barenboim, or not!


By Cornell University Students