Archive for July, 2012

Vivado is available

July 26, 2012

If you are a follower of XilinxInc, you may find
Vivado 2012.2, and ISE 14.2, are available today at Xilinx Downloads link.

I hope I have time to report my experience, in particular for HLS, with the new design tool

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Peripheral Modules from Digilent and Maxim

July 12, 2012

For those who own or will own Avnet LX9 MicroBoard, Digilent boards, ZedBoard, and Xilinx ZC702, or any other FPGA boards with Pmod ports, Pmod with analog and mixed-signal functions is a must have to pursue interesting and fun projects.

Pmod™ is the trademark of Digilent. Pmods are 6 or 12 pin small I/O boards to extend FPGA boards.
Digilent sells many peripheral modules, almost 50 ones in total, price ranging from $9.99, such as slide switches, LEDs, and RCA audio jacks, to $59.99, a 802.11b WiFi. They includes input/output, sensors/actuators, DAC/ADC, and connectors, etc.

Maxim announced a collection of 15 Pmods, called Maxim Analog Essentials Collection, early this month.
The $89.95 collections has the following Pmods:
Octal 12-Bit DAC
16-Bit ADC
16-Bit High-Performance DAC
RS-485 Half-Duplex Transceiver
8-Channel Relay Driver
All-Silicon Clock Oscillator
600V Isolator for SPI/UART
Proximity and Ambient Light Sensor
±5ppm I2C Real-Time Clock
Digital Thermometer/Thermostat
Type K Thermocouple-to-Digital Converter
Dual Nonvolatile Digital Pot
Programmable Current Limiter and ADC
16-Port GPIO and LED Driver
±15kV True RS-232 Transceiver

MAXPMBAE – Maxim Analog Essentials Collection of Peripheral Modules

Here‘re some more details, and Product Brochure.

EDN has a product review Maxim’s collection of peripheral modules for FPGAs, it covers Maxim’s offering, and some useful information about Pmod.

I will order one for sure, it is well worth it, considering single Pmod could cost around $20.
I hope and believe more reasonably priced peripheral modules, with diverse functionalities, will show up.
FMC is more powerful but expensive, it may be out of reach for many.

If you have any ideas for a fun FPGA project and don’t mind to share, please do.