Been busy as of late, not much to report project-wise besides a version of my edge-lit lighted display for my Mom’s B-Day
Beyond that, I got some sweet stickers from Element14 and picked up a few things from the parent company Newark.
Here are the Element14 stickers
And the electronic components I picked up
The electronics include:
Basys 2 development board
The Basys 2 development kit is a Spartan3 FPGA development kit. It’s been a long time since I programmed an FPGA and I’m looking forward to getting back into it.
An FPGA differs from a microcontroller as you are reprogramming hardware as opposed to just writing a program for your micro to step through and follow. An FPGA is made up of repgorammable logic cells, usually look up tables or LUTs. The code (unless otherwise specified) happens in parallel as opposed to step by step in a microcontroller, though you can specify clock edge actions. You typically code in VHDL or Verilog. Back in the day, we also used virtual gates like and, or, and nots which the compiler would churn down into those look up tables just the same as VHDL or Verilog. It looks like that functionality seems to be by the way-side now, the last time I looked at Xilinx’s software I didn’t see an option to put down gates and wire them.
Also a micro HDMI to standard for my Beaglebone Black
And lastly a jumper kit
I don’t have exact plans for what I’m going to do with the Basys 2, FPGA’s really excel at memory intensive tasks like image and video processing. Eventually it might be nice to re-do my school project of a resistive touch pad that draws on a monitor connected via VGA, but I might start a bit slower and do a simple combo lock switched in using the slide switches and buttons. I’ll post the project and code when its finished.
Now to prepare for Detroit Makerfaire with Ben Heck! I’ll make sure to post pics