You can finally buy a Memristor!

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.

An Open Source Toolchain For iCE40 FPGAs

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.

Hacking the OV7670 camera module (SCCB cheat sheet inside)

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.

Simple Infrared PWM on Arduino

Example 56kHz generated Infrared signal @ 50% duty cycleNice code walk through of how to generate a PWM in C code. This is a 3 part series showing how to generate IR commands in software.

We are often asked on discussion boards, about conflicts between IRremote or IRLib and other Arduino Libraries. In this post, we present a sketch for ‘Simple Infrared PWM on Arduino’. This is the first part in a 3 part series of posts. Part 1 shows how to generate the simple Infrared carrier frequency on Arduino, using any available IO pin and without conflicting with other libraries. Part 2 will show how to send a RAW infrared signal using this approach and Part 3 will show how to send a common NEC signal from the binary or HEX value.

Atari devs dissect Yars’ Revenge, Adventure, Atari’s woes

Here is a very interesting article about the development of some of the early Atari 2600 games. It’s fun that we can recreate these classic games on an FPGA!

“I’m going to tell you about the design of Adventure for the 2600, a game I designed in 1979,” Warren Robinett said simply and plainly to introduce his own session. “Thank you. It was the first action-adventure game.”

The Oldland CPU 32-bit FPGA Core

Here is a promising looking Soft Processor core available on It looks like it has some nice simulation and debugging tools built in – as well as a C toolchain.

Included with the package is oldland-rtlsim, which lets you simulate the processor on a PC. The oldland-debug tool lets you connect to the processor for programming and debugging over JTAG. Finally, there’s a GNU toolchain port that lets you build C code for the device.

HDMI Splitter is also a Decrypter

Esar’s Ambilight clone that runs on the Papilio Pro is an awesome project, I still have one on my desk waiting to be tested.  One of the challenges is HDCP protected content – but with this awesome hack it is no longer an issue!

His amazing custom Ambilight clone got profiled here, and someone asked him in the comments if it worked when High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is on. [esar] lamented that it didn’t. Hackaday readers to the rescue. [Alan Hightower] and [RoyTheReaper] pointed [esar] to the fact that HDMI splitters need to decrypt and re-encrypt the signal to pass it on, and pointed him to a trick to knock out the on-board microcontroller. [esar] took off from there.