A new VHDL project that puts the new VGA Wing through its paces has been posted to Gadget Forge. The project is called “Yet Another VGA” controller and it allows cursors, a waveform, and text to be written anywhere on an 800×600 screen. Head over to the YAVGA project page and download the bitstreams to check it out right away and then download the source code and start hacking away.
Here is a three part screencast that provides an example of implementing a high speed 3Mb/s UART with the Papilio One board and the FT2232 USB chip.
The project uses the free Xilinx VHDL UART example because it is optimized for Xilinx hardware, it provides the smallest and fastest UART possible. The source code requires an end user license agreement which prevents us from providing the source code. Part one of the video tutorial walks you through adding the source code to the project after it has been downloaded from Xilinx.
One thing I’ve always loved is the satisfaction of saving a couple dollars and building an Open Source project myself. The Papilio One is an excellent challenge because it requires some advanced surface mount soldering. We put together a DIY kit that, at $34.99, is a great opportunity to practice surface mount soldering. If successful then you have a really cool FPGA board and the knowledge that you can handle any surface mount soldering project. If unsuccessful then $34.99 is a small price to pay for the experience gained.
The specially modified version of the Arduino IDE has been updated with some exciting new functionality. This is a very important update because it finally makes the Papilio One as easy to use as the Arduino board. With this update it is now possible to tap into all the features of the AVR8 Soft Processor without touching any VHDL!
SPI and PWM features can be moved to any physical pin on the Papilio One. Pins can be moved on the fly from within a sketch by simply writing to a memory address.
Examples for all the Wings that are in production are now available under the Examples menu.
The new Papilio Barcode Genie kit has a sketch that reads input from a PS/2 barcode scanner and saves the barcodes to a micrSD card. This sketch provides a working example of how easy it is to move SPI pins to different locations.