The first successful flight of a drone, or unmanned air vehicle (UAV) running on ArduPilot was recently announced.
This UAV is powered by a Zynq, a dual-core ARM with an onboard FPGA. This FPGA makes the difference, leaving alone the first flight of a drone using ArduPilot. Using this FPGA allows the controller to handle real-time control tasks including video feeds and flight dynamics much quicker and more efficiently.
The code implemented will be published on the OcPoc project, an open source initiative with Dronecode.
after a few years being forced to play with other targets, I revisited the Papilio One and ported my in-house ‘MaSoCist’ setup to it. Yet another solution, you might think. Well, the motivation was to go minimal, but configureable. The MaSoCist is different in that respect that it rather is an environment than an actual design, however it is powered by the resource-saving ZPU architecture by default. The original Zealot ZPU variant, enhanced with a bit of debug logic, is doing an ok job for configuration, but is wasting quite a few cycles on the dual port RAM I/O and had shortcomings on the interrupt handling side, so I had bashed out a pipelined variant which does things a little differently. It’s been in use as configuration processor or even test bench for more complex logic so far. Logic usage is a little higher than the original Zealot. The full SoC with UART, PWM, Timer, IRQ controller, and simple Cache logic for virtual adressing of a SPI flash takes less than 50% of the Papilio One.
Currently, the CPU is running at 32 MHz only. There’s more in for it, if the memory system and fetch logic is improved (v2, in the making). The v0 and v1 variant of the core run on a three-stage pipeline.
Anyhow, I managed to upload a (crappy) video, moving pictures speak more:
Chorded keyboards are useful tools used to enter characters or commands formed by pressing several keys together. They are a bit like a piano. In the great blog post from Sustburbia, we will see how to efficiently connect one with an FPGA board, especially the Papilio DUO. The keypad is loosely based on the Microwriter – an early UK designed portable keypad / notewriter. Having 6 keys, there are 64 different possible combinations. The wiring process will allow us to interface the keypad directly an Atari joystick port of a Classic Computing Shield.
The latest project from GadgetFactory has just been finished and we’re very happy to show you ROMVault!
Running old school video games on a Papilio Arcade hardware is a thrilling experience for old time gamers and a good challenge for technology enthusiasts. There is sometimes an issue while running those games: It is not always easy to determine what ROMs will actually run on the old hardware!
ROMVault is the tool you need to get past this issue.
ROMVault is a .NET Papilio Arcade Alternative and runs on both Papilio Pro and Papilio One (500k) with the Arcade MegaWing. It also supports the Papilio DUO with the Computing Shield. Arcade data is based off of MAME compatible files
Monsonite is working on a visual debugger for the ZPUino that utilizes the new VGA peripheral that Alvie recently released. Monsonite’s debugger shows the disassembled machine language and memory regions to help you debug your ZPUino code. He’s put one weekend of work into this so far and plans to keep going with more features and functionality. This looks really cool so drop by the forum and check it out!
My intention is to create a suite of simple tools, written in C, which can explore, and help to debug the application running on the ZPUino.
Papilio DUO user Monsonite just posted about a cool project he is making with the ZPUino and the new VGA adapter. It’s a self contained CAD engine and he already has a LQFP-64 footprint rendering on the screen. Stop by the forum and check it out!
Hi Jack and Forum, I have been experimenting with the Papilio Duo with ZPUino and VGA, as a means of producing CAD gerber files. It’s very early days – but shown is a screen shot of a LQFP-64 package, created on the ZPUino and displayed in VGA. I’ve added a few vias and a 4 thou track for scale. If Chuck Moore could change the way VLSI CAD tools were used in the early 1990s – then I’m sure the Papilio Duo and ZPUino can be applied in this area. Imagine a complete CAD workstation embedded in a mouse – it’s been done before. Here’s a posting from 3/8/2000 by the late Jeff Fox – who worked with Chuck Moore on the early Forth chips Nothing new under the sun – we just forget 99% of what’s gone before us.
Our favorite FPGA security hacker, Colin O’Flynn, has a new Kickstarter project that just went online. It’s the ChipWhisperer-Lite which packs a serious punch with a Spartan 6 FPGA, 10-bit ADC, and an XMega Micro. Included with the board is software and tutorials to get you up to speed with embedded hardware security research projects such as side-channel power analysis and glitching.
ChipWhisperer® is the first open-source toolchain (GPL licenced) for embedded hardware security research including side-channel power analysis and glitching. The innovative synchronous capture technology is unmatched by other tools, even from commercial vendors. Similar commercial equipment is too expensive ($30k – $400k), and being closed-source limits usefulness for academics. Instead this project bridges the gap between academic research and in-the-trenches engineering. Several peer-reviewed publications describe the design, matched with hours of hands-on tutorials for getting started.