At Maker Faire Lisbon: ZPUino

Our good friend Alvaro Lopes is going to be at the Lisbon Maker Faire from the 19th – 21st of September 2014. So if you are in the area be sure to stop by the ZPUino booth and say hello!

ZPUino is a SoC (System on a Chip) developed by Álvaro Lopes , a senior engineer from Critical Software in Coimbra and a blogger at the EE Times . It’s a 32 bits, 100Mhz CPU implemented in a FPGA , and programmed using the Arduino tools and a specific schematics editor for the hardware parts (internal peripherals). At the Lisbon Maker Faire he’s going to demonstrate the system and its connection to more complex hardware. He will be using 9 different FPGA boards, lots of peripherals, RGB LED panels and strips, HDMI output video (with a monitor), Audio (directly from the FPGA with an audio codec). You will see games, interactive applications, and other. The ZPUino has been used in projects like the Soundpuddle , the RetroCade Synth , and others . We specially like its use in the Papilio Arcade MegaWing : We can’t wait! Comments comments powered by Disqus

link in Portuguese

Flavia: the Free Logic Array

Flavia: the Free Logic ArrayCheck out this amazing project from John Beetem. Make small Digital Logic designs without the heavyweight vendor tools. Flavia tool chain lets you make bit files for the Papilio One 250K with completely FLOSS software! Only CPLD sized designs are possible, but this is a boon for learning Digital Logic on ARM based boards like the Raspberry Pi.

Abstract: Flavia is a family of logic arrays that can be designed and programmed entirely using free-as-in-freedom (FaiF) software.  This is in contrast to standard FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) tools from vendors such as Xilinx, Altera, Lattice, Cypress, and MicroSemi (formerly Actel) where you must use the vendor’s software to design the FPGA.  Except for a part from Atmel that never caught on, the author is not aware of any commercial FPGA or CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device) that can be designed without running its vendor’s tools.

DIY: build your own oscilloscope

Check out this cool FPGA project to make a DIY oscilloscope done for a school project. Nicely done!

We( Haolin and Joris ) built this oscilloscope last semester for a school project. The ADC chosen is a high performance differential ADC which uses Low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS). A FPGA is used to interface the ADC accounting for its properties such as high clock frequency, parallelism and differential inputs/outputs. The back-end software is written in QT with OpenGL libraries. This software supports oscilloscope and FFT functions.

Interview with Clive “Max” Maxfield the driving force behind the legendary AllProgrammablePlanet Blog


While AllProgrammablePlanet blog is no longer online it still remains the stuff of legends. It came out of nowhere and united FPGA enthusiasts everywhere, providing a great community to talk and learn about FPGA’s. It ran for about 18 months under the capable hands of Clive “Max” Maxfield who I had the pleasure of meeting at DesignWest 2013. While browsing the FPGA subReddit I noticed a familiar name and was delighted to come across this really great interview with Max. It’s a very interesting read with some great insights about the history and future of FPGA technology.

Shortly after, as I was putting the final touches on my soon to be released Papilio DUO Kickstarter project I noticed a familiar name again! While scrolling through a list of technology projects to see how mine compares I noticed something odd. A project by “Max & Duane Galactic Enterprises” zipped by and I thought, “Wait a minute! Is that Max and Duane from APP?”. I clicked on the link for a Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield System for Arduino, r2 and to my great delight, again, there was both Max and Duane in the video! So take a look at both and maybe even show some love on Kickstarter. 🙂

8086tiny: A tiny PC emulator in less then 25K of code!

Hamster tipped us off to this cool project in the forum. Coming in at less then 25K of C code this 8086 emulator still supports all the peripherals you would expect:

with support for PC peripherals including XT-style keyboard, floppy/hard disk, clock, and Hercules graphics. 8086tiny is powerful enough to run software like AutoCAD, Windows 3.0, and legacy PC games.

It will run Windows 3.0, old DOS games and of course MS-DOS 6.22. (I always preferred DR DOS, I bet it will run that too.)

I think we are going to need to talk to ZPUino expert Alvaro Lopes and see what he thinks about running this on the ZPUino!

We have a B/LED Wing overstock! Take advantage and get one for $4.99!

Hello everyone, today we are happy to announce a special offer on the Button/LED Wing 🙂 so if you are a Papilio user and you still don’t have this wing this is a great opportunity to get one for just $4.99 instead of the original price of $14.99 ! Moreover if you plan to buy a Papilio Dev board you can get the B/LED Wing for free (this offer is only valid for orders that includes a Papilio Pro or a Papilio One 500k).

The Button and LED Wing is an 8 Bit Wing that provides 4 LED’s for output and 4 tactile buttons for input. It enables user interfacing with LED’s and Pushbuttons.

Click here to add the B/LED Wing to you shopping cart or choose a Papilio FPGA development board now and take advantage from this offer.

(Gadget Factory Store)

BeagleBone Black Gaming Cape Project

We had a chance to meet and greet with the guys responsible for manufacturing the BeagleBone Linux platform back in May at Design West 2013. Turns out, the platform is continuing to pick up steam, and is one of the boards that Texas Instruments’ 2013 Design Challenge is supporting and accepting design entries on. We’re stoked to see some cool projects like this one on the BBB. We’ll try to keep you updated with more entries from the TI design contest too in the upcoming days/ weeks!

…the BeagleBone GamingCape transforms your BeagleBone into a full fledged hand-held gaming console capable of playing all the classics such as NES, Gameboy, Sega GameGear, and even Doom. Just drop in 4 AAA batteries and you’ll be playing your favourite games discretely at work in no time.


– 320×240 16Bit Color TFT LCD
– Analog joystick + 2 Thumb Buttons
– 3D Gyro, 3D Accelerometer, 3D Magnetometer
– Headphone Out + Mic In
– Supports:

  • NES
  • GameBoy
  • GameBoy Color
  • GameBoy Advance
  • Sega Master System
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Doom

Max Thrun and friends are currently hard at work on their BeagleBone Black Gaming Cape project for the TI design contest, and you should absolutely head on over to the project’s home page.  They’ve got a whole lot of information on the project, as well as some video for your viewing pleasure. Hackaday did a little ditty on the project as well.

(via bear24rw)