Hello FPGA enthusiasts! Today’s project takes you back to school where you learned the binary system. The author has designed a decimal to binary conversion game using FPGA. It is time to see if you did pay attention in class! The game uses a random number generator which generates any number between 0 and 255. Using the 8 switches on the FPGA, the player needs to guess the binary value right, following which the LEDs glow green. If you do go wrong, the LED matrix glows red showing you guessed incorrectly.
The FPGA board used for this project is the Nexys2 (you may need to adapt yours). It has an LED display, 8 switches and 8 LEDs which are perfectly suited for this project. Besides this some PMOD connectors, an 8×8 LED matrix, resistors, wires, daisy chain wires and 2 breadboards are the other hardware required. Steps 3, 4 and 5 of the project deals with understanding and connecting the hardware used for the project. Since the FPGA has a set of switches and a display, the extra hardware required is less for this project.
The programming language used by the author is VHDL. The program to run on the FPGA is available in step 9 as a zip file. The code has been broken down into modules for ease of understanding. Assigning the pins has been explained in detail in step 10, and the process of creating the bit file to run on the FPGA has been explained in step 11.
The Zybo Board is one of the most powerful tools in FPGA and this is because it is FPGA combined with an ARM processor that widens the spectrum of possibilities with FPGA. Today’s post is yet another dive into Zybo’s possibilities and in this project a visualization of audio signals or music will be accomplished. The author has been very detailed about this project and has explained every aspect of it in 18 steps.
The Hardware needed for carrying out this project are the Zybo Zynq 7000 FPGA board, a neo pixel LED matrix, a 5V 10 A power supply, a female DC power adapter, 3 pin male to male header, a 1mF capacitor, an audio splitter and some jumper wires. The connection diagram is provided by the author in step 17.
The code basically uses the principle of FFTs to detect frequency components in the audio file. Depending upon the magnitude of frequencies received, the LED display has been programmed to light up. 16 steps starting from opening Vivado to run the code to generating a bit file for the FPGA has been provided by the author. You can download a zip file which contains all modules relevant to the project. The author has used a combination of C, custom Verilog and HDL to code the project. This gives an ease in defining GPIO ports and makes the circuit a lot simpler.
Another interesting aspect is that the FPGA has been so coded that with the help of switches, your LED matrix can either act as a spectrogram or as a visualizer seen in media players.
Let me challenge you to achieve similar results adapting your own FPGA!
Today´s article presents a fantastic video tutorial about designing and building your own FPGA RGB LED matrix to display anything you want.
Nowadays it´s pretty easy to buy an RGB LED matrix on internet, so you only need to connect your FPGA to it and build and implement your own design. So, you better follow along this great video where the authors will teach you the fundamentals to do it.
In the video the authors take some time explaining how the actual board works. Listen carefully to it as very important design details are revealed. The designer of this specific FPGA code shows a block diagram (with the main components, PLL, UART and Display Controller) of its design and explains it step by step, sharing even some simulations from both the software and the actual signals measured on the FPGA board to proof that the design is working exactly as it´s supposed to. Thus, a pretty good learning experience for you here.
Finally, you can download all the FPGA design files here. Use them as a guideline on your own design, which I strongly recommend you to do. And if you don´t have the time nor the knowledge to actually build the RGB LED matrix board, you can get yours here.
Watch the video and then get hands on to create your own design so you actually learn how to do it.