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Graphical User Interface project on Spartan-3 FPGA

 
 
Simon Piekert
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      06-01-2010
I am a student of Electronics and I am going to do semester work on the
topic "Implementation of Graphical User Interfaces on an Embedded Platform".
We are allowed to choose a project of our own so this is why I am currently
looking for suitable project ideas. The work shall be implemented on a
Xilinx Spartan-3A/3AN Starter Kit Board, making use of the Microblaze CPU.

As most important features the board brings a Spartan-3A FPGA, a 50 MHz
crystal oscillator, 32Mx16 DDR2 SDRAM, 32 Mbit parallel Flash, a RS-232
serial port, PS/2-style mouse/keyboard port, a VGA video output port and
some push-buttons and switches.

I am not looking for an already finished solution to but I want to work it
out for myself. And first of all I want to learn some more things about
Microblaze programming on FPGA. The project must fit in the above mentioned
topic so if someone did something similar or has ideas how to combine the
GUI topic with FPGA Hardware / Software Co-Design then please send me
details of this.

Thanks in advance. Any ideas on this subject are really appreciated.

Simon


 
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John_H
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      06-01-2010
On Jun 1, 3:46*am, "Simon Piekert" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I am a student of Electronics and I am going to do semester work on the
> topic "Implementation of Graphical User Interfaces on an Embedded Platform".
> We are allowed to choose a project of our own so this is why I am currently
> looking for suitable project ideas. The work shall be implemented on a
> Xilinx Spartan-3A/3AN Starter Kit Board, making use of the Microblaze CPU..
>
> As most important features the board brings a Spartan-3A FPGA, a 50 MHz
> crystal oscillator, 32Mx16 DDR2 SDRAM, 32 Mbit parallel Flash, a RS-232
> serial port, PS/2-style mouse/keyboard port, a VGA video output port and
> some push-buttons and switches.
>
> I am not looking for an already finished solution to but I want to work it
> out for myself. And first of all I want to learn some more things about
> Microblaze programming on FPGA. The project must fit in the above mentioned
> topic so if someone did something similar or has ideas how to combine the
> GUI topic with FPGA Hardware / Software Co-Design then please send me
> details of this.
>
> Thanks in advance. Any ideas on this subject are really appreciated.
>
> Simon


Keep in mind that most low-cost development boards have low-
functionality VGA ports. You can have red green and blue each
completely on or completely off, no 256 shades of gray per channel.
You can get several colors out of this but it's not much for a GUI.
 
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Michael Metzner
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      06-01-2010
maybe this is interesting for you

http://www.genode-labs.com/produkte/fpga-graphics

"Simon Piekert" <(E-Mail Removed)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:4c04bad5$0$6892$(E-Mail Removed)-online.net...
>I am a student of Electronics and I am going to do semester work on the
>topic "Implementation of Graphical User Interfaces on an Embedded
>Platform". We are allowed to choose a project of our own so this is why I
>am currently looking for suitable project ideas. The work shall be
>implemented on a Xilinx Spartan-3A/3AN Starter Kit Board, making use of the
>Microblaze CPU.
>
> As most important features the board brings a Spartan-3A FPGA, a 50 MHz
> crystal oscillator, 32Mx16 DDR2 SDRAM, 32 Mbit parallel Flash, a RS-232
> serial port, PS/2-style mouse/keyboard port, a VGA video output port and
> some push-buttons and switches.
>
> I am not looking for an already finished solution to but I want to work it
> out for myself. And first of all I want to learn some more things about
> Microblaze programming on FPGA. The project must fit in the above
> mentioned topic so if someone did something similar or has ideas how to
> combine the GUI topic with FPGA Hardware / Software Co-Design then please
> send me details of this.
>
> Thanks in advance. Any ideas on this subject are really appreciated.
>
> Simon
>
>



 
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Chris Abele
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-02-2010
On 6/1/2010 6:20 AM, John_H wrote:
> On Jun 1, 3:46 am, "Simon Piekert"<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> I am a student of Electronics and I am going to do semester work on the
>> topic "Implementation of Graphical User Interfaces on an Embedded Platform".
>> We are allowed to choose a project of our own so this is why I am currently
>> looking for suitable project ideas. The work shall be implemented on a
>> Xilinx Spartan-3A/3AN Starter Kit Board, making use of the Microblaze CPU.
>>
>> As most important features the board brings a Spartan-3A FPGA, a 50 MHz
>> crystal oscillator, 32Mx16 DDR2 SDRAM, 32 Mbit parallel Flash, a RS-232
>> serial port, PS/2-style mouse/keyboard port, a VGA video output port and
>> some push-buttons and switches.
>>
>> I am not looking for an already finished solution to but I want to work it
>> out for myself. And first of all I want to learn some more things about
>> Microblaze programming on FPGA. The project must fit in the above mentioned
>> topic so if someone did something similar or has ideas how to combine the
>> GUI topic with FPGA Hardware / Software Co-Design then please send me
>> details of this.
>>
>> Thanks in advance. Any ideas on this subject are really appreciated.
>>
>> Simon

>
> Keep in mind that most low-cost development boards have low-
> functionality VGA ports. You can have red green and blue each
> completely on or completely off, no 256 shades of gray per channel.
> You can get several colors out of this but it's not much for a GUI.


Looks to me like the "Xilinx Spartan-3A/3AN Starter Kit Board" has
simple four bit resistor DAC for each color, which is to say sixteen
shades for each of R, G, B or 4096 possible colors. Not amazing, but
probably adequate for a student's GUI project.
 
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backhus
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-02-2010
On 1 Jun., 09:46, "Simon Piekert" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I am a student of Electronics and I am going to do semester work on the
> topic "Implementation of Graphical User Interfaces on an Embedded Platform".
> We are allowed to choose a project of our own so this is why I am currently
> looking for suitable project ideas. The work shall be implemented on a
> Xilinx Spartan-3A/3AN Starter Kit Board, making use of the Microblaze CPU.
>
> As most important features the board brings a Spartan-3A FPGA, a 50 MHz
> crystal oscillator, 32Mx16 DDR2 SDRAM, 32 Mbit parallel Flash, a RS-232
> serial port, PS/2-style mouse/keyboard port, a VGA video output port and
> some push-buttons and switches.
>
> I am not looking for an already finished solution to but I want to work it
> out for myself. And first of all I want to learn some more things about
> Microblaze programming on FPGA. The project must fit in the above mentioned
> topic so if someone did something similar or has ideas how to combine the
> GUI topic with FPGA Hardware / Software Co-Design then please send me
> details of this.
>
> Thanks in advance. Any ideas on this subject are really appreciated.
>
> Simon


Hi Simon,
are you intending to use the VGA interface at all?
(for embeded systems, not all LCDs provide VGA input and over the net
it's totally irrelevant (e.g. X11))

As for a starting point you might consider this:
http://www.petalogix.com/resources/d...s/XilinxBoards

There once was a downloadable version, ready to use with sources etc.
I'm not sure if this is still available.
But since it's linux there must be sources available.

Have a nice synthesis
Eilert
 
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backhus
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      06-02-2010
Hi Simon,
the mentioned link is for the Spartan 3E Starter kit.
I missed that you are using the S3A/AN Starter kit.
Sorry.

Have a nice synthesis
Eilert
 
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