Archive for October, 2014

DE0-Nano FPGA Learning Challenge Begins November 1

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

I’ve been busy enough that I haven’t done much tinkering or blogging lately, but I’m preparing to use the power of peer pressure to change that.

I’ve been interested in FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays — big chips full of digital logic and links that you program to turn them into the circuits you want) for a long time. I understand them conceptually but have never had the chance to work with them.

In November of 2008, I found and ordered the Terasic DE0-Nano FPGA trainer / development board featuring the Altera Cyclone IV 4C22 FPGA. It has onboard LEDs, pushbuttons, DIP switches, accelerometer, and A/D converter; USB host connectivity; a set of tutorials to get you started; and (at least at the time) free host development software for Windows and Linux (which I can’t find online right now). And it’s $86 at Digi-Key.

After some period of not doing anything with it, I mentioned it to John Harrison and he suggested that he get one (and did) and that we challenge each other to go through the tutorials and then expand our knowledge by creating further interesting projects. Which we hadn’t done yet when we reminded each other about it … in December of 2013. And — you guessed it — haven’t done it yet.

Another reminder last month, and John boldly said, November 1! (He cunningly left off the year.)

November 1 it is. The learning challenge begins.

Care to join? Blog and I’ll link to you. Send (family-friendly) pictures and/or narrative and I’ll post them.