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{ Category Archives } Hardware

nMigen – a new improved Migen developed by whitequark!

As people may know, I’m a big supporter of the Migen and associated LiteX ecosystem. As of today if you are starting a new project today, I would instead recommend that you chose to use nMigen instead.

nMigen, A refreshed Python toolbox for building complex digital hardware is a project that whitequark has been working on for the last couple of years and I’m really liking the new improve syntax and the fact that it interfaces directly to Yosys.

There seems a lot of interesting things happening in the nMigen ecosystem; and Google Summer of Code 2016!

This is a cross post from the HDMI2USB website. and Google Summer of Code 2016!

The project is happy to announce that it has been selected to participate in the Google Summer of Code for 2016 (GSoC). GSoC is a program where students are paid to contribute to selected open source projects over the northern hemisphere summer, flip bits not burgers!

The application period is now open and students have until 25 March 19:00 UTC to apply to work with the project. The list of proposal ideas includes contributing to the HDMI2USB and things related to the Numato Opsis.

GSoC Logo 2016

Due to the focus on hardware, we are very interested in students who are interested in things like VHDL/Verilog and other HDLs, embedded C programming and operating systems and electronic circuit/PCB design. Some possible ideas include;

If you are interested in applying, your first point of call should be our Google Summer of Code page. Even if you can’t apply to GSoC, you can also help us by forwarding this message to anyone you might think who is interested!

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First V2 “HDMI2USB Production Board” constructed!

For the last year and a half, I have been working with Numato Labs to create a “HDMI2USB Production Board” for our HDMI2USB firmware that was originally developed on the Digilent Atlys board. On Friday, they sent me a picture of the first constructed board!

HDMI2USB "Production Board" Version 2

HDMI2USB “Production Board” Version 2

At the end of last year, we decided to abandon our first attempt and start again from scratch, this picture is the result of that work. Some of the reasons we decided to start from scratch was;

  • A “de facto standard” for locking HDMI ports was established and low cost connectors became available. This meant we no longer needed to support both DVI and HDMI connectors, reducing the complexity significantly and solving some persistent issues.
  • Not only did the cost of Spartan 6 parts with high speed “GTP” transceivers drop but our understanding of how to use them increased. This would allow us to create a board which natively supports DisplayPort.
  • The idea streaming via not only USB, but also Ethernet became a stronger possibility, meaning the extra cost of adding ethernet was now worth it.

Overall, our board has the following differences with the Atlys board;

  • Has DDR3 memory instead of DDR2, increasing the memory bandwidth.
  • Has a Spartan S6LX45T with the GTP broken out to DisplayPort headers.
  • Has a PCI-Express style expansion connector instead of the expensive VHDCI connector, allow much cheaper expansion boards.
  • Has all the extra pins on the FX2, increasing the potential USB interface options.
  • Has control over all the HDMI functionality, including hot plug and CEC functionality.
  • Removes parts we don’t need such as the audio, buttons, switches and LEDs.
  • Mounts in any ITX style computer case.
  • Adds UTMI USB (as well as the Cypress FX2)
  • Adds MicroSD connector.