Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Time to talk about what other machines can run on the Next hardware!
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Bleugh
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Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by Bleugh » Mon May 29, 2017 9:38 pm

I'm hoping for a basic 'hello world' type core to allow beginners to use FPGA's ...

That and C64 and NES
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Kitty
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by Kitty » Mon May 29, 2017 9:47 pm

C64 and NES are already in the FAQ list ;)
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Laxer3A
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by Laxer3A » Mon May 29, 2017 10:27 pm

If you look at just blinking a LED or having a circuit reacting to a push button, I am not sure the Next board is the best thing to do it. (FPGA design upload is most likely to be more annoying than a standard FPGA dev board).

But sure, people do need to start somewhere... If needed, I could provide a basic VGA pattern generator + color changing based on the joystick or keyboard input. Once I have my board and the circuit. But gosh, writing a tutorial step by step is going to be a nightmare :-)
(Design itself, It would fit in like 100 lines of VHDL code with less than 30 lines of really effective code and 70 lines of declarations).

Bleugh
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by Bleugh » Tue May 30, 2017 8:08 am

Heh, I did a degree in comms a couple of decades back so I'm not a standard learnin' muppEt, will be happy to help knock up docs!
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mcleod_ideafix
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by mcleod_ideafix » Tue May 30, 2017 10:09 am

Laxer3A wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 10:27 pm
(Design itself, It would fit in like 100 lines of VHDL code with less than 30 lines of really effective code and 70 lines of declarations).
That's why I prefer Verilog. Much less chattering in the code. Straight to the point :)

Blinking LED "hello world of FPGA" using the DivMMC LED of Next and assuming a 50MHz input clock to the FPGA:

Code: Select all

module blink (
  input wire clk,
  output wire led
  );

  reg [24:0] counter; // 25-bit counter
  assign led = counter[24]; // LED will toggle when the MSb of the counter toggles (about 1.49 Hz blinking frequency)

  always @(posedge clk)  // increment the counter at rising edge of clock
    counter <= counter + 25'd1;
    
endmdule
You will also need an UCF file to specify constraints (timings and locations). Something like this:

Code: Select all

NET "clk" LOC = "P55" | IOSTANDARD = LVCMOS33;
NET "led" LOC = "P11" | IOSTANDARD = LVCMOS33;
NET "clk" PERIOD = 20ns;
Locations are obviously wrong, as the team has not published any schematics or source code for cores adapted to the Next, so I don't know which pinout the FPGA has. Locations in this example file come from the ZX-UNO board rev 4.1

This was the very first test I did with the first prototype of the board. It's test1 on the ZX-UNO Spectrum core repository
( /cores/spectrum_v1_spartan3/test1 )
zxuno_blinking_led.gif
zxuno_blinking_led.gif (107.5 KiB) Viewed 2668 times
http://www.zxuno.com
ZX-Uno · FPGA ZX Spectrum clone.

Laxer3A
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by Laxer3A » Tue May 30, 2017 11:27 am

Sure, indeed VHDL is a lot more verbose !
Actually I was talking about a VGA controller, so it takes a bit more (4 or 6 comparators depending on your design, 2 register + some logic)
Anyway, we do not have the schematics yet...

But it would be nice to create a thread for all, where FPGA interested/experienced people could introduce themselves, and talk about their current level of skills, past / present and "future next" project...

TorsteinP
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by TorsteinP » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:18 pm

I'm just waiting for this little beauty to arrive in mail in august. Then I've got something to play with while waiting for my Next 8-)

Picture of Snickerdoodle attached to an expansion board piSmasher:
snickerdoodle_pismasher.jpg
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csoren
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by csoren » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:48 pm

Laxer3A wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 10:27 pm
If you look at just blinking a LED or having a circuit reacting to a push button, I am not sure the Next board is the best thing to do it. (FPGA design upload is most likely to be more annoying than a standard FPGA dev board).
Perhaps Victor could chime in here. From the pictures it looks like there's a 2x7 solder pad grid pretty close to the FPGA, is this meant for a Xilinx programming cable? If so, can we get the exact specs so I can have a box header ready for soldering when the board arrives? I was hoping this might be the case, because that's really the most convenient way to test a core.

mth75
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by mth75 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:42 am

An MSX and Amstrad core would be most logical since they both used the Z80, both would be very interesting. Running the whole MSX1 and maybe 2 Konami catalog would be great.

JoeZX
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Re: Other cores! Hardcore :-)

Post by JoeZX » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:29 am

mth75 wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:42 am
An MSX and Amstrad core would be most logical since they both used the Z80, both would be very interesting. Running the whole MSX1 and maybe 2 Konami catalog would be great.

https://www.specnext.com/about/
- scroll down ..

Fabio Belavenuto
: Recognised as a key figure in the MSX hardware scene in Brazil, Fabio is a computer scientist with a not-so-hidden passion for the Speccy (the MSX vs Speccy in Brazil was analogous to the C64 vs Speccy in the UK). He’s the co-creator of the TBBlue Spectrum board, the starting point of the Next hardware.

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