FPGA board

Gedare Bloom gedare at rtems.org
Wed Apr 3 14:26:19 UTC 2013

Joel has a public branch with some initial work on microblaze. I'm not
sure about its status or when it might get merged, but that would be
the place to start I suppose.



On Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 8:34 AM, Mathew Benson <mathew.benson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have been evaluating inexpensive FPGA based boards to eventually port
> RTEMS.  I have the XuLA2 (http://www.xess.com/prods/prod055.php), and
> started with the OpenRISC.  XuLA2 has a Spartan 6 LX25 and 32 MB of SDRAM
> and costs $119.  I got the OpenRISC core loaded but switched to Microblaze
> before I tried running code on it.  With the minimum options, OpenRISC takes
> up about 90% of the area and looks like a jumbled mess.  Microblaze takes up
> 25% and looks clean.  I can't get the OpenRISC to pass timing tests over 50
> MHz.  Microblaze goes up to 100 MHz.  But, the Xilinx tools don't support
> the XuLA2 SDRAM.  I will have to eventually find or write my own SDRAM
> controller.  The Xilinx software development tools don't support the XuLA2
> loader, so I purchased a Xilinx JTAG.  Now I'm having problems getting the
> XuLA2 to work with JTAG, but I finally got an email from the manufacturer.
> I just purchased a beta Pipistrello board
> (http://pipistrello.saanlima.com/index.php?title=Welcome_to_Pipistrello)
> which should arrive Friday.  They will be available in multiple sizes with
> the largest being the Spartan 6 LX45 for $149.  It has 64 MB of DDR SDRAM,
> which is supported by the Xilinx tools.  It also has a USB loader, though
> the beta board does not.  It has more pins but is a larger board than the
> XuLA2.  He expects to make production boards available in the next couple
> weeks.  What I really find interesting is that he already has Linux running
> on a Microblaze core on it and has posted files and instructions on his
> website.  He even has Arduino ported with the Arduino SDK and IDE ported and
> available on his site.  The LX45 is almost twice the size of the LX25, and I
> believe the Pipistrello uses the faster -3 grade FPGA.  I've read people
> have even fit software based radios into the LX45.  Lastly, I've been
> getting better support on Pipistrello.
> I like the XuLA2 because of the smaller physical size, low cost, and the
> fact it's breadboardable, but the Pipistrello is better in every other
> aspect.  Once I get the Pipistrello, I want to start porting RTEMS to the
> Microblaze.
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