At Washington State University, the electrical engineering department uses Digilent FPGAs in several classes. Students are allowed to pick from a variety of our FPGAs. The main choice is between the Nexys or Basys lines of FPGAs. As a student, I hear a lot of confusion from students about the differences between the two series of boards. I figured that students can’t be the only ones who have questions about the difference, so I decided to write a quick summary of the differences. I’ll be using the Nexsys 4 and the soon-to-be newest member of the Basys series as an example. I’ve compiled two lists to highlight the differences between the two.
I’m a big fan of the chipKIT WF32. It’s a powerful little board with a WiFi card and SD card reader built in, but there’s a lot more to this board than meets the eye. There are a ton of communication lines, external interrupts, output compare pins, and more hidden in all those GPIO pins, but how do you tell what is what? That’s where the WF32 pin diagram comes in. I’ve compiled, color coded, and listed what each pin is capable of.
Many of you have likely done some soldering before, but if you are like me, you may not be familiar with all the different soldering iron tips that are out there. I know that I used to be under the impression that there were only two types of soldering iron tips and only one useful type–the one currently on the soldering iron.
A few weeks ago, we found ourselves in the Digilent Makerspace tinkering with some fantastic LED strips, the WS2811 / WS2812. If you haven’t played with these yet, you really ought to. I grew up loving colored lights. Some kids threw the baseball, while I made amusing shapes on a Lite-Brite and begged to put Christmas lights in my window in mid-September. That being said, you can see how giving a weirdo like me a strip of individually-controlled LEDs, each supporting 24-bit color, would be like giving matches to a madman.
One of the best parts of traveling to a conference like ASEE is getting to participate in hands on workshops. I love getting to go to these, because many times, these are teaching experiences that I’ve only heard about that use Digilent products, so it was a welcome change to be able to see one in action.
Digilent recently attended the pre-conference workshop session at the American Control Conference (ACC) at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon. We were there to provide support for the Analog Discovery, which was being showcased in the pre-conference workshop “Ubiquitous Hands-On Learning: The Future of Engineering Education”. Workshop speakers included Bonnie Ferri, Al Ferri, and Deborah Warner. In addition to the presenters, 9 attendees were there. After discussing student involvement in engineering education, participants were able to play with various test and measurement devices.
It is exciting to see all your posts and projects using Digilent products. This project posted by a Digilent user shows a step-by-step guide to using the Basic I/O Shield on the Blackberry 10 for remote temperature viewing and listening. There is also an earlier post in our blog about the I/O Shield and how cool it is. Check it out here!
Imagination Technologies is making its innovative FlowCloud technology available to developers, including the maker community and hobbyists, to speed application development for the Internet of Things (IoT). FlowCloud support will be available on several low-cost development boards with MIPS CPUs across a range of operating systems.
The story behind the Analog Shield began with Dr. Gregory Kovacs, professor at Stanford University, who saw the successes his students had with the Arduino Uno and use that as a bridge into the world of analog electronics. However, the analog features on the Uno were limited and he needed to create a platform that would enable all of the concepts he wanted to teach on one platform. So when Dr. Gregory approached us and asked if we wanted to make his Analog Shield, we said, “Absolutely!”
As the chipKIT ecosystem and user base continue to expand, there’s a growing need for more flexible ways to mount these boards. After all, the standard form factor hole-pattern leaves much to be desired when it comes to mounting your host board into your project. Which is why we created the zUNOTM Clip for chipKIT, Arduino, and Arduino form-factor boards.
he Learn.DigilentInc site was launched two weeks ago with several microcontroller projects on it.
After doing all of the projects loaded on the site, I was inspired to test out the skills on a more complex project: seeing if I can use my chipKIT Uno32 with a Starbot Animatronic Puppet. Check out how it turned out and let me know what you think!
In this month’s edition of Electronics Design Magazine, a rather nice article calling out both our new ZYBO processor board and our Pmods™ was written. Bill Wong, the article’s author, discusses many of the user experience improvements that Xlinx has made in regards to their latest Zynq-7000 multi-core, ARM A9+FPGA processor. In those improvements he mentions both our newest ZYBO board and our Pmods™!