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Guide
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We’ve posted plenty of projects before that make use of Vivado. But how do you begin using it? This Instructable provides a guide to getting started with using Xilinx’s Vivado CAD with the Digilent Nexys 4. Alex uses Verilog to create the logic design. The Digilent Intro to Verilog Project provides an introduction to logic design.

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What is LabVIEW? How do I get started using it? What are some challenges a beginner might face? Miranda explains it all.

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After about a month of working with the chipKIT WF32 using LabVIEW, it came to my attention that the process to get all of the required software installed and working is not the easiest task in the world. That’s why I decided to create an Instructable that goes over how to get your chipKIT WF32 up and running with LabVIEW using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, a package that is used to interact with common embedded platforms like Arduino, chipKIT, and myRIO. My Instructable also contains some resources to help you with the basics of LabVIEW coding.After about a month of working with the chipKIT WF32 using LabVIEW, it came to my attention that the process to get all of the required software installed and working is not the easiest task in the world. That’s why I decided to create an Instructable that goes over how to get your chipKIT WF32 up and running with LabVIEW using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, a package that is used to interact with common embedded platforms like Arduino, chipKIT, and myRIO. My Instructable also contains some resources to help you with the basics of LabVIEW coding.

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I have recently been working on SPI and I2C with the chipKIT WF32, LabVIEW Home Bundle, and various Pmods. Using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, I was able to have the WF32 interface with the different Pmods and LabVIEW. I wrote an Instructable here about how I got the PmodALS (ambient light sensor) to interface with the WF32 which also includes a section on how to read the data sheet to find what you’re looking for. This Instructable was made as a guide so that others can understand how to read the data sheet in order to find the information required to use SPI for various sensors themselves.

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I recently published an Instructable on how to use I2C in LabVIEW using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, chipKIT WF32, and PmodGYRO as an example. Digilent sells a both LabVIEW Home Bundle and chipKIT WF32 in the LabVIEW Physical Computing Kit. In this Instructable, I go over how to read the data sheet to find what you’re looking for and how exactly to code what you find. This guide also details how to set up pull-up resistors for successful I2C communication.

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When perusing our site, you’ve probably noticed the section entitled programming solutions, or looked through our…

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Have you ever looked at some of our images on Instagram and wondered how we compose them? Well, now you can learn how to take “Digilent style” photos with Quinn’s handy guide!

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Implementation of an instruction pipeline is a common technique used when working with microprocessors. Pipelining improves operation and processing time. Microprocessors such as the Microchip® PIC32MX460F512L on the chipKIT Pro MX4 board use this technology to provide efficient processing and instruction execution. Though the process is sophisticated, it is actually quite simple in concept. In my explanation of instruction pipelines, I’ll specifically refer to the Microchip PIC32 microprocessor.

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LEDs are one of the coolest electronic components. They can brighten up any circuits project and turn it in to an eye-catching bonanza of blinking lights. Okay, corny imagery aside, they’re pretty cool. But have you ever thought of how they actually work? You likely already know that LED stands for light emitting diode. Where does the light emit from, though? There are no bulbs or filaments in an LED. So what’s going on in there that produces the glow that we love to have in all of our circuits?

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You’ll often hear about the “Linux kernel”, but what does that mean? Today we’re going to go about explaining what the Linux kernel is in terms that people can understand.

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This week happens to be National Library week, and although Digilent is not a library, we certainly use them! I’m not referring to public libraries, though (although I am personally a fan of them); rather, I’m talking about the C++ libraries that are widely used with our microcontrollers. Although C++ libraries are not quite the same as an IP for FPGAs, they serve a similar purpose. These libraries include a set of predefined functions that perform a specific task, such as sending and receiving a set of data over SPI, that the user can use without having to define what they do.

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Back in March, we released a blog post announcing the ZYBOt. There was a set of Instructables and a video showing what the ZYBOt is all about. If you check those out, you can see that the ZYBOt is remote-controlled and has a video feed that can be displayed to a computer. The ZYBOt is a great project for people that want to dive into working with FPGAs and Linux.

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Originally, this blog post was going to be about how Linux works with its kernel and everything. That turned out to be extremely dry, and it was a jumbled mess to try to fit everything into a blog post. Just check out the Linux wiki page for all that stuff. Instead this post is going to be more about parts of Linux that people should know about. Linux is used widely for developing software and embedded systems. One example is the Zybot, partially developed by Kaitlyn and me!

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Inter-integrated-circuit, more commonly known as I²C (generally pronounced I-squared-C), is a communication style originally developed by Phillips Semiconductor (now NXP Semiconductor). Its design allows multiple components to be able to talk to each other on the same data line, making it widely used in a variety of systems, including Pmods. As a fan of Pmods, I’m in favor of learning how you can communicate with them and get them what you want to do. Let’s find out more.

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Welcome back to the Digilent Blog! When we were working in C, we learned about the data structure called a “linked list”. Now, we’re going to go over two new data structures — stacks and queues. In this post, we’re going to make classes for stacks and queues to help show some of the capabilities of OOP (object-oriented programming)!

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With any upcoming projects you may be doing, will you be using transistors? A few months ago, Brandon wrote a post detailing the basics of transistors — what they are, how they work, how they can be used, etc.

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The binary search tree (BST) is a data structure that is much different from the other structures that we’ve gone over so far. Unlike stacks, queues, and lists, a BST’s struct is not a “straight-line”. Each node in a BST has a left and right child node.

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For those of you that have been coding for awhile, you likely have heard about both interrupts and polling. These are both techniques that can be used to alert your system board, such as a chipKIT microcontroller, when an input has occurred. But what is the difference between these two methods? Is one better than the other? Let’s find out.

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The acronym IP probably means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But to those of us in the world of FPGAs, it’s something special. IP stands for intellectual property. Intellectual property can be a lot of things, but when I say intellectual property I’m talking about the libraries of HDL (hardware design language) modules that are available for your use. Users and companies build IPs for use, so that designs are easier and faster to build.

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In previous blog posts, we’ve programmed mainly in C. But with a blog post about classes coming up, I figured a short post about how C++ works would be helpful for everybody.

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Today, we are going to learn about number systems. A “number system” is defined here as “any notation for the representation of numerals or numbers.” We naturally use the decimal (base 10) system, meaning we use the numbers 0-9 to represent all the other numbers. The three types of number systems that we are going to talk about today are decimal, binary, and hexadecimal, but there are many more!

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Guide
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Structures are a group of related variables that are placed under one name. Unlike arrays, structures are not limited to one data type. The struct keyword will allow us to create a structure.

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True! Boolean is a data type. However, it’s also a term that gets thrown around in the electronics world by programmers presuming that everybody else knows what they are talking about; I can personally attest that this is not always the case. In light of this, let’s go over some of the data types that are commonly used in programming.

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Guide
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This blog post will cover the basics of pointers, a programming tool that is used in languages like C and C++. In this post, we will be using C as our primary language. Pointers are variables that contain a memory address (a concept used to access the computer’s primary storage memory). Variables normally contain a value such as 1 or ‘a’, but pointers contain an address of the value. When we reference a variable through pointers, this is called indirection. Each link goes to a text file of C code. This code can be run as is and will help show us the power of pointers!

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