Getting Started with Arty

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As you’ve heard, Digilent came out with a new FPGA board designed for use with MicroBlaze. If you didn’t hear, check out the product announcement post for some information and a Video!

arty-board-obl

The new Arty!

The video in that post is a video done by Xilinx, talking about Arty and showing off the demo that comes on board when Arty is shipped to you. The demo uses several I/O features of the board, as well as a UART serial interface.

The menu when you first start up the demo.

The menu when you first start up the demo.

I took the part of the video that goes through the demo and turned it into an Instructable called Getting Started with Arty. 

The Instructable starts with PWM mode, where the switches define a PWM signal that is sent to the LEDs. A PWM signal is a square wave. This dictates how bright the LEDs are by changing duty cycle. You can also see the PWM value on the UART output.

PWM mode, with the PWM value on the screen and the LEDs turned on.

PWM mode, with the PWM value on the screen and the LEDs turned on.

The next mode is Cylon Mode. In this mode the RGB LEDs cycle through colors.

Cylon mode, the chosen mode shown on the screen and the LEDs lit up in a color.

Cylon mode, the chosen mode shown on the screen and the LEDs lit up in a color.

The next mode is the Scrolling LED mode, In this mode the RGB LEDs alternate which one is on at a given time.

Scrolling LEDs mode!

Scrolling LEDs mode!

To use the on-board demo you can go through my Instructable. For more information about Arty, including the reference manual and demo projects go to the Arty Reference Center.

 

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When I started school I wasn’t interested in any of things I’m passionate about now. In fact originally I started out wanting to study art. But then I decided I didn’t want to have people telling me what to create, so I changed to music. Then I decided I didn’t want to ruin a hobby by making it my career. At the same time my Physics class was teaching a unit on the physics of music, and I thought that was way interesting, so I changed to physics. Then by the time physics was over I decided that the coolest part of physics was electricity and magnetism, and I may as well get a degree that transfers directly into a career. So while all this was happening, I was attending Shoreline Community College, and during that time I found my passion, or rather presented itself repeatedly, until I realized, maybe I should take a hint from the universe. While at community college, I was asked to help at the high school by tutoring chemistry students. Then I was asked to help at the elementary school by being a math Olympiad coach. I continued both because I found I really enjoyed it. I also had an opportunity, and was hired to be a tutor in the Math Learning Center at the Community College, a job I really loved. At the same time I was working as a Nanny, which I had been doing for several years, the main reason because I could and would answer the hard questions the kids asked honestly (i.e. why is the sky blue). I then was recommended by the patrons of the MLC to the transfer tutoring center (private tutoring,) and developed a wait list of students. Through all these opportunities at some point I realized that I loved watching people go from totally lost, to masters of a subject. I was also forced to admit that having all these opportunities continually renewed, I must have been somewhat good at it. So I decided I wanted to teach, which fits with my mission oriented personality. I saw a serious lack of passionate ECE professors in the institutions I attended. At WSU I continued this trend by being ask to TA for computer science and electrical engineering, being a TA for a total of 4 semesters. This continued by getting an amazing opportunity in my first semester at Washington State University to work at Digilent, an educational company. So even if I didn’t want to teach, turns out I can’t avoid it. Luckily it is my main passion.

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