Recently Hackaday.com profiled a project that Digilent’s own Mitchell Orsucci has been working on involving the use of Linux on an FPGA. His project approached the challenge of using a Zynq device on a Arty Z7-20 board with Linux operating the ARM processor and providing user-space tools to interface with the FPGA and to configure it dynamically.
“This project represents the control of an FPGA from Linux user-space.
The ArtyZ7-20 contains a Xilinx Zynq chip which contains a 650Mhz ARM dual-core processor as well as some FPGA fabric. An FPGA design can be instantiated using Xilinx Vivado. Additionally, using Xilinx Petalinux, a Linux kernel and root file-system can be obtained for the ARM processor. This allows us to run the Linux operating system, but still use the functionality of the FPGA. FPGA configurations can be loaded and changed dynamically without interrupting or crashing the running kernel.I decided to make a generic configuration of hardware in the FPGA that I could use to interface with the most common peripherals without having to change my block design continuously.”