Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, absolutely. For they are 5V Arduinos, you need our adapter shield, though, to make them compatible with the 3.3V FPGA board.
Check out our Instructable for an introduction: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Electronics-More-Reusable-With-Reconfi/
The Instructable talks of a "bidirectional level converter". The adapter shield is such a bidirectional converter; but if you want a cheaper solution, you can also wire it up by hand.Last updated:
In embedded devices that have reached a certain consistency, you may be interested in doing certain test operations, to verify that the device is in the state it is supposed to be, and connections are alright.
There are two aspects to that: A simple read-in of all relevant inputs lets you know what pins are low and what pins are high. Compare that to the "known good" state to determine whether there may be a problem.
Short-circuit testing can be implemented as follows:
* Output a series of high / low pulses on a GPIO where you know that it does not cause electrical issues, while all other GPIOs are configured as inputs.
* After every state change of the output, verify that none of the inputs changed state.
* If they consistently have the same value as the output GPIO everytime the output changed state, you can assume a short-circuit on the GPIOs.
* Proceed with the next output GPIO.
Now wherever you use the iolinker FPGA to route digital signals from one point to another, you can also integrate the self test aspect: If the self test fails, you don't even connect the digital signals, but could rather switch to an error mode that could display what pins are experiencing issues.
Examples on this will follow soon.Last updated:
I am assuming that you want to use the FPGA board with a PC directly -- i.e. no Arduino or Raspberry Pi or similar involved.
Hardware prerequisites: Get the UART version of our FPGA board and connect its 1x6 header directly to a 3.3V USB TTL converter such as http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBTTLSerial.htm (nicer) or https://www.amazon.de/XCSOURCE-Serielles-Adaptermodul-Anschluss-TE203/dp/B00HSX3CXE (cheaper). They show up as serial ports on your system.
Software requirements for C++ / Bash: Follow the Instructable (http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Electronics-More-Reusable-With-Reconfi/) that explains the usage of the iolinker library (https://github.com/jvm123/iolinker). In your user application, the library specific code can be taken directly from our code generator web interface (https://jinvent.de/iolinker_designer).
Software requirements for other programming languages: Figure out how to communicate with a serial port in your programming language, and send the binary commands created by our code generator (https://jinvent.de/iolinker_designer) and documented in this datasheet: https://jinvent.de/resources/iolinker_datasheet.pdf
I'd be delighted if you'd leave me a message with your code!
Does it work with Mac / Windows?
Short answer: Yes, but I haven't tried it, and don't plan to. For Windows the serial interface in the C++ library would have to be rewritten. On a Mac, things should work the same as on Linux.Last updated:
The FPGA is preprogrammed. You don't need a JTAG cable if you intend to use it for the IO extension functionality as described.
If you are an FPGA developer or intend to become one and intend to change the functionality of the board, you do however need a Lattice compatible JTAG cable.
The reason for that is that the board is ultra compact and low cost, and was made to serve the preprogrammed function at "as low as possible" cost. Therefore, the extra FTDI chip and USB connector are not built-in.
HW-USBN-2A Lattice cable copies cost around 21€. I considered this to be a reasonable trade off and feature restriction, and do hope you agree. With the cable at hand, you save the extra cost and space for built-in USB functionality on any board you get from us.Last updated:
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