FPGA Development Kit

Base2Designs FPGA Development Kit contents:

  • FPGA Main Board
  • FPGA Support Board
  • USB2Flash programming adapter and USB cable
  • Connecting ribbon cables
  • Wall wart 5V power supply
  • RS-232 cable
  • CD-ROM

Everything is included to allow you to start running right out of the box. And it's all open source! The CD-ROM includes several tools such as Icarus Verilog, GTKwave, Cygwin, OpenRISC tool chain, and of course example projects which you can compile into hardware using Altera Quartus, or simulate using the Icarus simulator.

Purchase an optional Santa Cruz daughter card, and you can use some of the other projects that come on the CD-ROM. Purchase one of the dual USB PHY boards, and you can run the USB loop back test, or the USB mouse emulation. The USB mouse project highlights an interesting possibility for developing new designs. The USB mouse was initially designed as a usbSlave core attached by Wishbone bus to an OpenRISC processor. The algorithms to control the mouse were initially written in C code, downloaded quickly and tested. Once the software was perfected, the design was re-implemented with the OpenRISC replaced by a dedicated hardware controller. This method of development reduces the amount of time spent performing time consuming hardware compilations.

All CADsoft Eagle design files are available to recreate the boards using EagleLite, a freeware PCB design tool.

The FPGA is the largest Cyclone 2 device available in a QFP package, thus allowing larger RTL designs to be ported, and at the same time allowing easier PCB design and board assembly. Board design is double sided, and can be manufactured using low cost batch PCB services. But despite only being double layer, it has an almost continuous bottom side ground plane.

Main FPGA board contains:

  • Altera EP2C20 Cyclone2 FPGA
  • 16MByte x 32 SDRAM
  • +3.3V and +1.2V regulators
  • 48MHz oscillator
  • Santa Cruz expansion header
  • Support board expansion header.

FPGA Support board contains:

  • SD card slot
  • SPI flash
  • C8051 microcontroller
  • FpgaConfig header
  • FPGA JTAG debug header
  • OpenRisc JTAG debug header
  • RS-232 DB9 connector.
  • I2C debug header
A complete FPGA project is available for the board set. This includes a minimal OR1K, SDRAM memory controller, UART peripheral, and SD memory interface. Simulation is possible using Icarus Verilog simulator, and the design can be compiled using Altera Quartus Web Edition. Software is available to demonstrate copying a software image file from SD flash memory to SDRAM, and then executing the copied image.
See fpgaConfig project for details of configuring FPGA from SD flash memory.
You can use this project as a basis for a compact OpenRisc implementation. A complete OpenRisc implementation requires just an FPGA, SDRAM, microSD card, and a tiny C8051.

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Last modified: 07/12/11