Saturday, March 5, 2011

PICO BLaze an Intro

Bit of an Intro to PicoBlaze ....

PicoBlaze is the designation of a series of three free soft processor cores from
Xilinx  for  use  in  their  FPGA  and  CPLD  products.  They  are  based  on  a  RISC architecture of 8 bits and can reach speeds up to 100 MIPS on the Virtex 4 FPGA's family. The processors have an 8‐bit address and data port for access to a wide range of peripherals. The license of the cores allows their free use.  


The hardware is synthesised using the HDL processor and the assembler generated PROM and can be is placed and routed on an FPGA. once this is done, the FPGA acts as a processor executing the instructions that are stored in the PROM one after the other. They can be used in typical embedded applications such as weather monitoring station, robotic control, home automation, washing machine, microwave controller. The advantage is any number of digital custom blocks can be connected with the microcontroller to achive any desired operation.



Where to download? Here is the link and it is free
http://www.xilinx.com/products/ipcenter/picoblaze.htm  
(download the version depending on what board you have)

I am the proud owner of Xilinx Spartan 3E FPGA, 500K (it is small but I am still a student! owning a Virtex 6 is a dream within a dream within a dream)


It is a student board and is very useful
http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?Prod=NEXYS2


The downside of using this board by me is that I have not been able to setup the USB driver for programming this board on linux. So use a Jtag cable. If you find a method to install the USB driver I would be more than happy to know.

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