Jack Gassett

A new Papilio Board!

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The new Spartan 6 board is based on the Papilio One design but upgrades to a Spartan 6 and adds 4Mb (Megabit) of SRAM (to be upgraded up to 16Mb).

We've been putting them through their paces and have been throwing everything we could think of at them. So far they are passing all tests with flying colors. Several prototypes have been sent out to Papilio users for testing and this is where we can coordinate and share what is happening with the new boards.

I just received some more Spartan 6 chips and hope to be building the next batch of prototypes soon. If you are waiting for a prototype they should hopefully be built soon.  ;)

Here is an update of who is working on what with the new boards:

Alvaro:

Alvaro has the ZPUino working with an expanded VGA controller that does 640x400 12 bit video!

Mike Field:

Mike is keeping track of his experience with the new board on his blog. He has also written a VHDL core for the PS/2 sockets.

Alex:

Alex has ported a ton of Arcade games for the Papilio One 500K. I have most of them working on the Spartan 6 now and am working on an application that merges Mame compatible ROM files into a bitstream. This means it takes seconds to be up and running with the games instead of the 5+ minutes it takes to synthesize them. Alex's framework made all the difference and I'll hopefully be releasing the work very soon. Alex has also written a very nice tutorial at papilio.cc that describes what it took to convert Galaxian from Verilog to VHDL.

He's also working on using the extra SRAM available to get the arcade game "Bomb Jack" running! He found this treasure trove of information on video game technical manuals that will help greatly with reverse engineering arcade games!

So lets coordinate all of our efforts here!

Jack.

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If you want a WB-compatible SRAM controller, I wrote one for ZPUino.

http://repo.or.cz/w/zpu/zpuino.git/blob/24f4fe3f5aa7212b40c687490785a3b7b3639d2b:/zpu/hdl/zpuino/sram_ctrl.vhd

It has a 16-bit interface and supports reads and writes at half bus speed. Right now I'm clocking it at 100Mhz, meaning SRAM works at 50Mhz maximum. It supports classic cycles and constant address burst cycles for read operations (did not test write).

If someone wants to spend some time tuning the IO delays to make it work (read operations at least) at full (or near-full) speed, please do :)

I'll post some images of the VGA interface which uses this controller.

Álvaro

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Guest alex

If you want a WB-compatible SRAM controller, I wrote one for ZPUino.

Hey Alvie,

I was wondering if you managed to experiment with clocking the SRAM any faster and see at what speed does it still function reliably. You mentioned you got up to 50Mhz, can you clock it at its 100Mhz (10ns) rated speed? If not, how high does it go?

I suspect the final speed would depend on other factors such as the PCB layout. I haven't received my board yet so I can't test it myself.

A

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Alex: yes, I tried. I got many read/write errors. Although it ought to work reading at 100MHz, but write is more complex. Reading at 100Mhz requires adding some delays, and those are tricky. Truth is I have not yet tried to tune them.

See my earlier post: http://www.gadgetfactory.net/gadgetforum/index.php?topic=315.msg972#msg972

I'm currently happy with 50Mhz, because I use a very fast FIFO to read from the memory and feed data into the VGA core. It's fast enough not to lose pixels, and to allow you to write to framebuffer.

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Guest icebear

Hi Jack,

the new board sounds very interesting. I was wondering if this new one had a FT2232H (hi speed) attached using the FIFO pins. On the Papilio One, the FIFO relevant pins aren't wired, and I have some applications that could use some more throughput than UART I/O.

Do you publish the preliminary specs?

Greetings,

- icebear

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Hello Icebear,

The new board still uses the FT2232D, there are just not enough pins left over with the Papilio One or the new Papilio Plus board to connect the full interface.

I'm thinking the best approach for now is to offer a high speed USB as a Wing addon. We have a FT2232H Wing designed but doing the design is the easy part, getting it manufactured is the hard part... We are trying to get the design tested and manufactured but in the meantime we have set it up so you can buy a PCB from batch PCB and all the parts from mouser. So if you really want to give it a try check out its page.

Jack.

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Guest icebear

Hello Jack,

I see..well, I'm not deep enough into the Papilio matters yet. I really like the wings concept though, so I have in fact been thinking about a Spartan6 Papilio style board for a while, however failed to obtain LQFP samples here in europe for home soldering fun. Did you get your hands on some?

Anyhow, the extension wing I'm working on (as posted under the LCD screen topic) has a FT2232H on it. It is actually supposed to talk to the LCD (alternate population option), but could likewise speak to the FPGA - in theory (my favorite sentence when it's about prototypes)

Cheers,

- Martin

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Hello Bob,

We are still working out the logistics of how to market and manufacture these boards. It's frustrating because it seems like it is taking forever to bring these boards to the market. In the past I was manufacturing new boards like this in my basement and I was able to start selling them pretty quickly, but that's not a model I can sustain going forward.

We are partnering with Linksprite to handle the manufacturing of new boards, so once we have all the details worked out we should be able to bring new boards to market in a more timely manner. The new Papilio boards are the guinea pigs for how this process is going to work so it is taking a long time while we work through everything.

I know I said I would build a batch of prototype boards and you would be first in line for one of those. I still hope to do that, I'll see if I can make some time this weekend to build a batch.

Jack.

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Hello Jack,

Thanks very much for the update!  I am glad to hear that you are working out a process to be able to continue the fine work you have been doing in this endeavor. I appreciate your efforts! Please let us know if their is anything we in the community can do to help.

Thanks

Bob

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Hello Stuart,

I'm working with Seeed Studio to get the board manufactured right now. As soon as I finish the test plans they should start the process so hopefully within a couple months they will be available.

I am also kicking around the idea of doing a batch of 10 boards myself and making them available. It all depends on if I can get a couple free days to do so.

Jack.

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Guest Rudzz

I'll definitely buy one of you make a small batch! W

What speed clock are you putting on the Papilio Plus?

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