It works! Hooray! :-)


#1

Just programmed my A1 to blink a couple of LEDs per http://tinyfpga.com/a-series-guide.html
(I ran out of breadboard for the 3rd LED.)

Now to learn either Verilog or VHDL. Is there a preferred language for TinyFPGA users? Has anyone got a VHDL version of the LED-blinker?

Here’s a little bit about my experiences of programmable logic:
In the early '90s I used Lattice’s ispLSI1016s. (I’ve still got about 10 of them but I’m not sure I’ve got all the programming software, and I lost all my code when a laptop was stolen. Oops!) I was programming them in a mixture of schematic capture and Abel. The programmer plugs into a parallel port on my Windows 95 machine :slight_smile:
In the early '00s I got an Actel Icicle dev board (I had to sign a form promising I wouldn’t use it in a weapon of mass destruction!) and a book on VHDL. I never figured out how to use either!

I might still use my ispLSIs because I occasionally make ‘retro’ computers: the latest was based on a Z280 and the one before on a MC68010. They’re both 5V so I doubt I’ll use my TinyFPGA with them. 5V CPLDs/FPGAs seem to be getting scarce.

My next TinyFPGA project goal is a VGA pattern generator. (I’ve got a 25.175MHz oscillator on the breadboard. Why VGA doesn’t use 25.200MHz I’ve never fathomed.)

A note for UK buyers of TinyFPGAs: I bought mine from the US site because a) I wasn’t in a hurry, and b) it seemed a LOT cheaper than buying it from Elektor on the Continent. And then UK Customs charged me £3.64 VAT and £8.00 handling. [sigh] (And that’s probably STILL cheaper than Elektor… but only just.)


#2

Glad to hear it’s working Bruce!

I tend to prefer Verilog myself. It’s simpler and easier to use than VHDL.

If you want to interface your A1 board with 5V logic, you can try the following:

  • For outputs from the TinyFPGA: The 3.3v digital output should be above the threshold to register as a ‘1’ for 5V devices.
  • For inputs to the TinyFPGA: You can use a simple two-resistor voltage divider to step down the voltage to 3.3v. Test your circuit with a multimeter and no TinyFPGA first. The MachXO2 is not 5V tolerant and could be damaged if 5V is driven on any of its pins.

Take a look at tip #12 here: https://www.newark.com/pdfs/techarticles/microchip/3_3vto5vAnalogTipsnTricksBrchr.pdf

A VGA pattern generator would be awesome. I’ve been so busy developing, supporting, and selling these boards I haven’t had much of a chance to develop my own projects on them! Make sure to share your project here as I know there are at least a few other people that would be interested, like @Xark.

As for Elektor, I was a bit surprised when I saw their prices, but they do have quite an advantage in terms of shipping times and shipping reliability for European customers. As you mentioned, the price gap may shrink once you factor in any customs fees.

Have fun with your board and let us know how your projects go! :smiley: