Point of View

Christopher Felton August 28, 20146 comments

I was caught of guard when someone commented:

"when a FIR filter is full of multiple loops and complex code, something is wrong"

The comment was made during an informal discussion on alternative hardware description languages (HDL) and was targeted to the straightforward FIR filter implemented in MyHDL

(different FIR description simulation results) 

Personally, (and...

MyHDL Presentation Examples

Christopher Felton August 26, 2014

The last two years I presented at EELive.  The first year as an overview of MyHDL and a strong case why you should be using MyHDL as your hardware description language (HDL) [paper].  The second year was an introduction to three alternative HDLs (alt.hdl), including MyHDL.  I also presented at a regional Python conferene: pyohio.  At the Python conference I presented...

Spline interpolation

Markus Nentwig May 11, 20146 comments

A cookbook recipe for segmented y=f(x) 3rd-order polynomial interpolation based on arbitrary input data. Includes Octave/Matlab design script and Verilog implementation example. Keywords: Spline, interpolation, function modeling, fixed point approximation, data fitting, Matlab, RTL, Verilog


Splines describe a smooth function with a small number of parameters. They are well-known for example from vector drawing programs, or to define a "natural" movement path through given...

[Comments] C HLS Benefits

Christopher Felton April 11, 20142 comments

Earlier this week I posted a small write-up comparing a hardware median calculation implemented in a C-to gates "HLS" (Vivado C HLS) and a version in MyHDL.  For a long time I have had the belief that C-to-gate technologies are of little to no benefit - based on the simple premise that "C" is not that high-level of a language (I actually consider it lower than Verilog and VHDL ... but that is a conversation for another time).

Language comparisons...

Little to no benefit from C based HLS

Christopher Felton April 4, 2014

Last updated 07-Nov-2015

As I write this I am on a plane and my destination is EELive 2014 where I am going to give a talk hardware design: the grunge era.  It is a shotgun introduction to three alternative hardware description languages (alt.hdl). The three languages briefly introduced in the talk are: bsv, chisel, and myhdl.  The goal of the talk is simply to raise awareness of the three...

Signed serial-/parallel multiplication

Markus Nentwig February 16, 2014

Keywords: Binary signed multiplication implementation, RTL, Verilog, algorithm

  • A detailed discussion of bit-level trickstery in signed-signed multiplication
  • Algorithm based on Wikipedia example
  • Includes a Verilog implementation with parametrized bit width
Signed serial-/parallel multiplication

A straightforward method to multiply two binary numbers is to repeatedly shift the first argument a, and add to a register if the corresponding bit in the other argument b is set. The...

MyHDL Interface Example

Christopher Felton January 18, 20142 comments
MyHDL Interfaces Example

With the next release of MyHDL, version 0.9, conversion of interfaces will be supported.  In this context an interface is any object with a Signal attribute.  This can be used to simplify connection between modules and port definitions.  For example, if I want to define a simple memory-map bus, the Signals for the bus can be defined as follows:

class BareBoneBus: def __init__(self): self.wr = Signal(False) self.rd =...

MyHDL @EDAPlayground

Christopher Felton October 24, 2013

Trying out MyHDL became a little easier recently.  MyHDL is now avaialbe @EDAPlayground.  One can experiment with Python/MyHDL verification of HDL modules and implementing complex digital cirucits in MyHDL.

The @EDAPlayground has two main panels. On the left is the testbench and the right the HDL description to be tested.

There are a couple examples...

BGA and QFP at Home 1 - A Practical Guide.

Victor Yurkovsky October 13, 20132 comments

It is almost universally accepted by the hobbyists that you can't work with high-density packages at home.  That is entirely incorrect.  I've been assembling and reflowing BGA circuit boards at home for a few years now.  BGAs and 0.5mm-pitch QFPs are well within the realm of a determined amateur. 

This series of articles presents practical information on designing and assembling boards with high-density packages at home.  While the focus is on FPGA packages, most of...

Windows XP and Win32 - the Platform of the Future!

Victor Yurkovsky October 6, 20132 comments

Over the past decade I often wondered why anyone uses Windows.  It's just so... proprietary.  And pedestrian.  As I grew up my OS of choice went nothing to CPM to DOS (on Apple ][), GEM on Atari ST,  MS-DOS, DOS extenders, Mac OS, Windows NT, Windows XP, Linux...  Now, I again find myself a fan of Windows XP, the platform of the future.  (I am still a fan of bare metal, of course).Maybe I am not totally serious, but I, a self-proclaimed freedom lover and...

Back from Embedded World 2019 - Funny Stories and Live-Streaming Woes

Stephane Boucher March 1, 20191 comment

When the idea of live-streaming parts of Embedded World came to me,  I got so excited that I knew I had to make it happen.  I perceived the opportunity as a win-win-win-win.  

  • win #1 - Engineers who could not make it to Embedded World would be able to sample the huge event, 
  • win #2 - The organisation behind EW would benefit from the extra exposure
  • win #3 - Lecturers and vendors who would be live-streamed would reach a (much) larger audience
  • win #4 - I would get...

Introducing the VPCIe framework

Fabien Le Mentec August 31, 20133 comments

My daily work involves platforms featuring an embedded CPU communcating with a FPGA device over a PCI Express link (PCIe for short). The main purpose of this link is for the CPU to convey configuration, control, and status commands to hardware slaves implemented in the FPGA. For data intensive applications (2D XRay detector readout backend), this link can also be used as a DMA channel to transfer data from the FPGA to the CPU memory. Finally, a slave can interrupt the CPU using...

FPGA Bloggers Needed - New Reward System

Stephane Boucher April 11, 20112 comments

Are you an FPGA expert? If you are an have an interest in sharing your knowledge with the FPGA community, you might be interested in the new reward system for bloggers (see the blogs section here).

The rewards will be based on page impressions, meaning that the more traffic a blog post will get, the faster it will generate rewards for the author.

Basically, a given blog post will generate $25 to the author for every 250 unique pageviews, up to a maximum total reward of $500 per blog post...

An absolute position encoder VHDL core

Fabien Le Mentec November 11, 2015

Let's consider motorized systems controlled by electronics. A closed loop architecture looks like this:

The following components are involved:

  • the motor itself (DC, stepper ...),
  • the controller, in charge of computing position according to the whole system state,
  • the driver board in charge of generating signals and power for the motor,
  • the position encoder, the subject of this post.

Most of the time, there is a difference between the position the system...

Who else is going to Sensors Expo in San Jose? Looking for roommate(s)!

Stephane Boucher May 29, 20186 comments

This will be my first time attending this show and I must say that I am excited. I am bringing with me my cameras and other video equipment with the intention to capture as much footage as possible and produce a (hopefully) fun to watch 'highlights' video. I will also try to film as many demos as possible and share them with you.

I enjoy going to shows like this one as it gives me the opportunity to get out of my home-office (from where I manage and run the *Related sites) and actually...

USB-FPGA : Introduction

Christopher Felton January 12, 20111 comment

This blog is an introduction to a series of blogs I hope to write.  The blogs will cover the design and experiences I had on a project that spanned the last 6 years.  The project was the development of an USB FPGA board and the supporting gateware, firmware, and software.  The project has had different levels of activity over the years, ranging from none to some, but it has been an ongoing project, albeit, during sleepless nights.  Lately, I have ported the HDL (gateware)...

Feedback Controllers - Making Hardware with Firmware. Part 9. Closing the low-latency loop

Steve Maslen July 9, 2018

It's time to put together the DSP and feedback control sciences, the evaluation electronics, the Intel Cyclone floating-point FPGA algorithms and the built-in control loop test-bed and evaluate some example designs. We will be counting the nanoseconds and looking for textbook performance in the creation of emulated hardware circuits. Along the way, there is a printed circuit board (PCB) issue to solve using DSP.    

Fig 1. The evaluation platform

Additional design...

Free Goodies from Embedded World - What to Do Next?

Stephane Boucher March 6, 20193 comments

I told you I would go on a hunt for free stuff at Embedded World in order to build a bundle for someone to win.

ESC Boston's Videos are Now Up

Stephane Boucher June 5, 2017

In my last blog, I told you about my experience at ESC Boston and the few videos that I was planning to produce and publish.  Here they are, please have a look and any feedback (positive or negative) is appreciated. 

Short Highlight

This is a very short (one minute) montage of some of the footage that I shot at the show & conference.  In future shows, I absolutely need to insert clips here and there of engineers saying a few words about the conference (why they...