Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New fpga board in place, still working on USB firmware to restore communications


Restructuring the GUI for the PC side

I really need to improve the graphical user interface of the PC side program. It is drab, crowded, and hard to operate with all the virtual and mirror devices included. I want a clean looking main window, menu control over functionality and separate floating windows as needed for the peripherals.

I will need to improve my knowledge of wxPython immensely to make this happen. I bought a text and am doing some experimenting in the interim.

Testing new board and Vivado toolchain results

I had to wrestle with Java and some other software to get the end to end capability I needed, then fight to update the USB controller processor firmware to support the modes I needed. Had to get the Java development kit, usb libraries configured, and do a few other things before my laptop could talk with the board. Eventually I could load the bitstream and have the board power up successfully. Only then could I move on to test it connected to the rest of the interface box.

The first test was to power up the SAC Interface Box, which takes a noticeable time to load the bitstream from flash because it is so big compared to the previous fpga board, then power on the 1130. If the PC can communicate with the fpga and I see reasonable status, I will move one to actively driving the 1130.

The endpoint couldnt be reached - I have to set up the right firmware into the USB processor chip on the fpga board in order to communicate with it. I think the memfifo demo program provided by Ztex has a firmware load that will work properly, but I remember this took a few days to sort out with the prior board.

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