Tuesday, 2018-03-20

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mattvenn_have people seen this? https://github.com/tinyfpga/TinyFPGA-Bootloader13:44
tpbTitle: GitHub - tinyfpga/TinyFPGA-Bootloader: An open source USB bootloader for FPGAs (at github.com)13:44
mattvenn_cool to see usb serial endpoint on the fpga itself13:45
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ZipCPUYeah, I've seen it, and ... it's on my to do list for my tinyzip project to use it.13:48
ZipCPUI've dug into it a couple of times, but ... I'm not ready to say I truly understand it (yet).13:48
ZipCPUI managed to get past the physical layer in my understanding, but only just.  The next layer had more options to be supported than I was expecting.13:48
mattvenn_I think I need to understand how the usb protocol works to establish endpoints.13:51
ZipCPUExactly.  I want a USB serial port, in addition to his protocol.13:52
mattvenn_Isn't it a serial port already? Thought that was the point of it13:53
ZipCPUYes, no, sort of ... I mean, I want more of a traditional serial port capability, sort of like most FTDI chips provide13:54
ZipCPUUSB on one end, serial on the other.13:55
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awygleI have a similar intention, but I know next to nothing about usb, sadly15:23
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ZipCPUThat's what makes tinyfpga's boot loader all the more valuable.15:27
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shaprZipCPU: weird question, when routing it loaded onto an FPGA does that make physical electrical connections?21:06
shaprI've often wanted to find a way to make a reconfigurable antenna, and being able to arbitrarily change the shape of the routing on an FPGA might work?21:06
ZipCPUYou mean ... when loading a binary file onto an FPGA?  Are physical electrical connections made internal to the FPGA?21:07
ZipCPUshapr: I've seen that proposed before, but never within an FPGA.21:07
ZipCPUBut, the bottom line, is that physical connections are made.21:07
ZipCPUNot sure to what extent you could get an analog signal out of a digital device, though.21:08
shaproh, good point21:08
shaprcould I connect the routing wires to an out port on the FPGA?21:08
shapror is that buffered or otherwise not a direct electrical connection?21:08
awygleshapr: this is Kind Of A Thing, But Not Really21:08
ZipCPUThat's buffered.21:08
shaprawygle: oh? tell me more?21:08
awygleand less so in modern  fpgas which mostly use unidirectional buffers21:08
awyglei've read three or four research papers about it21:09
sorearit's been done before, but it doesn't work the same way on two FPGAs21:09
awygleshapr: you'd also certainly be interested in Kymeta if you're not aware of them21:09
* shapr googles21:09
sorearfpgas are specced to have reproducable digitial properties, not analog properties21:09
ZipCPUIf you want to create RF energy from the output pins of an FPGA, that's not very hard.  Actually, it's harder not to.21:09
awyglethey set up a standing wave in what's basically an LCD screen and switch the pixels to create aperture antennas (to first order)21:09
sorearI thought this was one of the case studies in _On the Origin of Circuits_ but no21:09
shaprthat's exactly the kind of thing I've been wondering how to do21:10
shaprawygle: what are the titles or authors of those research papers?21:10
ZipCPUGosh, and I just wanted to overload the FM radio's in the house .../21:10
awygletrying to find one... they basically all concluded "this is a bad idea"21:10
awygleso i didn't really save them21:10
shaprMy first thought was whether I could use one of the MEMS mirror devices21:11
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shaprsince they have extremely small mirrors that can each have their angle changed separately21:11
awyglethat's done for free space optical communication (lasercomm)21:11
shaprthe mirrors are not electrically connected, so that won't work21:12
awygleoo http://blog.executivebiz.com/2017/09/kymeta-to-develop-ka-band-cubesat-antennas-for-nasa/ i have to call my friend at kymeta, we used to talk about this all the time21:12
shaprand MEMS devices are much smaller than most antennas21:12
tpbTitle: Kymeta to Develop Ka-Band CubeSat Antennas for NASA | ExecutiveBiz (at blog.executivebiz.com)21:12
shaprand while the research on fractal antennas showed that microscale features really do make a difference to how well an antenna functions, I still don't know how to make this workable21:13
awygleshapr: http://data.satirg.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Inmarsat-IDC16-Hardware10-Kymeta.pdf this is the best kymeta paper i can find, can't find any of the "fpga antenna" ones21:15
shaprawygle: thanks!21:16
shaproh, I applied to an FPGA compiler writer engineer job at Google this past weekend21:16
shaprno way I'll get it, but some other people here should check it out21:17
shaprGoogle X is doing something *really* interested21:17
shaprof course I can't find it now, I'll post a link to it later.21:21
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