Monday, 2018-04-09

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ZipCPUtito_: What's up?00:09
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tito_I have an ice40 I'm not so good to use use windows I downloaded Zadig but I can not talk00:20
tito_Number of FTDI devices found: 2 Checking device: 0 ftdi_usb_get_strings failed: -4 (libusb_open() failed)00:21
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* ZipCPU finishes supper, reads tito_'s request, starts googling00:44
ZipCPUtito_: Which board do you have?00:45
ZipCPUI see you have the ice40hx1k chip, but which board?00:47
ZipCPUIs this your board? :
tpbTitle: iCE40HX1K-EVB - Open Source Hardware Board (at
ZipCPUOr does this look like your board? :
tpbTitle: ICE40HX1K-STICK-EVN Lattice Semiconductor Corporation | Development Boards, Kits, Programmers | DigiKey (at
ZipCPUOr some other board?00:51
tpbTitle: ICE40HX1K-STICK-EVN Lattice Semiconductor Corporation | Development Boards, Kits, Programmers | DigiKey (at
tito_an ice40hx1k usb stick uses it with Windows PC,01:09
ZipCPUHave you looked through the eval kit guide:
ZipCPUPage 4 describes a series of software downloads01:11
ZipCPUPage 5 states that you'll need to have the diamond programmer installed in order to download designs to the board01:11
tito_exists icesorm in file.project...'01:14
ZipCPUYou grammar didn't make any sense, so I'm struggling to figure out what you are trying to say.01:17
ZipCPUAre you asking a question?01:22
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tito_and my first ice40 stick. I am able to open the package and insert it into the usb pc for the rest I can not do (I'm noob) I'm trying to do a vga, but not dialogue with usb what is understood and how empty hard disk, and to do a vga I have to insert drivers like icestorm and then file vga .......01:25
ZipCPUOk, so let's follow the instructions in the user guide01:26
ZipCPUDo you have the software on page 4 of the user  guide installed?01:26
tito_yes icecube2  I do not understand how to use it01:30
ZipCPUDo you have the "diamond programmer" installed?01:31
tito_installed pure icestudio01:31
ZipCPU(page 5 of the user guide)01:32
tito_yes the green led pwr i / o LEDs flash alternately ... I downloaded teraterm and I connect via usb, but the terminal is empty01:41
ZipCPU"Tera Term" is a different piece of software from the "Diamond programmer"01:41
ZipCPUHave you installed the "Diamond programmer"01:41
tito_Diamond Programmer I'm downloading first I do not understand but I downloaded
ZipCPUGood.  You'll need to install that once it finishes.01:46
ZipCPUGood.  You'll need to install that once it finishes *downloading that is.01:46
tito_Diamond Programmer can I upload files? I have to design me or upload from github?01:50
ZipCPUtito_: Let's back up and discuss what's going on for a moment.01:51
tito_it takes me 30 minutes to download .......01:51
ZipCPUThere are lots of FPGA chips out there.  Each of these chips have different capabilities.  In this case, there are many ice40 chips.  Some have more capabilities than others.01:51
ZipCPUNote #2 is that there are many FPGA boards out there.  The biggest difference between FPGA boards, besides the chip thats on them, are the pins the chip connects to.01:52
ZipCPUMy point is, unless then design you are starting with was built for the board you are now working with, you'll have a bit of work to do before you can place a strange design on your board.01:52
ZipCPUOne of the tasks will be to rebuild the design for the specific chip you have.01:53
ZipCPUAs part of that task, you'll also want to tell the tool-set which pins on your board are connected to which peripherals.01:53
ZipCPUSo, before you go farther with this MSP430 desin, I01:54
ZipCPUI'd suggest you back up and double check that it is a design not only for your chip, but also for your board.01:54
ZipCPU(Sorry, kept hitting return every time I was reaching for the ' key)01:54
ZipCPUGiven that the iCE stick you are using doesn't have VGA pins as part of its factory configuration, you'll definitely need to adjust which pins are routed to the VGA port01:56
tito_Sorry but in the end the usb fpga do you believe it is a usb vga?01:58
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ZipCPUWell, the FPGA board you've got doesn't have VGA wires connected to it.  I figured you were going to solder those in, since you'd need to do that to get VGA support.02:02
ZipCPUAt least ... it doesn't have a VGA installed in its factory fresh configuration.  I'm not all that certain what you have or haven't done (yet).02:03
ZipCPUAnd, as I recall, you did say that you wanted to drive a VGA display, right?02:04
tito_I can not program02:05
ZipCPUtito_: Why don't you back up then, and explain to me what you are hoping to do.  It's rare that someone with no programming skills starts to walk down the FPGA road.  So, go ahead and tell me how it is you came here and what you are hoping to accomplish, and better, what makes you think you can do this without any programming skills?02:06
ZipCPUIt'll help me help you.02:06
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tito_I've always turned on server and hosting this is a world computer scientist, but the fpga and logical programming circuits and an immense world, it's incredible02:11
ZipCPUAre you hoping to learn how to work with FPGA's?02:12
ZipCPUIf so, there's a lot of folk here who would be happy to help.02:14
tito_no I hope to do a fpga making it become vga or cpu, you can do other using github.com02:14
ZipCPU?? You are hoping to make an FPGA become a vga or a CPU, but you are not willing to learn how to work wih FPGA's?  Is that what you intended to say?02:15
ZipCPUOne other question: What is your native language?  Are you using an online translation program?02:17
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tito_my intent and make vga, I do not know if I can sell them? the pc and a world that interests me but is complicated, I do not think that more than 30% of people use it to the maximum ....... I'm Italian and I can not find anything in Italian on the FPGA and yet today the FPGAs are the best compared to cpu and vga ..... I have no power to work on projects, make a fpga when and the top, and tiring for those who are immersed in this world.02:27
ZipCPUWell ... I wouldn't go so far as to say that FPGA's are better than CPU's.  They are different.02:29
ZipCPUFPGA's tend to run at a clock rate about 10x or even 30x slower than CPU's02:29
ZipCPUWhat makes FPGA's "better" is that they can do everything in parallel02:30
ZipCPUIf you want to build a better CPU in an FPGA, you aren't likely to get better performance than the CPU you are trying to replace while working on the FPGA02:30
ZipCPUIndeed, the cheapest CPU on the market today will probably outperform by 10x or more any CPU implemented within an FPGA.02:31
ZipCPUHave you found
ZipCPUI usually gear the articles on for folks who have already built their first designs in Verilog and implemented them on their hardware02:33
ZipCPUHowever, there is a discussion regarding how to get "blinky" running on an FPGA board.02:33
ZipCPUThis should be the first project of any newbie.02:33
ZipCPUThe second newbie project should be a serial port.02:34
ZipCPUYou should be able to do both projects with your ice40 1k board.  They would be good learning experiences for you.02:34
ZipCPULooking over the OpenMSP430 project, it wasn't build for your FPGA chip.  It was designed for Xilinx chips with 1650+ LUTs.  Xilinx uses 6-input LUTs, iCE40 uses 4 input LUTs.02:38
ZipCPUIn other words, I don't think you will fit an OpenMSP430 on your board.02:39
ZipCPUYou should still find your board quite valuable for learning with, you just won't get OpenMSP430 running on it.02:41
tito_I did nothing ..... but an ice40 can be compared to cpu and vga what kind?02:42
ZipCPUDo you mean ... what kind of CPU can you build on an ice40?02:43
ZipCPUThere are some very tiny forth based CPU's that will fit02:43
ZipCPUVGA will be a bigger challenge, and may even be impossible.02:43
tpbTitle: GitHub - Zibri/MSI-GT7x-VGA-SWITCH: Selects VGA from LINUX or EFI! (at
tito_the challenge for me and to talk with ice40 and insert projects already made02:45
ZipCPUtito_: Apples and oranges.  You will program your iCE40 in either VHDL or Verilog, not C or shell script.  As a result, that project won't work on your ice stick02:46
sorearthere are other things that would probably fit if somebody would try02:46
ZipCPUsorear: You mean other CPU's?  Such as what?  I don't think picorv will fit ... I suppose a small 8-bit computer (pico blaze, etc) might fit ...02:47
sorearZipCPU: picorv32 is roughly four times the size of GRVI and three times slower02:47
ZipCPUGRVI is Jan Gray's ultra-small CPU, right?02:48
ZipCPUOk.  You point is well made.  (Good one too)02:49
soreargrvi is implemented directly in terms of xilinx primitives so it won't work on iceanything02:49
ZipCPUThen its not really that comparable02:50
sorearbut I'd like to either do something similar several months from now or goad someone else into doing it sooner02:50
tito_Thank you   night I have to sleep ....03:01
ZipCPUNight in Italy .... that would've started several hours ago ...03:03
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cr1901_modernsorear: A RISC-V emulator in 6502 will _probably_ fit in ice40hx1k w/ enough space (4k ROM + 1k RAM) for a user program. This is a route I've started.06:09
cr1901_modern6502 b/c "Picoblaze's license sucks and I can tolerate writing 6502 assembly"06:10
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shoggothDoes anyone happen to know which board Clifford and/or Mathias are using for project X-Ray?10:19
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soreardoing a full 6502 if you're going to use it as a microcode engine is so wasteful though15:23
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kc8apfshoggoth: most of the work doesn't involve a specific board.  We tend to use Arty and Basys3 if we need actual hardware.17:02
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