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BASEBOARD4: FPGA Controller Card

The Baseboard4 is an FPGA based peripheral controller card that has a Xilinx FPGA, a USB interface, user accessible LEDs and buttons, and four expansion connectors with two daughter card slots on each expansion connector.

 

Features:
- Xilinx 100K Spartan 3E
- USB download to the FPGA
- No JTAG dongles or drivers
- Full-speed USB interface
- USB powered
- Eight LEDs
- Three pushbuttons
- Three 3-pin GPIO headers
- Eight 8-pin cards slots (two slots per connector)

 

 

Software:

The Baseboard4 provides the logic and timing for up to nine different peripherals. A good introduction to this is on this web site's home page.

 

Hardware:

A schematic for the Baseboard4 is available here.

The Baseboard4 has at its core the XC3S100EVQ100, a 100K gate Xilinx Spartan-3E FPGA. The XC3S100EVQ100 has on-board hardware multipliers, and several flexible clock synthesizers. Much more information on this FPGA can be found on the Xilinx web site:
http://www.xilinx.com/support/mysupport.htm#Spartan-3E

The Baseboard4 is powered by the USB connection and has onboard 3.3, 2.5, 1.8, and 1.2 volt regulators. The Baseboard4 does not require expensive and complex JTAG programming devices and drivers, and instead uses a simple USB serial port for download of all FPGA code. Since the USB transfer speed is over 8 Mbps, a download usually takes less than 50 milliseconds.

Also on board the Baseboard4 is an FT245RL, an FTDI USB interface. The FT245 has a USB serial interface on the host computer side and a parallel interface on the FPGA side. More information of the FT245RL is available at the FTDI web site:
http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/FT245R.htm