Peripherals refer to user visible functions such as motor controllers, sensors, or user interface elements. Your application deals with peripherals through an ASCII based API.
The diagram below shows the overall architecture of a system with a Baseboard4 and ten peripherals.
A peripherals has two parts, an FPGA part and a driver part. The FPGA part of a peripheral has the timing and logic needed to drive the four pins to each daughter card. This logic is controlled by a set of 8-bit registers which tie to an internal address and data bus. The slot of a peripheral is actually the upper four bits of the 12-bit address block assigned to that peripheral.
The FPGA internal address and data bus tie to host system though an FTDI USB-to-serial interface. On the FPGA card the physical interface to the FTDI chip is a bidirectional 8-bit data bus. Logic in the FPGA implements a parser for commands that come from the host over the FTDI link. The command set is basically just register reads and writes. An overview of this page and the protocol for the command set is described here: protocol.html. No single document describes the registers for all of the peripherals, however most of the dpserver driver files have the register descriptions for that peripheral.
A driver is that part of a peripheral that resides on the host and implements the API for that peripheral. The driver translates API reads and writes into the appropriate register read and write commands to send over the FTDI USB-to-serial interface. There is always a one-to-one correspondence between FPGA peripherals and drivers. Since they are loaded dynamically drivers are implemented as shared libraries. The dpserver program on the host manages the drivers, manages the TCP connections to your applications, and manages the serial link to the FPGA card.
Registers at the FPGA level are often viewed as resources at the application level. For example, the 10-bit PWM pulse width in the dual DC motor controller is visible as the "speed" resource to your application. Some resources map almost directly to the underlying FPGA registers and some resources sit at logical level well above the underlying registers. From the application point of view a peripheral is defined entirely by the resources it implements.
User Interface Peripherals:
Text LCD and Keypad Interface
: Rotary encoder, two LEDs, buzzer, 4x5 keypad, text LCD interface
Quad WS2812 Interface : Four channels with each up 64 RGB(W) addressable LEDs
Motion Control: Dual DC Motor Controller : Ten bit PWM for two DC motors Dual Quadrature Decoder : Dual one MHz quadrature decoder Quad 13 Bit Servo : Four servo motor controls with 50 nanosecond resolution Bipolar Stepper Controller : Step rate, step count, and holding current for a bipolar stepper Unipolar Stepper Controller : Step rate, step count, and holding current for a unipolar stepper
Simple Input/Output: Quad Binary Output : Four on/off outputs Quad Binary Input : Four on/off inputs with automatic reports on input change Quad GPIO : Four bidirectional I/O lines with input report on change Octal Input/Output : Eight binary outputs and eight binary inputs with report on change 32 Channel Binary Output : Thirty-two on/off outputs 32 Channel Binary Input : Thirty-two on/off inputs with automatic reports on input change
Sensors: Octal 12-bit ADC : Octal 12-bit analog-to-digital converter IMU : LSM9DS0 IMU with automatic update from the device Quad Ping))) Interface : Quad Parallax Ping))) (tm) interface Octal SRF04 Interface : Eight channels of distance sensing using SRF04 sensors
Instrumentation: Generic I2C : I2C master node operating at either 100 or 400 KHz Generic SPI : SPI interface at 4 different frequencies using either Mode 0 or Mode 2 Octal 8-Bit DAC : Eight 8-bit Digital to Analog Converters. Quad Digital Potentiometer : Two 50K Ohm potentiometers with 257 digitally controlled levels Quad PWM Output : Four 12-bit PWM outputs at one of 15 common frequencies Quad PWM Input : Four PWM input channels with 16 bits of resolution Quad Event Counter : Four 500 KHz counters triggered on rising, falling, or both edges 4 Bit Pattern Generator : Variable length (up to 4K) 4 bit pattern generator Real Time Clock : Real-time clock with programmable alarm Dual Watchdog Timers : Two watchdog timers with reset on any edge at the input