1. How much current does the BaseBoard draw?
The current draw on the BaseBoard is determined by the speed and complexity of the FPGA design loaded into the Spartan-3E. The Xilinx web site has tools that can analyze a design and estimate its current requirements. Here is the Xilinx documentation. Since the BaseBoard draws power from the USB connector it can draw up to 500 milliamperes if the board is connected directly to a computer and up to 100 ma if connected through an unpowered hub. The board draws about 40 ma after reset and all of the simple designs we've tried drew less than 100 ma.2. Can I program with the Xilinx IDE or does it have to be by the command line?
The download code for the BaseBoard can be generated from either the Xilinx IDE or from commands given at the DOS/shell prompt. If you use the IDE be sure to correctly set the FPGA type and note that you'll still want to use a "COPY /B" or a "cat >/dev/ttyUSB" type of command to download the compiled .bin file.3. How can I attach a JTAG cable to it?
The BaseBoard has a set of pads to accept a seven pin in-line header for a JTAG cable. The connector is labeled "JP3" on the BaseBoard. This seven pin connector is compatible with the Xilinx seven-pin standard for JTAG and most Xilinx JTAG dongles will work with it.4. Where can I find data sheets for all of the BaseBoard parts?
The data sheet for the FTDI-245RL (see above) has a good description of the protocol between it and the FPGA. The BaseBoard-4's User Constraints File has the FPGA pin numbers for the pins tied to the USB interface.6. Why is the wire-wrap card broken into four sections?
Demand Peripherals is working on a series of daughter cards for the BaseBoard. Each daughter card will be about one-fourth the size of the BaseBoard,
hence the four sections on the wire-wrap card. Currently planned daughter cards include ADC, DAC, servo and PWM input and output, opto-isolated I/O and
high current drivers.
Please let us know if you would like us to work on a particular card for your application.