TS-4800 FPGA Programming

From Technologic Systems Manuals
Note: We do not provide support for the opencores under the free support, however we do offer custom FPGA programming services. If interested, please contact us.

The opencore FPGA sources are available here.

We have prepared the opencore projects which gives you the ability to reprogram the FPGA while either preserving or removing our functionality as you choose. The code sources are in verilog, and we use Lattice Diamond to generate the JEDEC file. You can download Lattice Diamond from their site. You can request a free license, and it will run in either Windows or Linux (only Redhat is supported).

For more advanced changes you may look to opencores.org which has many examples of FPGA cores. To build the FPGA with your new changes, go to the 'Processes' tab and double-click 'JEDEC File'. This will build a jedec file in the project directory. On a linux system, either x86 compatible or ARM, we provide an application called jed2vme. You can find this in the initrd already on the TS-4800.

jed2vme for x86

We also have the sources here.

WARNING: Do not use the 'jed2vme' provided by Lattice. Their version writes to flash and as the opencores do not contain the bootrom this will brick your board.

jed2vme can be used like this:

jed2vme bitstream.jed | gzip > bitstream.vme.gz

To execute this on your board run this:

ts4800ctl --loadfpga=bitstream.vme
# or
ts4800ctl --loadfpga=bitstream.vme.gz

As space is constrained in the initrd it is suggested to gzip the file as shown in the jed2vme example. To load this bitstream automatically you can place it in the root of the initrd and name it '/ts4800_bitstream.vme.gz'. The linuxrc script will by default load this bitstream immediately on startup (before the fastboot shell).

The FPGA contains flash memory which contains Technologic System's default FPGA SRAM load. The "ts4800ctl --loadfpga" will not overwrite the flash memory of the FPGA and will only load the SRAM contents of the FPGA, making for an unbrickable system if something should go wrong. If something does go wrong, you can restore the onboard flash via the offboard flash or microSD card.