Where does the time go? About four years ago as I pen these words, I was introduced to expert Swedish ASIC designer Sven-Åke Andersson. At that time, Sven was aware that, with their increasing NRE costs and with long turnaround times, ASIC / ASSP / SoC designs were becoming high-risk projects. Meanwhile, FPGAs had increased in capacity and performance to the extent that many companies were moving to using only FPGAs. (Of course FPGA capacity and performance has ramped-up even more dramatically over the last few years.) Thus, Sven decided that it was time that he should learn more about FPGAs.
The really interesting thing is that Sven decided to maintain an on-going record, in the form of his “FPGA from scratch”
blog, of the decisions he made and his progress with regard to learning and using FPGA design and verification tools and implementing his test designs. In fact, Sven was so successful in his endeavors that he ended up working as a consultant creating FPGA designs.
A few days ago, Sven called me to say that he had returned to work on his “FPGA from scratch” blog (svenand.blogdrive.com
). In fact he’s added a whole bunch of stuff. A short-form listing of the new topics is as follows (Click Here
to see a more detailed listing):
- Part 60: Revisiting the MicroBlaze soft core processor
- Part 61: Looking for a new development board
- Part 62: Connecting a terminal
- Part 63: Configuring the FPGA
- Part 64: Installing a board support package
- Part 65: Putting together an embedded system
- Part 66: Using the Software Developmnet Kit SDK
- Part 67: Adding an EDK IP to an embedded system
- Part 68: Writing code for the new peripheral
- Part 69: Adding a custom IP to an embedded system
- Part 70: Embedded system simulation
- Part 71: Embedded ChipScope Debugging
- Part 72: Running Linux on the LX9 MicroBoard
- Part 73: Installing PetaLinux SDK
- Part 74: Networking configuration procedures
- Part 75: Board bring up with PetaLinux SDK
- Part 76: Create a new PetaLinux software platform
- Part 77: Writing our first application program
- Part 78: Writing and debugging an application program
- Part 79: Configuring the Spartan-6 FPGA
- Part 80: Booting PetaLinux from SPI flash
- Part 81: Installing custom web server content
- Part 82: Building a web-enabled application
- Part 83: Building a virtual machine
Actually, if you haven’t previously seen Sven’s “FPGA from scratch”
blog, you may want to start at Part 1
and work your way through from the beginning (at least reading it) because – even though the original discussions are based on older incarnations of the design and verification tools – there is a wealth of information here that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
In fact, if you visit Sven’s Website
, you will discover a treasure-trove of information. In addition to his ongoing “FPGA from scratch”
project, Sven has a 5-part mini-series on designing with Actel FPGAs, a 3-part mini-series on using VirtualBox, and a series of articles on Installing and Customizing Ubuntu Linux on a MacBook… to name but a few.
And, in case all of this isn’t enough, Sven and his beautiful wife Elisabeth run a very popular Bed and Breakfast in Södermalm, which is close to the heart of Stockholm, Sweden (Click Here
for more details). As it says on their website:
The property itself is over a century old with the apartment located on the fourth floor. This comprises of a combined living room / bedroom furnished with a double or if preferred twin beds and a wall mounted LCD TV, a kitchen fitted with a cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave oven and an espresso machine, plus it is furnished with a dining table and seating for three people. The apartment has a modern bathroom.
Sven tells me that their Bed and Breakfast business is booming and that they have so many bookings that they often have to turn people away. You can bet that if I ever get the chance to visit Sweden again, I’ll be making an advanced booking as soon as I can.
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