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Visitor tremmert
Visitor
559 Views
Registered: ‎01-31-2019

Newbe - FPGA with GPS time sync and possible ADC?

Hello,

Fair warning... I am new to the FPGA world....

I have a project in mind and would like to design it using a FPGA dev board.  Basically, I am needing to monitor a contact closure switch.  When the switch is closed, I need to apply a timestamp that has sub millisecond accuracy (utilizing the 1pps signal from the gps chip).  I have looked at other microcontrollers, and the best I have been able to achieve is +/-2ms on a Beaglebone Black. 

I have always wanted to learn FPGA's so I assumed this would be a good start.  Can anyone begin by giving me some recommendations?  For example, I am still looking through the dev boards trying to choose one.  Right now, I am leaning on a spartan 6. 

Any thoughts that could push me in the right direction?

 

Thanks

Tommy

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5 Replies
Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
476 Views
Registered: ‎06-21-2018

Re: Newbe - FPGA with GPS time sync and possible ADC?

Hi tremmert,

A Spartan-6 board should be a good start. Which Eval board are you considering?

Doing a quick search online I found this project that uses a Spartan-3 board:

https://www.sparkfun.com/news/754

Let us know how we can help.

Thanks,

Andres

 

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Visitor tremmert
Visitor
425 Views
Registered: ‎01-31-2019

Re: Newbe - FPGA with GPS time sync and possible ADC?

Andres,

Thanks for the feedback!  Based on example projects that I have seen, I am leaning twards a Spartan-6.  Regarding dev boards, that is still a good question.  I am trying to keep my ultimate goal in mind and find a dev board that has all the components that I would need for testing. 

I appreciate the link to the Sparkfun site.  Ill run through that tutorial once I get a dev board in my hands.  I am however, still wondering about applying a time stamp (millisecond or better accuracy) when I have a contact closure, then getting that timestamp over to my computer...

Ill keep looking...


Thanks for your help!

Tommy

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Scholar u4223374
Scholar
361 Views
Registered: ‎04-26-2015

Re: Newbe - FPGA with GPS time sync and possible ADC?

I would not recommend using the Spartan 6 for a new project. Xilinx continues to push it as a good chip for beginners, but in reality the Spartan 6 is a dead end. You'll be working with old/superceded software (ISE) with no significant updates coming and no realistic upgrade path.

 

A much better option would be one of the 7-series chips, which are supported in Vivado. The 7-series chips also have a built-in ADC that might be useful. The easiest way to get data to a PC is probably with a UART (and USB-UART, as included on most development boards), but you can also look at USB, ethernet, etc.

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Voyager
Voyager
291 Views
Registered: ‎05-21-2015

Re: Newbe - FPGA with GPS time sync and possible ADC?

The Arty board is a good board for beginners.  There's also publicly available code for GPS synchronization already found in this project, although it requires a PModGPS.  The Arty also has an XADC component for digitization, but I've never tried it so I can't speak for it.

Dan

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Explorer
Explorer
246 Views
Registered: ‎09-17-2018

Re: Newbe - FPGA with GPS time sync and possible ADC?

My choice?

Pynq Z2 from Tul, GPS PMOD from Digilent.  Ptogram nostly in Python.

l.e.o.

 

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