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Newbie buddl
Newbie
24,309 Views
Registered: ‎03-19-2008

How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

I have various problems concerning the Picoblaze processor.

My intension was it to learn programming FPGAs with VHDL. I bought the XILINX SPARTAN 3E Starter Kit and go on...
So first I've learned VHDL and run some small programms on the Simulator and the Starter Kit by using the ISE Webpack 9.2i

Now I want to use the Picoblaze within my VHDL projects but I have absolutely no idea how to do this! I don't know how to start!

I've read the User Guide about the Picoblaze and downloaded some example codes for the Starter Kit Board which use the Picoblaze.

But as I say I don't know how to create a own project using Picoblaze with ISE Webpack 9.2i. And how to programm VHDL Files that can "communicate" with the Prozessor.
I study the code examples but all I've found was some initialisation routines, typed in VHDL but the main work was typed in Assembler (e.g. the "control.psm" by the Display Control example). Now....do I have to develop my programms in Assembler or VHDL?


So as you see there are lots of questionmarks :-(
Are there some (step-by-step) tutorials for my problems?

I hope you can help me.
Best greetings
   Florian
13 Replies
Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
24,270 Views
Registered: ‎09-05-2007

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

If you have really read all the documentation and tried and looked at the examples you have said that you have then I’m really not sure how to help you because that is how the vast majority of people do successfully get started very quickly with PicoBlaze. I can only assume that something specific has confused you and you just can not see the obvious for a while.

 

Did you also look at ‘KCPSM3_Manual.pdf’ which was supplied in the PicoBlaze (KCPSM3) ZIP file? Although this says mainly the same as the other documents, the different style may help you.

 

Also ‘UART_real_time_clock.pdf’ supplied in the ZIP file is a more step by step description of using PicoBlaze in a simple VHDL design and that again may be what you are looking for.

 

Do please come back and let us know what specific things confused you as that will be helpful for the next PicoBlaze novice.

 

Regards,

 

Ken

Ken Chapman
Principal Engineer, Xilinx UK
Visitor jermore
Visitor
24,124 Views
Registered: ‎04-16-2008

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

I think the real problem is that many, including myself, are used to the typical vhdl design and synthesis tools. I've been using ISE. I loaded up one of the designs for the ADC and programmed it using the .vhd files and everything worked, but the confusion comes from what do we actually do with the .psm files. Where do put them? How do compile them? Is that also done with ISE? I think a lot of the really remedial and basic steps are never really addressed so for people who aren't already savvy to this type of design we really don't know where to start. To many this probably is a ridiculous question but its been a setback for me and a few others I've spoken with in getting started. please help!
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Adventurer
Adventurer
24,117 Views
Registered: ‎03-27-2008

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

Page 40 of the KCPSM3 manual has the answer
 
You put your .psm file in the same folder as kcpsm3.exe, rom_form.vhd, rom_form.v and rom_form.coe.
Then you run the exe from a dos box (cd to the exe location). You then get given a bunch of files, one of them will be a .vhd with the same name as your .psm file, this is the file you plug into your design.
 
Dave
 
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Visitor jermore
Visitor
24,110 Views
Registered: ‎04-16-2008

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

Thanks that was exactly what I have been looking for. I somehow managed to miss it in the manual.

Regards,

Jermore
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Visitor jseith
Visitor
24,063 Views
Registered: ‎11-15-2007

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

as far as creating the pinout (.ucf) file do we need to creat that manually or is kcpsm3 supposed to do that for us?
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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
24,047 Views
Registered: ‎09-05-2007

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

Yes you need to create a UCF file manually or using the Constraints Editor or Floorplanner in the ISE tools.

 

In asking this question I don’t think you have quite grasped the concept of PicoBlaze. PicoBlaze is a 100% embedded processor macro meaning that in the vast majority of cases it only connects directly to the resources inside the FPGA. The UCF file defines the pin constraints on the physical device which is somewhat isolated from PicoBlaze itself. As an example, PicoBlaze may connect internally to a UART macro and then only the serial input and output signals of the UART macro will connect to the physical pins on the device package. So KCSPM3 is only dealing with the connection between the PicoBlaze processor and the UART (to match your hardware design) and the UCF file is dealing with the connection of your hardware design to the physical package pins.

 

 

I recommend that you study the reference designs for the Spartan-3 Starter Kits to see multiple examples of designs containing PicoBlaze.

 

 

http://www.xilinx.com/products/boards/s3estarter/reference_designs.htm

 

http://www.xilinx.com/products/boards/s3astarter/reference_designs.htm

 

 

Regards,

 

Ken

 

Ken Chapman
Principal Engineer, Xilinx UK
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Visitor missbirdie
Visitor
19,970 Views
Registered: ‎06-07-2008

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

what's the link of the picoblaze reference guide  ? cause i can't find it
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Visitor dyl_1988
Visitor
18,462 Views
Registered: ‎08-25-2008

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

I'm a sophomore in China.This summer holiday,my teacher show me the Spartan3E Starter Kit Board.It's complete unfamiliar to me.Now I have learned very roughly how to design through the study of these days,and I can design some simple program of vhdl and constraint pins through edit ucf file, then download to the board.But, please excuse a novice ask a fool question,Picoblaze is a processor embeded in FPGA,and if I want to use the processor,so I have to grasp the language of Picoblaze and use the language to program and control the Picoblaze?

   A further question,I change the LCD display charactor code in the "control.psm" file which in "s3esk_startup.zip",the "control.vhdl file" which the assembler of KCPSM3 generated is not same as the "control.vhdl file" in "s3esk_startup.zip".I can't comprehension the meaning of the code.Does the assembler only generate the ROM data?So we need add the other functional modules?And what modules should we add?Are there some manuals and where introduce?I hope a novice could accept...

Thanks for answers!

 

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Visitor gk2000
Visitor
18,428 Views
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

I recently got a book titled "FPGA Prototyping by VHDL Examples" by Chu.  It uses the hands-on approach and includes many practical examples.  Four chapters are dedicated to PicoBlaze, covering both assembly coding and custom hardware I/O interface.  You can find more detail in amazon.com or the author's web.  I believe a Verilog version is also available.

 

Hope this helps.

 

George K   

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Newbie buzatuoana
Newbie
6,613 Views
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

hy!

I have a question to. The .psm file has to be created under dos? Or I better say how  can I create the .psm file. please help me :D

 

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Historian
Historian
6,607 Views
Registered: ‎02-25-2008

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?


buzatuoana wrote:

hy!

I have a question to. The .psm file has to be created under dos? Or I better say how  can I create the .psm file. please help me :D

 


You can use any text editor you like to create the source. I use the pBlazeIDE or emacs, but any editor will work.

----------------------------Yes, I do this for a living.
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Highlighted
Newbie buzatuoana
Newbie
6,597 Views
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

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Newbie buzatuoana
Newbie
6,596 Views
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: How to start with the Picoblaze Softcore?

thank you! I allready have the pblazeide but i didn't know for what to use it.
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