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8,612 Views
Registered: ‎11-16-2013

Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hello! Good evening to all.

 

I am a beginner with FPGA. Now, my team is conducting a mini project in building a FPGA-based shopping trolley prototyping. We are using with the digilent Spartan-3e board.

 

Can anyone do favor for me to answer these?

 

-How to connect this board to the smartphone, i.e. iphone 5 or samsung note? Can it be connected directly using USB port?

 

-or Should the board connect to the laptop first, then to the smartphone? (because my task is need to have some kind of menu. so, it need to be 2-way.)

 

-Should it be specified with any smartphone? If it has been set with specific smartphone, can I change into other smartphone?

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11 Replies
Advisor eilert
Advisor
8,575 Views
Registered: ‎08-14-2007

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hi,

there are several S3E equipped boards available from digilent. Which one are you using?

 

To my knowledge, none of them provides a useful/usable USB interface that you can use in your project.

But they all have PMOD connectors.

There are tree types of PMOD interesting for your approach.

 

PmodUSBUART  - requires the Smartphone to act as a USB host and set up a serial comunication interface (RS232) over USB.

 

PmodWIFI
  or

PmodBT2

with one of these you can establish a wireless connection between your FPGA-board and the Smartphone.

(Where Wifi is simpler and more flexible, because no pairing is required.)

 

What makes me wonder is the need for an FPGA.

Is there something required to work at speeds that can not be accomplished with microcontrollers?

 

Have a nice syntehsis

  Eilert

Visitor leohammerd
Visitor
8,541 Views
Registered: ‎11-19-2013

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hi Eilert,

 

I'm one of her group project members.

We are using Digilent Spartan 3E-Starter. We has assigned to build a prototype for FPGA based Shopping Cart Calculator.
The main idea is we need to scan barcodes first. The FPGA will calculate the prices of scanned barcodes and the total price will be displayed on the Smartphone.

Our group decided to use USB cable to connect between the smartphone and FPGA. 

 

Do we need to build an apps to perform handshaking between the FPGA and the Smartphone?

Or by using PMOD as what you have explained is much more easier. Does using PMOD needs any apps to perform handshaking with Smartphone?

Sorry for many asking because we are totally new with FPGA world.

Many thanks.

 

Regards,

Taufiq

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8,528 Views
Registered: ‎11-16-2013

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

hi 

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Advisor eilert
Advisor
8,514 Views
Registered: ‎08-14-2007

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hi everybody,

what a strange project.

What is the FPGA actually used for?

 

Most smartphones have hi-res cameras and these can be used to read barcodes (and even QR-codes), without some cable dangling around.

Summing up some prices should be no big deal for a GHz multicore CPU as you find it in most Smartphones.

And even retreiving the actual prices from some central database can be accomplished simply by providing some local WiFi access to a database server.

 

Some similar app would be this one:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.biggu.shopsavvy

 

______________

 

The S3E starter board uses the USB connector only for configuring the FPGA.

What you can try is to get some USB-RS232 converter working with your s-phone.

This then can use one of the SubD-Rs232 connectors of the S3E board for simple communication.

I fyou find no generic converter try this one:

http://ytai-mer.blogspot.de/2011/04/meet-ioio-io-for-android.html

 

However, you still have a cable there.

The wireless solutions a much , well, "smarter" . :-)

And the OS driver support will be better.

 

In any way you have to write your own app to handle the communication between phone and FPGA.

(Maybe in the beginning some simple text based terminal app might be useful for testing purposes.)

 

And then there's the task of designing the logic that's going to be working in the FPGA.

Have you already spent some thoughts on that?

Is there some specification that describes what the FPGA should do besides communication somehow with the S-Phone?

 

Actually you have hardly asked any question concerning the FPGA.

Just the basic "How to connect some host to the FPGA board" thing.

(You find this many times in the forum.)

The only new twist is that you are going to use a Smartphone instead of a PC/Laptop.

 

Have a nice synthesis

   Eilert

 

 

Have a nice synthesis

 

 

 

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Visitor leohammerd
Visitor
8,493 Views
Registered: ‎11-19-2013

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hi 

Yeah, it's really strange for newbies like us. There's display panel on the board actually but the project's question asked us to display the total price on smartphone.


From my understanding, the FPGA is used to summing up  the prices of all scanned barcodes. 
We need to initiate the price for each barcode first.
Then, the data of scanned products will be stored inside the FPGA.

After that, the data will be displayed on the smartphone.

 

By the way, after your explainations before, I'm getting a little bit confuse now.

I am thinking that the FPGA will be just a device to send an input signal from a barcode scanner to the smartphone. The prices can be added and deducted by using an apps from the smartphone. 

Thank you for giving us some ideas. Wireless and bluetooth thing seem more easier for our project.

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Historian
Historian
8,488 Views
Registered: ‎02-25-2008

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

This project doesn't need an FPGA. An FPGA is the wrong solution.

 

One of the new cheap ARM Cortex-M3s isa much better choice.

----------------------------Yes, I do this for a living.
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Visitor leohammerd
Visitor
8,475 Views
Registered: ‎11-19-2013

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hi 

Thank you for replying.

 

This semester im taking Digital System Design course.

 

My lecturer asked us to do this project using FPGA.

Thank you again for your suggestion :).

Regards,

Taufiq

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Advisor eilert
Advisor
8,400 Views
Registered: ‎08-14-2007

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hi Taufiq,

I suspected something in that direction.

Your lecturer  probably wanted to motivate you with some fancy project subject.

 

You surely might be able to learn a lot during this project.

But from the description you gave the use of the FPGA is almost reduced to some accumulating adder, apart from the interfacing. (You were not quite certain about the barcode scanning.)

 

So if we put the question aside wether an FPGA would be a wise choice for this task, let's focus on how to start with a project in general.

Here you were asking about some FPGA-Host communication method, given that the host is a smartphone like device.

An important question indeed, but there might be other points that need to be cleared in advance.

For instance what the FPGA schould do besides communicating withthe host.

OK, you mentioned the adding thing, but not how the scanning should be done.

And obviously this makes a difference.

If some scanning device is attached to the FPGA directly, you need to design some interface.

If the scanning is done by the smartphone, only the result needs to be transfered to the FPGA.

 

Also, where are the prices stored for the barcodes?

Is there some table to be managed inside the FPGA? 

 

A lot of questions still to be answered.

Good luck.

 

Have a nice synthesis

  Eilert

 

 

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Visitor leohammerd
Visitor
8,279 Views
Registered: ‎11-19-2013

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Hi 

 

Thanks for replying.

 

Our lecturer managed to change the topic for our project into something easier.

 

Many thanks to you and the other forumers that helped a lot in this post.

 

You guys really helped us alot.

 

Again, thank you.

 

Regards,

Taufiq

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Highlighted
Visitor arronlee
Visitor
1,843 Views
Registered: ‎07-16-2013

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone


leohammerd wrote:

Hi Eilert,

 

I'm one of her group project members.

We are using Digilent Spartan 3E-Starter. We has assigned to build a prototype for FPGA based Shopping Cart Calculator.
The main idea is we need to scan barcodes first. The FPGA will calculate the prices of scanned barcodes and the total price will be displayed on the Smartphone.

Our group decided to use USB cable to connect between the smartphone and FPGA. 

 

Do we need to build an apps to perform handshaking between the FPGA and the Smartphone?

Or by using PMOD as what you have explained is much more easier. Does using PMOD needs any apps to perform handshaking with Smartphone?

Sorry for many asking because we are totally new with FPGA world.

Many thanks.

 

Regards,

Taufiq


Hi, Taufiq.

Thanks for your nice sharing. I will check it later.

 

 

 

Best regards,

Arron

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Newbie n150909
Newbie
772 Views
Registered: ‎12-07-2018

Re: Digilent SPARTAN-3E connect to smart phone

Could you suggest me the steps to connect pmodwifi to the board????

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