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Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 37: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 8

by Xilinx Employee ‎06-16-2014 10:33 AM - edited ‎04-24-2015 01:19 PM (12,771 Views)

By Adam Taylor

 

It has taken us eight weeks to wrap up this example of the Adafruit NeoPixel driver using the Zynq-based MicroZed board but we’ve pulled together a number of concepts. I think this this is a good point to recap what this example has covered:

 

1)      The system of modules approach

2)      Communication between the Zynq SoC’s PS (processor system) and PL (programmable logic) side

3)      Using the IP catalog to reduce the number of custom modules we need to implement

4)      Creation of a Neo Pixel driver within the PL side of the Zynq SoC

5)      The verification approach to be undertaken

6)      Definition of a serial protocol to communicate with the Zynq SoC

 

Before we move on to look at other aspects of the Zynq SoC, this final NeoPixel blog looks briefly at the development of the TCL/TK GUI, which allows you to control the individual NeoPixels in an array from a laptop or other remote device. I developed thi GUI to enable the user to select any color from the 16 million possibilities using the NeoPixel’s 24-bit color depth.

 

The GUI is very simple, with a button for each pixel in the string. When clicked, each button will open a window allowing you to select a color for that pixel. Once you’ve made your choice, the pixel color information will be downloaded to the Zynq SoC and the pixel will change color.

 

 

Figure 1.png

 

The major challenge in creating the GUI was ensuring the data being sent down to the MicroZed board was correctly formatted as binary and correlated with the colour being selected. For this reason the first version of the GUI also displayed the hex word for each colour selected and the software in the Zynq has been designed to echo back the data it receives. This echoed data is received by the GUI and saved into a text file, allowing me to correlate what was requested with what was received by the Zynq SoC. An example of the echoed response is below

 

<STX>pixel number = 32 green = 0 red = ff blue = 0<ETX>

 

With the GUI working correctly, the layout was changed to just show the LED numbers and pixel selection.

 

I then validated the system using the GUI driver to ensure that each pixel can be addressed from the GUI and can be set to red, green, blue and white along with a number of different randomly selected colors.

 

Here’s a video of the system in action:

 

 

 

 

Having reached the end of this example, we move on for a look at other aspects of the Zynq SoC. For example, we can consider how else this problem of driving the Neo Pixels could have been addressed. Remember back to the part 17 of this blog that introduced the Triple Timer Counter and its ability to generate a PWM waveform. This output could have been used to drive the Neo Pixel array. However the load on the processor would have been higher.

 

In my next blog we will begin to look at the operating systems we can put on the Zynq SoC. In the meantime, if you want any of the code I have used for this example then please drop me an email.

 

 

Please see the previous entries in this MicroZed series by Adam Taylor:

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 36: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 7

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 35: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 6

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 34: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 5

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 33: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with the Zynq SoC

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 32: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 31: Systems of Modules, Driving RGB NeoPixel LED arrays

 

 Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 30: The MicroZed I/O Carrier Card

 

Zynq DMA Part Two – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 29

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Eight: Zynq DMA – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 28  

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Seven: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 27

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Six: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 26

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Five: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 25

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Four: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 24

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Three: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 23

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Two: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 22

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part One: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 21

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part Four: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 20

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part Three: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 19

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part Two: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 18

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part One: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 17

 

The Zynq SoC’s Private Watchdog: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 16

 

Implementing the Zynq SoC’s Private Timer: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 15

 

MicroZed Timers, Clocks and Watchdogs: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 14

 

More About MicroZed Interrupts: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 13

 

MicroZed Interrupts: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 12

 

Using the MicroZed Button for Input: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 11

 

Driving the Zynq SoC's GPIO: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 10

 

Meet the Zynq MIO: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 9

 

MicroZed XADC Software: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 8

 

Getting the XADC Running on the MicroZed: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 7

 

A Boot Loader for MicroZed. Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 6 

 

Figuring out the MicroZed Boot Loader – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 5

 

Running your programs on the MicroZed – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 4

 

Zynq and MicroZed say “Hello World”-- Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 3

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles: Setting the SW Scene

 

Bringing up the Avnet MicroZed with Vivado

 

 

 

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  • Be sure to join the Xilinx LinkedIn group to get an update for every new Xcell Daily post! ******************** Steve Leibson is the Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Planning at Xilinx. He started as a system design engineer at HP in the early days of desktop computing, then switched to EDA at Cadnetix, and subsequently became a technical editor for EDN Magazine. He's served as Editor in Chief of EDN Magazine, Embedded Developers Journal, and Microprocessor Report. He has extensive experience in computing, microprocessors, microcontrollers, embedded systems design, design IP, EDA, and programmable logic.