FPGA Workshop 4: Behind the Scenes

From Tmplab
Error creating thumbnail: File missing
FPGA Editor
  • Titre: FPGA Workshop 4: Behind the Scenes
  • Par: lekernel
  • Date: Sunday November 8th 2009, 14:00-19:00+
  • Lieu: /tmp/lab

We don't need no stinkin' synthesizer!


In the previous workshops, we have seen that FPGAs can emulate any logic circuit without moving (mechanical) parts.

FPGAs are however not magic nor mystical devices and this workshop will shed light on how they work internally. After theoretical explanations on their functioning, we will program them very close to the "bare silicon" by configuring manually each logic element on the chip, without any Verilog or schematics.

This will give you a better understanding of the challenges involved with writing open source programming tools, reverse engineering existing FPGA designs, injecting backdoors into FPGA bitstreams, and squeezing the most performance out of an FPGA chip.

Slides available at http://lekernel.net/presentations/FPGA_Workshops/091108_tmplab/scenes_draft.pdf. Report available at http://benoit.papillault.free.fr/blog/?p=64 (in French).


For the hands-on part:

  • Bring your laptop
  • IMPORTANT: Install Xilinx ISE. The installation takes a long time that we cannot waste during the workshop.
  • Bring a Xilinx FPGA board such as the Spartan 3A Evaluation Kit ($49) used in previous workshops.
  • The board must have a Xilinx FPGA. Boards with non-Xilinx chips cannot be used.
  • Your board must have at least 2 pushbuttons and 2 LEDs.
  • Bring any required programming (JTAG) cable and try to make sure that it works (driver installed etc.) before coming.

You can come to the workshop without a board, but obviously you might be unable to perform the manipulations yourself.


Please subscribe to the workshop by editing this list! or send an email to sebastien dot bourdeauducq at lekernel dot net.

  1. lekernel
  2. Nina
  3. Uros
  4. Kiniou
  5. Benoit
  6. legreffier
  7. Olivier
  8. Norman
  9. Matthias
  10. Sebastian
  11. texane (surement)
  12. Raul
  13. dermiste
  14. eightdot
  15. Phil
  16. Robin

Nerd Week end

You are also welcome to attend the "Développement logiciel embarqué sur Milkymist" workshop (in French) the day before.