In this lesson, we create our own application; and explore some of the available code examples for the Zynq MiniZed training board.



Through Avnet, Xilinx and Element14, a training program to learn about the Zynq 7000 platform which is System On Chip combining an FPGA with an ARM processor. This comes to the students as complete development board packed with goodies like a wireless chip from MuRata (BT/BTLE/WIFI), 8GB Flash memory, onboard RAM, USB to JTAG (JTAG programmable over USB), Arduino-style headers (3.3V compatible only), Microphone, Bi-Color LED, and two additional expansion ports.


See all blog posts for this training here.


Creating our own application

To start with, we will create our own application with File --> New --> Application Project. We are given the opportunity to start with a canned project templates, but will choose "Empty Application" instead. This will create an empty "C" file in our source folder. The next step is to cheat a little bit and pull in the example code for "Hello World." We navigate to our System.mss file; which as described in the previous blog post; contains links to import example code for each (known) included library. These are provided from Xilinx as a jump start for each peripheral.


So the instructions have us find the examples directory via the 'Import Examples' and then copy-paste the source code from HelloWorld C file for the UART. This is pasted into our empty application called "hello_Zynq.c". Once this file is saved, and automatic build is done by the SDK to verify that our code is OK. Thankfully; this can be disabled from the menu bar (Project --> Build Automatically) Auto builds can very often result in heaps of errors when someone is very deep into making lots of changes and starting new code from scratch as not all the code is written yet. Even as the lessons brought me through this section the very first automatic build fails because our empty program contains no "main()" loop.


The console window at the bottom of the screen provides a running output of what is happening in the background as you are working; and here shows the result of a successful build.


The Linker Script file


I was also introduced to the Linker Script file - lscrit.ld. This is a way of seeing the memory mapping. We can see the different types of memory attached - in this case, BRAM, DDR, SPI, on-chip memory 1 and 2.


It is also showing the default Stack and Heap sizes.

We could also see specific memory mapping and could allocate specifically which memory would be used.


This was the "GUI" based linker script - a text based version was also available from a separate tab which would make it easier to do operations like a "find and replace" to remap memory allocations. Yet another option would be to generate a brand-new linker script, and chose specific memory allocations right from the start. This way, the SDK will do all the mapping correctly the first time without risk of doing a manual edit incorrectly.


Test Peripherals

The next section is to create a new application (File--> New --> Application Project) then chose "Test Peripherals" from the Templates. This is basically all that is done in this section, and we'll run it later in the next lesson. This is similar to what was done in the Hardware section of the training as well.


Memory Tests

Memory tests are also added here as with above. One new way shown of making a project is to copy the top-level project folder from the Project Explorer, and paste it with a new name. We did this with the Test_Memory and created a Test_Memory_FullDDR. We then manually edited some of the C code to refer to the entire DDR range (512 MB), and saved out the file. An automatic build was created at this point.



Time to run it yet?!?!

Excited to get rolling on the next lesson. I am starting to get comfortable with the SDK and a lot of what we've been doing was done in the Hardware section of the training; although not covered in very much detail as the focus of those lessons was different. So very soon, I'll be running these tests on the MiniZed board and seeing if I've done this all correctly


- James