Programmable Logic

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This month's Projec14 - Programmable Logic - really appeals to me because I'm trying to get in FPGAs, but I'm finding it a little hard going. Well, let's be honest it's not easy. It's the sort of thing that I understand when i read it, I understand when i try it, but I struggle with when I come back to it again. I find that a time-limited project is always a good way to focus the mind. Having said that, I have got a lot going on at the moment so there is a fair chance it won't get completed by the Project14 end date. Let's see how I go. As long I get some of it done and learn as I go then I'll be happy even if I miss the deadline.


My project idea

I have an Arty S7 sitting in front of me (thanks to the very generous kk99 ) and a PmodVGA board that seemed like a good add-on to a recent component order. Generating a VGA signal seems like a nice rite-of-passage for FPGA development so I'm going to go for a simple VGA-based game. Trust me - it'll be simple.


I've also got some micro:bits that my sons (age 7 and 5) are just starting to get to grips with. It would be really nice to get them involved in creating something. If I can include a micro:bit in a small way then that would be a bonus.


The game

Marble madnessPong is a great starter game. It's not that tricky and it really hits the nostalgia button. However, I do want to do something with a little originality. I'm not much of a gamer, but one game I remember for it's originality back in the day was Marble Madness. Now if you think that I'm capable of recreating that then think again! I just like that sort of idea. I also noticed when helping the boys with the micro:bit that it responds to tilt. Maybe a couple of micro:bits could be the game controllers and a ball could roll around the screen?


I'm going to aim for something where you roll a ball around. Maybe try to get it into a hole. It's going to be as visually sophisticated as pong (at best) but tilt based.


The parts list

So I have the Arty S7. I have a Pmod VGA. I have a couple of micro:bits. The only thing I'm really lacking is a way to connect the micro:bits to the Arty. A couple of edge connectorsedge connectors should do the trick. Now to get coding...


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