Though MiniZed be but small, she is fierce.
A terrible use of Shakespeare’s famous quote, but still a perfect fit for MiniZed™ and its Xilinx Zynq™ SoC.
In this blog we’ll explore a new way to program this fierce little board without being an SoC expert.
At first glance it may be daunting to start your design, but there’s good news for anyone new to SoC programming. Avnet created a support package to enable you to program MiniZed using code generation directly from Simulink®. This means that you don’t need to be an SoC expert or write a single line of HDL or C code. Instead we leverage the MathWorks Guided Workflow for Zynq, allowing you to explore at the application level.
You can also impress your friends by doing it all over WiFi – no cords!
Start your design in Simulink. Once you’ve perfected your algorithm model and the simulations look good, the code generation tools will handle the minutia of IP peripheral creation, AXI4 data movement, Linux device drivers, application code, and finally building and executing the deployed model on MiniZed. That’s a mouthful!
Here’s a simplified diagram to help you visualize what’s automatically created for you. In a word – everything. You just need to come up with the algorithm. The tools do the rest.
Not shown here, but extremely useful, is the ability to communicate with your deployed model from Simulink through a network connection. This can be either a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, or wirelessly through your WiFi router.
Simulink comes from MathWorks, the makers of MATLAB®. Both tools are familiar to engineers who need to model and simulate computational algorithms. The Avnet MiniZed Support Package for Simulink provides the customizations needed to target the hardware on MiniZed. The package can be downloaded from MATLAB’s Add-On Explorer or on the web at MATLAB File Exchange (search for ‘avnet minized’).
Installation is just a few mouse clicks. It includes a Getting Started tutorial to walk you through your first design – blinking an LED (of course). From there, you can start designing your own algorithm for MiniZed.
You won’t need to set aside an entire Tuesday to get started. Get a cup of coffee and try it out one morning this week.
Just another way to have some fun with this fierce little board.
If you don't have a MiniZed yet, click this link: