This is a continuation of this post: Custom Vivado Parts/Board Creation and this post:Nintendo 64 Schematic   I plan on adding to this blog and over time creating a documented progression of the project.


For those who did not take the time to go through that post (though you definitely should find the time), here are the cliff notes.

I am a computer engineering student. My end project is to convert raw N64 GPU data (and audio) to HDMI. It will require I design my own board and implement code for the FPGA. Of which I am in the process of developing on my new Edge board.

The project takes direct inspiration from this project: UltraHDMI – RetroRGB

Clearly, that is a lot. So please keep in mind that the project, starting about now, is meant to take at least a year to finish.


Most importantly, this project envelops all the things I want in a project;
1. How to use and program an FPGA

2. Designing a PCB

3. The behavior of high speed signals

4. Micro soldering

5. Both hardware and software side of logic design

6. It is something I am interested in and am excited to work on. (This is very important to me.)

I could go on...




Going beyond my original post, I am a computer engineering student at Missouri University of Science and Technology. No, this is not a senior project as I am only a junior. For the past two semesters I have been looking for a project that I would find interesting and would also be challenging. A bunch of conversations about doing research with a number of professors, one design team, and many discussions with friends later, I found this project and decided to dive in head first.



From here I would like to go straight into answering questions from the previous post;


First of all, the staff at MST is fantastic. I have several staff members whom are very knowledgeable on high speed signals and logic.

I have also, in my quest for information, befriended a couple students in the art of FPGAs and high level PCB design, as we are lacking these fields of knowledge within the MST staff. My PCB friend has been designing boards for the past ten years. I am confident in his abilities. My only worry is that I can get the information I need out of him before he graduates in May. My FPGA friend is all self taught, within the past two years. Not the best but all the FPGA information found within the school staff is depressingly disappointing.

While the staff at MST is amazing, do to ridiculous budget cuts (of which induces within me a great anger), the equipment at my university is quite poor. I also very much dislike the majority of the student that go here for I believe they are lazy and of a bad influence on my drive/focus. This being said, the university MAY have an oscilloscope capable of doing what I need but I would much rather have my own. I could then work either by myself or with a colleague and on my own time and not the college's open lab time.

I have found resources that give me the ability to work with a BGA package but if that proves to be a dead end - Is there such a FPGA that is not of the BGA package(I would not think so)?

MK, could you elaborate on what you mean by this:

The on FPGA logic analyzers are, in my experience, pretty useless at seeing what a real design is up to - take out all your spare pins to connectors for debug.

I simply looking to use the FPGA LA (logic analyzer) to analyze the raw output of the N64 signals. Would a discrete LA be better to use?

What would I need to look for in a discrete LA? Do newer oscilloscopes have LA's built into them?