Recently, Arty-S7 Workshop: Part 1: Learn about Xilinx FPGAs and Embedded Processing was conducted here at Element14 and I had got the giveaway of FPGA + PMOD hardware to follow up with this workshop.

Winners Announced: We're Giving Away Up to 10 Arty-S7 Boards to Use in an Upcoming Xilinx Workshop!


Here, I would like to write a few things on my workshop experience, views, benefits, future ideas and what I got to experience + learn!



First of all, I am a beginner in this area of FPGAs and reconfigurable systems. I first heard about FPGAs around 6 months ago, felt super cool about it and was slowly trying to understand things. Same time, I got into the Element14 community and found out luckily, that there are many experienced people in this area out here and got a lot to learn + understand from blogs, discussions, projects etc.

Element14 webinars were always very informative and at first, I followed up through Adam Taylor's PYNQ-Z2 Workshop: Getting Started with PYNQ, then the Xilinx Workshop: Getting to Know Vivado Series with Adam Taylor which gave essential prerequisites and understanding. Soon came the Arty-S7 workshop and fortunately, got the hardware too! Now, what stops? Go on, I said to my mind and was highly curious to learn these.


Starting off with the Part-1 of the workshop, it was interesting to know about the variety of offerings and capabilities of Xilinx tools. Next came the most exciting part for me, building custom microcontrollers and deploying solutions within. Though I followed through PYNQ and Vivado workshops, I never tried MicroBlaze.


It was cool thinking about it and initially few things went overhead by deflecting with my brain. Not too far, I went through resources posted over E14, YouTube Videos and few Docs which helped me in following up through Part-2 easily and for my surprise, the implementation went successful. Never thought implementing MicroBlaze would be so much simple and big thanks to the latest Xilinx tools which are super friendly(I did see Xilinx ISE once).


The final part with PMOD NAV sensor integration was the coolest + interesting task. I had a lot of confusions before pressing each button, as many icons didn't make sense and was afraid if I would ruin the design because of one simple click somewhere. Never the less, I was able to understand those after a few backlogs and following up through the slides. The presentation was delivered well and those experience based talk and tutoring from the presenter made things much easier and more graspable.



{gallery} MicroBlaze Implementation

Hello from MicroBlaze

Vivado Synthesis

Accessing MicroBalze with Vitis

PMOD NAV Readings





Overall, this was a really excellent workshop and brought that steepness in the learning curve for me. Things are highly simplified and explained bit by bit giving the perspective of simplicity in using these cutting-edge technology tools and devices to build projects + solutions or so called rapid-prototyping. I would highly recommend this for a beginner like me or ahead.


Further, I am thinking of integrating multiple sensors and modules like Analog sensors, UBlox GPS, NRF Radio Transceiver, ADI Smoke Sensor etc.



Thanks to Xilinx, Element14 for the hardware giveaway and great, kind people at Element14 for helping me import and clear the shipment :]




Thank You