Hey, there, it's me again! Today, I'm going to explore the very basics of using the XEM3005 FPGA/USB module from Opal Kelly. This will include connecting it to my computer and getting it to run something. Fortunately, the folks at Opal Kelly were nice enough to pack some samples on their CD, which certainly made my life a little bit easier.
First things first: Let's take this testament to engineering prowess out of the box. The first thing I noticed is how small it is. The card is 1.65 x 2.52 inches (42 x 64mm). It has three connectors -- a USB (mini?) connector and two Samtec 80-pin high density connectors. It also has two unpopulated connectors -- one for power, the other for a JTAG interface.
One very important point of which you should be aware is that this board is intended to be a part of a USB "self-powered" system. That is, it expects to get power from the device of which it is a part -- and not from the USB. If you just plug it in out of the box, it'll be a brick (a small brick, but still a brick).
This is where the BRK3005 breakout board comes into play. The breakout not only brings the high-density Samtec connectors out to standard 100 mil pitch connectors (which you have to install yourself), but it also has a voltage regulator and loopback. By installing jumpers J1 and J2, the regulators are enabled and the XEM3005 can be host-powered.
Stop! There are some things you may not already know. A USB-compliant device may draw no more than 500mA from the USB bus (that's 2.5W). It can be easy to exceed this in your designs (as I've done in the past) and then who knows what will happen. Some computers are okay with it, but others will "throw a wobbly." Be careful in your designs. I would guess that for most of what we'll be doing in my blogs this won't be an issue, but you should keep it in mind.
Stop! Don't plug the board into the PC until you've installed all the software on the PC. To ensure everything goes smoothly, I strongly suggest that you follow the instructions on the CD/documentation. I would also suggest stopping by Opal Kelly's website, registering in the forums, and downloading the latest drivers and stuff.
Once the drivers are installed and the breakout board is set up, go ahead and plug the XEM3005 into the breakout board. Now connect the USB, and the normal "found new device" stuff will start to happen -- follow Opal Kelly's instructions on this.
You should also observe that a green power LED illuminates on the XEM3005 board. This is a good sign.
In my next blog, we'll go through the downloading (uploading?) of bit codes and FrontPanel GUIs...
Is this stuff neat, or what?
Related posts (Mine):
Related posts (Duane's):