Electronics > FPGA

Any good beginner ideas for teaching?

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LoveLaika:
I'm planning to teach some rather bare-bones basics of FPGAs to some people, and I was wondering what kind of interactive projects can be good to show off the capabilities of FPGAs in general (using a Basys 3 board)? The crowd I'm teaching to has some basic knowledge about electronics, but they know nothing about FPGAs, and this session is probably for an hour or so, so nothing really long term. Just something that would help them get their feet wet into FPGAs. It's been a while since I worked with FPGAs, and I can't really think about anything that would make me think "wow...what else can I do with FPGAs". Any ideas?

I was also thinking...maybe for a show-off project that would show off the power of an FPGA, something like a pre-made project like Pong or Nand2Tetris may be good, but nothing that the students would program. I thought it would be cool for them to see some big project that can be done with an FPGA, but that might be too troublesome in its own right.

cfbsoftware:
Check out some of the ideas on FPGA for Fun:

https://www.fpga4fun.com/

evb149:
If you want to show the power of modern "advanced" FPGAs then possibly something including:

* SOC-FPGA like Zynq ultra scale or whatever running LINUX & LINUX applications GUI
* SDR receiver and GUI using FPGA programmable logic / DSP / SOC for the signal decoding
* As you said there are retrocomputing applications like emulators of old computers / video games etc.
* It is hard to beat some of the AI/ML demos like object recognition in real time video, optical flow, image/video decoding and feature recognition like bar codes, signs, inferencing like detecting cats in pictures, etc.
* You could obviously use some speech NLP type models as well to detect / decode speech though the AI/ML demo stuff is equally applicable to GPUs and TPUs as well as approproate FPGAs.

If you want to show the power of programmable logic moreso than a SOC-FPGA using integrated ARM / DSP cores then maybe:
* "Game of life" or fractal generation on a TFT LCD display.
* Soft-core CPU implementation (RISC-V, microblaze, NIOS II/e, et. al.)
* Retrocomputing / gaming on a PL-only FPGA
* Audio output like sigma-delta DAC and playback of music etc.
* dot-matrix LED or 7-segment LED clock with FPGA logic driven timing / pixels.
* BLDC motor controller VFD or something
* Control system like inverted pendulum etc.
* SDR demo with SS transmission / reception
* Some kind of instrument demo like a lock in amplifier detecting a very weak signal
* Make an FPGA based AWG and show its output waveforms on an oscilloscope



--- Quote from: LoveLaika on July 31, 2021, 09:21:35 pm ---I'm planning to teach some rather bare-bones basics of FPGAs to some people, and I was wondering what kind of interactive projects can be good to show off the capabilities of FPGAs in general (using a Basys 3 board)? The crowd I'm teaching to has some basic knowledge about electronics, but they know nothing about FPGAs, and this session is probably for an hour or so, so nothing really long term. Just something that would help them get their feet wet into FPGAs. It's been a while since I worked with FPGAs, and I can't really think about anything that would make me think "wow...what else can I do with FPGAs". Any ideas?

I was also thinking...maybe for a show-off project that would show off the power of an FPGA, something like a pre-made project like Pong or Nand2Tetris may be good, but nothing that the students would program. I thought it would be cool for them to see some big project that can be done with an FPGA, but that might be too troublesome in its own right.

--- End quote ---

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