Author Topic: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?  (Read 4114 times)

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Offline Fred27

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SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« on: April 14, 2020, 11:04:35 am »
I keep seeing SQRL Acorn CLE-215 boards appearing on eBay. From what I can tell they were intended for crypto mining, but didn't go down well due to the necessary software not appearing. Cue a lot of angry people and boards being sold on eBay.

Considering it's an Artix-7 and it has a M.2 interface plus a JTAG header, I was wondering if this would make an interesting board to play around with. I'm very much a beginner with FPGAs and have played with Spartan-7 and Zynq. My gut feel is that any PCIe work is probably advanced stuff and that it would end up gathering dust, especially without a schematic. Just thought I'd ask and maybe put others onto a good deal - at eBay prices that is, not the original selling price.

Link to manufacturer: http://squirrelsresearch.com/acorn-cle-215/
eBay example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-SQRL-Acorn-CLE-215-Artix-7-FPGA-w-Powered-Carrier/184251132237

Anyone have an opinion?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 11:06:23 am by Fred27 »
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2020, 05:11:12 pm »
My gut feel is that any PCIe work is probably advanced stuff and that it would end up gathering dust, especially without a schematic.

You're quite right about that.
The board has nothing but the FPGA, power supply stuff, heatsinking and a PCIe interface. There's no access to any other IOs as far as I can see. So the only use case would be to implement some kind of accelerator for a computer. If that's of any interest to you. Then you'd need to learn about implementing a PCIe interface. And writing the appropriate driver for the OS. And... And.

Yes it's going to gather dust in a drawer unless you have already done all of the above. Or you have a few years available.
 

Offline mark03

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2020, 07:57:23 pm »
Presumably, all of those pins on the M.2 connector can be used just as well for generic I/O, and M.2 connectors are cheap, so it may not matter that it was designed for PCIe... you could always use it differently.  No schematics [that I could find in two minutes] may be a more serious problem, however!
 

Online hamster_nz

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2020, 09:03:53 pm »
Presumably, all of those pins on the M.2 connector can be used just as well for generic I/O, and M.2 connectors are cheap, so it may not matter that it was designed for PCIe... you could always use it differently.  No schematics [that I could find in two minutes] may be a more serious problem, however!

If they were running PCIe over those pins then they will be the high speed transceivers, and not generic low-speed fabric pins.
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Online asmi

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2020, 12:35:33 am »
Yes it's going to gather dust in a drawer unless you have already done all of the above. Or you have a few years available.
Well it's not that bad - Xilinx provides free PCIE IP so you can put together some working design relatively quickly, and they also provide drivers for Linux for that IP, but without available GPIO utility of such board would be severely limited.

Online asmi

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2020, 12:36:21 am »
Presumably, all of those pins on the M.2 connector can be used just as well for generic I/O, and M.2 connectors are cheap, so it may not matter that it was designed for PCIe... you could always use it differently.
You might want to read up on what exactly M.2 connector is, and what kind of signals are available there...

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2020, 12:38:52 am »
It'll probably end up in a drawer, but I bought one. I have experience with the hardware side of the PCIe, but not the drivers... Anyway we'll see in a few days how much additional I/O is available. Thanks for the tip Fred27!
 

Online Someone

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2020, 07:36:17 am »
The board has nothing but the FPGA, power supply stuff, heatsinking and a PCIe interface. There's no access to any other IOs as far as I can see. So the only use case would be to implement some kind of accelerator for a computer. If that's of any interest to you. Then you'd need to learn about implementing a PCIe interface. And writing the appropriate driver for the OS. And... And.
There are some acceleration/compute tasks that have a low enough data bandwidth that it can all be done over JTAG so it could be easily repurposed there, but still very niche.
 

Offline Wiljan

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2020, 08:14:18 am »
Do we know which Artix-7 part are on the board?
The name CLE-215 could indicate 215K macrobocks = XC7A200T?  (It's just a guess)

After some search
Quote
Xilinx Artix-7 series: XC7A100T in "CLE-101" acorn, XC7A200T in "CLE-215" acorn.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4391318.1100

As far as I can see the Vivado WebPack should support the Artix®-7 (XC7A15T, XC7A35T, XC7A50T, XC7A75T, XC7A100T, XC7A200T)

So the challenge would be to power the board correctly and to hook up the JTAG correct, I only found some high res images of the CLE-215+ and on that board you have a JTAG connector (Different shape than normal) and another connector called I/O witch might contains some I/O's  ;) and then there are 4 leds where I would  expect you could could us as I/O

It might sure be a nice board, special it you want to use it for some algo or so where you do not need high I/O as long the M2 are not documented

For sure it sound like people want's to get rid of those boards in respect to mining

 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2020, 08:23:19 am »
I was thinking that the ideal use would be to use for something like an accelerator project - i.e. hand data to it over PCIe, do something and get it back. I assume that's basically what the mining was doing. I had spotted that there is some Xilinx PCIe IP and I suppose I hoped it would be reasonably easy to get something working passing data back and forth.

I'm OK on the PC side of things. However, my experience working with Vivado means I suspect that SiliconWizard is right and it would require a huge amount of time and effort to get to that point. Being able to pass data from a PC to the FPGA fabric and back would be a great tool to have in the mental toolbox but it is far more likely to be a dust collector. (I suppose Zynq is a much easier way to do this sort of thing anyway.)

Good luck with it, miken. Keep us posted. I don't think there will be much IO, but that's not really what it's for.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2020, 02:49:12 pm »
Presumably, all of those pins on the M.2 connector can be used just as well for generic I/O, and M.2 connectors are cheap, so it may not matter that it was designed for PCIe... you could always use it differently.
You might want to read up on what exactly M.2 connector is, and what kind of signals are available there...

Yup. And their number is pretty limited too (so that would be very limited for all-purpose IOs anyway.)

You'd also have to use an M2 female connector, which implies designing a small PCB if you want to use this board outside of a computer motherboard. (Soldering tiny wires on the connector instead would be crap probably, would be problematic for high-speed stuff, and would be also problematic for the power supply lines. This thing likely draws a lot of current.)

If you want a generic dev board with an Artix-7, go look elsewhere IMHO. QMTECH for instance.

Now of course for those interested in exactly this - a PCIe solution - that should be fun, but without the schematic, probably close to unusable (where are the PCIe signals themselves on the FPGA? a lot of possibilities AFAIK.)

And then, even though XIlinx provides IPs and driver stuff for PCIe development, if you've never done it before, I wouldn't call this easy. A reality check tells me that it WILL end up in a drawer.

But if anyone manages to do anything useful with this board, please report back, that should be interesting!
 

Online asmi

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2020, 04:38:02 pm »
(where are the PCIe signals themselves on the FPGA? a lot of possibilities AFAIK.)
Actually not a lot because in Artix PCIE hard block can only be connected to quads which are on the same side of die as the block itself. This is not the case in Kintex for example, because there MGT quads are arranged in a column - which is why it's possible to support x8 PCIE connection.
This is actually interesting because you'd think you would need 2 PCIE hard blocks - one as endpoint to connect to PC, and another one as a root port to connect M.2. Which means that at least one of those connections use soft PCIE IP block. That is unless they intend to use SATA M.2 drive, in which case they will only need a single transceiver. But since MGTs come in quads, I'd connect all 4 to M.2 socket anyway even if I would only intend to use SATA protocol through a single MGT.

Offline mark03

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2020, 04:48:52 pm »
Presumably, all of those pins on the M.2 connector can be used just as well for generic I/O, and M.2 connectors are cheap, so it may not matter that it was designed for PCIe... you could always use it differently.
You might want to read up on what exactly M.2 connector is, and what kind of signals are available there...

Yup. And their number is pretty limited too (so that would be very limited for all-purpose IOs anyway.)

In my defense, this was a thought experiment, not a suggestion.  The proposal was that this board (at ~ $25) could be a cheap substitute for something like the Digilent Arty series.  The M.2 connector has many more pins than the PMODs provided on boards like that, and because it's designed for differential signaling, IMO it wouldn't be a bad connector choice for a cheap hobbyist dev board if you were designing one.  Not my first choice, but not bad.

The flaw in my reasoning was pointed out (as usual, thanks :-[) by @hamster_nz.  Never having worked with high-speed transceivers and PCIe, I didn't realize that those FPGA pins were dedicated and unavailable for other (non-transceiver) uses.  All of the other objections are just... weird.
 

Online hamster_nz

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2020, 09:50:24 pm »
Oh, and for a final nail in the coffin... how much power does an Artix 7 200T need?

IIRC an M.2. slot has a 8.25 W limit.

My Nexys Video (with a XC7A200T-1SBG484C) needs a 36W PSU, and has a tall heat sink.

So I suspect you wouldn't be able to use most of the useful logic (eg. all the DSP blocks)


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Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2020, 03:15:25 am »
Yeah the hard PCIe block goes to one particular quad, and a soft IP encapsulates it. Now Xilinx does something weird inside the soft IP where the lanes are numbered backwards from what you'd expect them to be, but the lane reversal feature works as far as I know.

What I didn't think about before buying: tracing the SDRAM routing. Hopefully they didn't use any fancy board technology.

I doubt an Artix-200 can provide much useful co-processing for an up-to-date computer. For now it's just a cheap fun thing to play with. What's crazy is that the SQRL guys went on to make a board with a VU33P with HBM... For under $1K at eBay, that's a hell of a deal, and potentially a huge headache ;)
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2020, 11:34:06 pm »
OK, so the bad news is that the board uses blind and possibly buried vias, since it's fairly high density. There may be enough traces on the back to guess where the memory traces are going and apply a process of elimination, but that would come later.

The good news is that there's a high-density connector hidden underneath the fan. Could it possibly be I/O? I don't recognize the connector type though. I need to measure the pitch of that connector and the JTAG.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2020, 09:22:10 am »
As far as tracing pins goes would it be possible to create some simple HDL to toggle lots of them and probe output? Our would it be easier to use JTAG for it's original purpose as a test protocol? Obviously this wouldn't work for checking connections to the RAM.

That power connector may be there to supply more power than m.2 can.

I decided not to go for one, partly because I realised it wouldn't physically fit in my desktop PC. I'll be interested to see how you get on though.
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2020, 10:29:33 pm »
I'm thinking something like a bunch of divide-by-2s and running them out to pins. Somehow I've gotten by without ever having to use JTAG Boundary Scan features but that would work too.

The big 12V connector on the carrier board goes to a 3.3V switcher to supply the M.2. There is a footprint for a diode coming from the PCIe slot 3.3V@3A, so slot-powered is a possibility. But they probably exceeded that power envelope too. Small form factors mean a lot of tradeoffs; they fit it in a 2280 board-wise but then they slap a heatpipe cooler on it. With the carrier board it takes up two slots at least, but leaves a lot of empty space that's not doing anything useful for cooling.

I think the JTAG and I/O connectors are Molex Pico-EZMate. Thankfully premade jumper cables are available, so I can initially cut them in half for pigtails.
  • Molex 0781715006, connector, 6 circuits
  • Molex 0369200603, 300 mm jumper cable
The mysterious J1 connector seems to be about 0.8 mm pitch. At this point I think it's a Hirose DF52, 20 positions. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find premade cables for this one, and crimping these tiny contacts is not going to be fun, I'm sure.
  • Hirose DF52-20P-0.8C, connector plug body
  • Hirose DF52-20S-0.8H(21)‎, connector socket SMT
  • Hirose ‎DF52-2832PCF‎, crimp terminal
Again, these are just guesses for now, will hopefully confirm in a few days.
 

Online oPossum

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2020, 02:54:46 am »
Have you determined what specific Artix-7 part it has?
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2020, 05:50:24 am »
I don't think I'll be able to confirm until I hook up the Xilinx pod, but I expect it to be an XC7A200T. It looks like the FBG484 package, flip-chip bare die. Unfortunately it appears to be bonded to the heatsink, so I'm not going to pull it off to see the markings at least for now. There is no way to read the speed grade from inside the FPGA as far as I know.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2020, 08:12:09 am »
I found a YouTube video where someone successfully pulls the heatsink off to add water cooling. It's possible but probably not a great idea. However, you can see it's an XC7A200T under there. Try not to shout at the screen when he describes it as "the world's most powerful FPGA".
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 08:19:56 am by Fred27 »
 

Offline richardbb

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2020, 01:43:28 pm »
The board looks very similiar to https://github.com/RHSResearchLLC/NiteFury maybe the pinout is the same
 

Offline Wiljan

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2020, 02:29:04 pm »
The board looks very similiar to https://github.com/RHSResearchLLC/NiteFury maybe the pinout is the same
On the phote the "VRM" (as he call it the video) with the small heatsink (1.0V 12A are on the other side than the FPGA but pretty close and a great find  :-+
Sold as NiteFury https://www.crowdsupply.com/rhs-research/nitefury
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 02:37:04 pm by Wiljan »
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2020, 02:55:59 pm »
The board looks very similiar to https://github.com/RHSResearchLLC/NiteFury maybe the pinout is the same

Nice find. Sold for $359.

A $25 "clone"? Yeah.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2020, 03:33:34 pm »
It seems quite likely that SQRL ripped off the open source NiteFury. Maybe the NiteFury schematic will help! (No surprise that I had no reply from SQRL regarding a schematic.)

The original selling price for the Acorn 215 was $329. It's only selling cheap on eBay because it was a failure for cryptomining.
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2020, 07:13:08 pm »
Oh wow the Acorn does look like a NiteFury. They probably changed as little as possible.

The FPGA speed/temp grade are supposed to be in the 2D barcode on the die. It looks like the guy who did the video didn't clean all the gunk off though.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2020, 10:23:09 pm »
Thanks to richardbb discovering the NiteFury, I decided that I'd take a punt. I managed to get one for £30. I expect that it will indeed be unlikely to get to a point of it being vaguely useful, but the journey to nowhere might be fun.
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2020, 05:18:33 am »
Should be fun ;D There are four same-bank LVDS pairs on the Hirose connector, so I'm going to look at designing an HDMI dongle. And an adapter for the Xilinx pod.

So I'm puzzling over the timeline of Acorn and NiteFury. The first post about the Acorn on bitcointalk was June 1, 2018. The crowdfunding campaign for NiteFury began on March 12, 2019. From what I can tell, people were receiving Acorns by the end of 2018. From these dates it would appear that NiteFury came out of the Acorn project and not the other way around. I wonder what the story is there.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4391318.0
https://www.crowdsupply.com/rhs-research/nitefury/updates/crowdfunding-has-begun

 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2020, 04:28:53 pm »
So I just nabbed some of these and in doing my own research Nitefury says this in a lot of their materials:
Quote
Affordable: Buying the Xilinx Artix-7 XC7A200T FPGA alone would generally cost around $250. By teaming up with another company, NiteFury gives you all that power with little additional cost (especially during the campaign).
So I think SQRL and RHS Research were working together on this but I guess neither publicly state it.

Either way I am curious to see what the speed grade on these are... I got refused access to Xilinx's 2D barcode decoder... I did end up drawing up what the barcode was in that guy's video but the data is useless without this decoder from Xilinx... I may apply for it through my place of work and see if I can throw it through there.
Nitefury apparently offered speed grade 3 parts for the first 100 parts shipped. But I have YET to see what the default speed grade they would ship after that so its a bit of a toss up...
Real shame there is no way to check speed-grade over JTAG... You'd think this would be the best protection from preventing people from re-badging parts... Instead of locking an encoded barcode decoder behind a corporate wall.
 

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2020, 05:18:47 pm »
I think I still have access to the barcode thing; was also denied the first time but after using a friend's corporate email address they approved it. You can DM me the barcode or post it here. They used to have a web interface to look up device info using device DNA (which can be read through JTAG) but it seems to be gone and only the app remains.
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Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2020, 06:07:04 pm »
Thanks that would avoid the headache of applying with my work address and waiting the day or two! Attached should be a faithful recreation of the 2D Barcode off the chip shown in the video mentioned further back in the thread.
It at-least decoded with an online 2D Barcode decoder.

If Xilinx has no idea what it is let me know and I'll have to look at it more closely.
I will also get a good photo of the one on one of the acorns I get when I get them but that will be a few days.
976860-0
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 06:12:51 pm by conmega »
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2020, 08:45:26 am »
So for anyone with these to make up a JTAG cable Digikey sells pre-made cables for the Molex Pico-EZ connectors on the board.
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex/0369200601/WM26622-ND/10233018
Quite reasonable considering you can cut it in half and have the connectors for both the 4 multi-purpose I/O and the JTAG header.
Although TO NOTE the 4 general purpose I/O on the Pico-EZ connectors are mirrored as the "4 multi-purpose" on the 20 pin Hirose DF52 connector... So slightly less I/O available...
But I was looking at the schematics:
https://github.com/RHSResearchLLC/NiteFury/blob/master/Hardware/uEVB.pdf

Notice the PCIE_DIO and the SMBUS both go to general I/O on the FPGA, as would make sense.
So IF your not going to use these in a computer... And just on the bench... Those are also available as I/O...
So that's 6 pins there. Might be-able to still use PCIe and get those pins usable with a custom board just not in a standard PC anyway where it may expect SMBUS.
Though SQRL also made PCIe to M.2 boards with PLX chips on them and that has an "m.2 SMBUS enable" switch so...?
Either way seems like total usable pins from the FPGA so far are:
4 LVDS 2.5V pairs, 4 3.3V General purpose I/Os (also two pairs so you can do 2 more LVDS with that if you want), 6 I/O pins on the M.2, 4 PCIe RX/TX pairs and the Refclock pair.

Also NiteFury mentions they would ship speed grade 2 parts on normal boards... So that MAY be what Acorn would ship. Would make sense to bulk order one part for the lower price point.
Considering they sold a CLE-215 and a CLE-215+ and their cooling solution is beefier than the nitefury part though... May be that the 215 is a SG 2 and the 215+ is a SG 3. Purely speculation though.
I am going to guess SG 2 worst case scenario though.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2020, 09:17:40 am »
I bought the same Pico-EZ cables (although slightly longer) and I'm hoping to see if I can get JTAG working this weekend.

I don't think the strength of this board will be externally available I/O, but if between us we can get PCIe working. I'm hoping the Nitefury example will be helpful.
 

Offline OwO

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2020, 10:43:19 am »
I had to add some white border to that barcode before it will scan, but here is the result:
Discord: スメグマ#2236
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Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2020, 11:11:41 am »
Getting PCIe working should be little issue :)
Pretty much just dropping the IP block in and hooking to it via AXI.
Now what you want to do with it after that and interfacing with AXI is the part that gets fun.
Here is an example of another product and a nice little write-up on getting a basic PCIe IP block dropped in and actually seeing it on a system its plugged into.
https://numato.com/kb/getting-started-with-pci-express-on-nereid/

I had to add some white border to that barcode before it will scan, but here is the result:
Woot! Fantastic to see. So long as I didn't mangle that barcode when re-creating it we should hopefully have just ensured that the these CLE-215+ parts are in-fact speed grade 3.
So probably a safe assumption the CLE-215 is speed grade 2 and the CLE-101 is just a XC7A100T something.
Some of the best Virtex parts available! Don't know what the E means... Maybe the temp code which would be Extended in that case, 0-100C.

I also just ordered up some cables, missed further back in the thread the P/N for the 300mm ones so I ordered those up, probably best to not get 100mm, probably a tad bit too short :)
I am also going to try my hand at hand crimping some of the itty bitty Hirose connectors... Got 5 housings and 100 pins for like... 5 bucks or whatever... Figured its worth a shot.

Looks like my boards should arrive next week.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2020, 01:31:49 pm »
I also got some Hirose connectors. The look like they will be tricky to crimp. I might have to do it under a microscope!

The Pico-EZ also surprised me. I thought they would slide in sideways, but you have t push them straight down to click into place.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2020, 05:03:59 pm »
Some initial success! It seems the JTAG connector matched the pinout on the uEVB schematic. That's the smaller brother of the NiteFury. (Sorry, the PicoEVB is the smaller one. The uEVB must be another name for the NiteFury.)


I can detect the Artix-7 in Vivado. I'm using a Digilent HS2 and an adapter hacked together out of bits from one of those fake Xilinx programmers on eBay. The board is powered by the 12V power input on the PCIe adapter.

For reference the JTAG pinout is (starting furthest from the I/O port and working towards it)
1 GND
2 TCK
3 TDO
4 TMS
5 TDI
6 3V3

This gives me more confidence that the Nitefury and SQRL Acorn may share a lot.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2020, 05:08:44 pm by Fred27 »
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2020, 11:54:27 pm »
That's great news :)
Yesterday I hooked up a cut-in-half Pico-EZmate cable and then realized I had no convenient way of hooking up the Xilinx dongle to it. If it cools down enough tonight perhaps I will break out the soldering iron.

Also great news about the speed/temp grade. Yeah, E should be Extended. Thanks for getting that info, guys.

The layout of the PCIe lanes is kind of inconvenient in this design since Xilinx has one blessed lane order. I prefer to regenerate Vivado projects from TCL scripts so I'm looking at finding a sufficiently elegant way of modifying the xdc constraints inside the IP on project creation. I think taking the IP out of managed mode and doing some hacky TCL find/replace should work.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2020, 09:02:09 am »
The NiteFury sample project does something funky with constraints regarding PCIe. The details were lost on me, but it might mean something if you're familiar with PICe stuff. See build notes here: https://github.com/RHSResearchLLC/NiteFury/tree/master/Sample-Projects/Project-0/FPGA-A200T-3. I can successfully run this project via JTAG and some different LEDs blink. Not pushed to flash, so it goes back to whatever is on flash when restarted - some mining algorithm I expect.

I need to put this down and get on with some work for a bit, but good to know the Artix-7 is reachable. This is my simple setup at the moment - powering the board via a Molex MiniFit in place of a PCIe power cable and a quickly solder adapter hack for the JTAG. Next step will be verifying that the connectors are laid out as expected. No benefit in putting it inside a PCIe slot just yet.
979034-0
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2020, 02:26:06 pm »
The NiteFury sample project does something funky with constraints regarding PCIe. The details were lost on me, but it might mean something if you're familiar with PICe stuff. See build notes here: https://github.com/RHSResearchLLC/NiteFury/tree/master/Sample-Projects/Project-0/FPGA-A200T-3. I can successfully run this project via JTAG and some different LEDs blink. Not pushed to flash, so it goes back to whatever is on flash when restarted - some mining algorithm I expect.

I need to put this down and get on with some work for a bit, but good to know the Artix-7 is reachable. This is my simple setup at the moment - powering the board via a Molex MiniFit in place of a PCIe power cable and a quickly solder adapter hack for the JTAG. Next step will be verifying that the connectors are laid out as expected. No benefit in putting it inside a PCIe slot just yet.
(Attachment Link)

You will NEED at-least a 100Mhz PCIe ref-clock if your going to run the example design from Nitefury.
I have been playing around with examining the Nitefury example and also setting up a project with a RiscV core generated out of their ChipYard project with the ultimate goal to have not only DDR3 but PCIe host off it.
The limitation is that there is only one on-board clock on the NiteFury/Acorn, a 200Mhz DDR clock. Theoretically you can use that DDR clock for other stuff internally and even to generate the 100Mhz PCIe clock if your going to say run PCIe in host mode and want to spit out a 100Mhz ref. But its a bit of a learning curve where you can use the internal buffers and where you can't.
But right now it seems easiest to just say get a cheap x1 PCIe riser and plug that into the little breakout board you have to get a 100Mhz ref clock from a system.

If you get the example project open in the design view where it shows you the blocks and how they interconnect it should become clearer to you what blinking LEDs mean what and what clocks are required for what.
I believe one blinks to indicate DDR train complete. The other should be PCIe Link train complete I think.

Also you'll probably want some connection to a PC for the NiteFury example since its mostly a DMA engine to the DDR3 on-board, their repository also has scripts for Linux I believe to test it.

All I know is I can't wait to get the Acorns I got since the XC7A200T is MUCH more roomy than the XC7A100T :)
I was attempting to get a RiscV core on a XC7A100T and man... Just the core and DDR controller would fit but had issues reaching timing... On the 200T it JUST workedTM.
Whether or not it actually works in hardware is yet to be seen but its a LOT more promising than having like a -100ns slack on a million signals...
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2020, 05:20:59 pm »
Thanks. I wasn't expecting the Nitefury example to do much without being connected to PCIe - I just grabbed something to check I could push the bitstream over JTAG. I was happy to see it run and blink some LEDs connected to the expected pins. It gave me more confidence that it's the same device.

Thanks for the info about clocks. I'm very much a FPGA beginner, so might just get my head round what's where and blink some LEDs using the onboard clock first before plugging it in to a PCIe slot.
 

Online asmi

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2020, 06:42:59 pm »
The limitation is that there is only one on-board clock on the NiteFury/Acorn, a 200Mhz DDR clock. Theoretically you can use that DDR clock for other stuff internally and even to generate the 100Mhz PCIe clock if your going to say run PCIe in host mode and want to spit out a 100Mhz ref. But its a bit of a learning curve where you can use the internal buffers and where you can't.
As I understand you aren't going to be able to route clock from fabric into MGT's PLL. So your best bet would be to build a simple board with PCIE connector and place a clock generator there. This clock is probably also used for M.2 connector's PCIE (or SATA) interface.

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2020, 08:32:54 am »
Phew, this thing makes a really annoying squeal :scared: I wonder if a bigger fan can be shoehorned on.

So I was able to connect it up to my Xilinx dongle and dump the flash. The markings on the flash chip are
S25FL256
SAVH20
which I believe corresponds to ordering part S25FL256SAGBHV20. It's 256 Mb, 133 MHz, 105 degC, 64 kB sectors.

I also loaded in my "Hello World" image that blinks the 4 LEDs, and discovered that I'd forgotten to invert the polarity. :palm: I wasn't brave enough to try writing the flash yet.

I started a repo on Github with my barebones project: https://github.com/mng2/AcornCLE215p/
It's licensed under CERN Open Hardware License v2 Weakly Reciprocal, which is kind of like LGPL in spirit.
 
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Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2020, 09:58:21 am »
Phew, this thing makes a really annoying squeal :scared: I wonder if a bigger fan can be shoehorned on.

So I was able to connect it up to my Xilinx dongle and dump the flash. The markings on the flash chip are
S25FL256
SAVH20
which I believe corresponds to ordering part S25FL256SAGBHV20. It's 256 Mb, 133 MHz, 105 degC, 64 kB sectors.

I also loaded in my "Hello World" image that blinks the 4 LEDs, and discovered that I'd forgotten to invert the polarity. :palm: I wasn't brave enough to try writing the flash yet.

I started a repo on Github with my barebones project: https://github.com/mng2/AcornCLE215p/
It's licensed under CERN Open Hardware License v2 Weakly Reciprocal, which is kind of like LGPL in spirit.

Awesome! Glad to hear your making progress hacking on it.
Also interesting to know there is twice the size of flash on these compared to what NiteFury claims to put on, only 128Mb parts...
I just re-watched and scrubbed through that YouTube video again, looks like the DDR3 chip is "D9SHM":
https://www.micron.com/products/dram/ddr3-sdram/part-catalog/mt41k512m16ha-125
Which matches the size NiteFury specs and matches the defined part in their example program.
This is not a default part in Vivado, so I copied the timing information out of the defined Mig7 controller from their example project to make my life easier.
You should also be-able to export the pin map file (.ucf) from that example project's controller too. Which then allows you to simply import into your own project.

Also NOTE when your editing a MIG 7 controller, on the "Memory Options" panel the "Input Clock Period" ALWAYS re-calculates/resets to the memory clock (in this case their example is set to 1875ps/533Mhz) you will need to set this to 5000ps/200Mhz (if using the 200Mhz input DDR clock) EVERY TIME you go into the Mig7 config and change something and want to save it...
Usually you don't have to change anything if you set it up correctly the first time, but just a "trap for young players" as they say.

I got my boards in today :scared:
Just waiting on my Digikey order... Hopefully USPS gets them here by Thursday as they say they will.
I did plug them in to a system and they do seem to come alive and enumerate under linux as what they are so they at-least seem to work :)

I for now at-least have some Risc V cores Implemented with no timing issues with a PCIe root complex and Mig7 controller.
Here's to hoping I can get one of those alive when I get my cables!
 
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Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2020, 03:02:26 am »
Hey conmega, sounds like you're working on something ambitious. A RISC-V computer system?

Thanks for looking up the memory. That looks like the right size part, 8 Gb, but the listing says D9STQ. I wonder if they are running at DDR3 1.5V instead of DDR3L 1.35V?

The MIG dialogs are indeed super annoying. We have a project at work with three memory banks... I was able to convert that project to IP generation from MIG .prj file and TCL.

Good luck with your project. My PCIe extender has arrived but it's 1x. Time to see if my old computer is still functional.
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2020, 09:03:22 pm »
Yea, it is quite ambitious. I'll probably be lucky to get one 64-bit core going at 50~Mhz or so it looks like.
But hey if I can get that up alone that would be great.

Looking to heavily utilize Virtual I/O and BSCAN to JTAG adapter to allow for on chip debugging of internal signals without the need to break them out to headers. Likely going to break out only the things that make sense like say serial for a console so I can have that open live on another window.

The example program has the ram set for 1.5V not DDR3L...
And that chip part number I got off the youtube video of someone taking the heatsink off theirs so I believe the D9SHM is correct.
I also have had the example code programmed onto a board and according to the LEDS had the memory train properly.
So copy whats in the NiteFury example project and you should be OK.

Digikey order JUST got in today and I was able to make up all my cables.

I also ordered the parts for the little itty 20-pin connector and its not a male/female pin header like standard connectors. The cable side has two surfaces that show through the plastic housing so my idea to hack these together is by soldering.
Using 28awg wire I have had some success.
Basically my process is as follows (NOTE: keep pins on steel pin strip until the last step, do not break them off beforehand otherwise they will likely end up in the oblivion):
Needle nose pliers to get side crimp parts bent inwards and get them parallel so they will fit width wise into connector.
Take flush cutters and perpendicular to the pin cut the top most bits of the rear cable holding crimp off to allow pin to fit height-wise into the housing.
Then tape the strip down, get your cut/stripped 28awg wire, lay it in the channel and with very fine solder just flow the slightest amount in.
Also keep the wire just up to the tip of the front most crimp (towards the pin end) don't go further than that since this is where a plastic detent falls to hold the pin in the housing.
Any extra solder on the outside of the pin or too much on top of the wire will cause the pin not to fit... Its pretty tight!

But buying plenty of extra pins and a few extra housings will probably allow you to get together a complete cable with an hour or two of frustration under the microscope if you have one. If not maybe 2-3 hours and twice as many extra pins :)

Housing: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/hirose-electric-co-ltd/DF52-20P-0.8C/H125095-ND/5721350
Pins: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/hirose-electric-co-ltd/DF52-2832PCF/H125109CT-ND/5721384
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2020, 06:30:51 am »
You work fast ;) I took one look at those tiny crimp pins when they arrived, and set them aside for another day. Don't have magnification handy so I may put it off until I do.

Good to hear that the memory layout seems to match the NiteFury. I am distracting myself a bit, getting better acquainted with the PCIe core than I have needed to in the past.
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2020, 07:28:11 pm »
That's good! I have been avoiding the PCIe core a bit after attempting to poke at it and realizing the example code in the NiteFury repository requires a certain linux kernel for the DMA example of the kernel module...
I do need to poke at a more simple PCIe endpoint and see how bad it is to just poke at simple registers.

I have been also working on designing a PCB to plug the little Acorn into that breaks to an x16 slot (x4 logically of-course) along with on-board 3.3V regulation and a 100Mhz HCST PCIe refclock.
This is in hopes that I can run a PCIe root complex off the FPGA and be-able to attach devices to it.
I have a lot of learning to do about differential signaling and AC/DC coupling some of these clocks. Luckily a lot of the clock chips and buffer chips have quite a few examples in them so we will see what comes of that.
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2020, 11:57:15 am »
Well I was able to get a RiscV32 core up on the FPGA and point the JTAG interface for it to the other 6-pin connector.
And OpenOCD was able to see it!
Code: [Select]
openocd.exe -f share\openocd\scripts\interface\jlink.cfg -c "adapter speed 10000" -c "transport select jtag"
Open On-Chip Debugger 0.10.0 (2020-05-03) [https://github.com/sysprogs/openocd]
Licensed under GNU GPL v2
libusb1 09e75e98b4d9ea7909e8837b7a3f00dda4589dc3
For bug reports, read
        http://openocd.org/doc/doxygen/bugs.html
adapter speed: 10000 kHz

jtag
Info : Listening on port 6666 for tcl connections
Info : Listening on port 4444 for telnet connections
Info : J-Link ARM V8 compiled Nov 28 2014 13:44:46
Info : Hardware version: 8.00
Info : VTarget = 3.267 V
Info : clock speed 10000 kHz
Warn : There are no enabled taps.  AUTO PROBING MIGHT NOT WORK!!
Info : JTAG tap: auto0.tap tap/device found: 0x13039a73 (mfg: 0x539 (<unknown>), part: 0x3039, ver: 0x1)
Warn : AUTO auto0.tap - use "jtag newtap auto0 tap -irlen 5 -expected-id 0x13039a73"
Warn : gdb services need one or more targets defined

Also I have found there is a very simple modification that can be done to make your "2.5V LVDS" pins which are just 2.5V GPIO in the current config, there is nothing in the datasheet saying they HAVE to be LVDS they are just routed for it.
But there is a regulator in the schematics (U11) which is the 2.5V 500mA regulator for that rail... Its just feeling the Vref for that I/O bank and as far as I can tell that I/O bank is ONLY being used for those LVDS pins. (Might need to double check this for yourself)
So if you de-solder U11 and bridge Vin and Vout... You'll have 3.3V GPIO on those other 8 pins :)
Here is the regulator in question:
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tps82695.pdf

Cute little thing!
U11 is the right one of those regulators on the back of the SQRL (M.2 connector down) towards the bottom of the board.

From the pin-out of the datasheet Vin/Vout are BGA pads right in a row. So should be easy to bridge!

I serve no warrenty for your SQRL if you preform this modification!  :-/O
I would double-triple check the schematics before. But figured some might want to know this is a possible way to get 8 more 3.3V pins to go with your 4 other pins for a total of 12 3.3V I/O pins or 6 diff pairs :)
 

Offline justinjja

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2020, 11:39:51 pm »
I have a few of these CLE-215 fpgas.
They aren't rip offs, nitefury is SQRL's design. Dave Reynolds works for SQRL.

Adding a couple pictures w/ the heatsink removed if anyone is interested.
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2020, 11:55:02 am »
I have a few of these CLE-215 fpgas.
They aren't rip offs, nitefury is SQRL's design. Dave Reynolds works for SQRL.

Adding a couple pictures w/ the heatsink removed if anyone is interested.

Awesome to know! I don't really know the folks at SQRL and their site is a bit lacking in information. I know from some reading that SQRL mostly deals with large bulk purchases and their dealings with private individuals online through their store is because they want to not because they have to.
I think we all suspected the connection but didn't have confirmation :)

Also I see from the sticker you have a CLE-215+ not just a CLE-215 (There is a difference!) We suspect that the CLE-215 is a speed grade 2 part and the 215+ is a speed grade 3 part of the same XC7A200T part. The CLE-101 is a XC7A100T speed grade unknown.
Which from my quick and rough searching around makes it one of the only available speed grade 3 part on a "dev board" of any kind...
Now that speed grade is probably negligible to most people's use cases unless your going to really push the part and its I/Os which this has very little of so yea.
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2020, 04:11:38 pm »
Also I should note anyone looking to grab one of these things shouldn't pay any more than 100 bucks a pop honestly from the prices and listings I have seen sell and discussing in mining communities.

Thing to note here is that they were 330 dollars a pop new but the company offered store credit to those who bought them since they failed to release a bitstream they said they would, which was for about half of what the thing cost the buyers so even the people who bought the things new only have about 160~ a pop invested in them all together. So I would say $100 a piece is a hard cap on the realistic used value of these things.

Guy in france has a ton up NIB for 65 dollars a pop right now, shipping to the US isn't too crazy it looks like:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/SQRL-Acorn-CLE-215-Miner-NEW-Open-box/124017503476
 

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Offline Wiljan

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2020, 08:42:24 am »
I just got a SQRL 215+ as well and wait for molex connector and PCI-e Riser to  power the board

Meanwhile I try to make my own blinky to get familiar with the Vivado and sure a normal standalone PCI'e Rieser does not give the 100Mhz clk

The limitation is that there is only one on-board clock on the NiteFury/Acorn, a 200Mhz DDR clock.

What about the 90Mhz clk U10 3V3 on page 6 in the schematic connected to pin V22 on the Artix-7 can that be used as a stand alone clk, or is th 200MHz DDR clk the only option?
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2020, 10:43:13 am »
The limitation is that there is only one on-board clock on the NiteFury/Acorn, a 200Mhz DDR clock.

What about the 90Mhz clk U10 3V3 on page 6 in the schematic connected to pin V22 on the Artix-7 can that be used as a stand alone clk, or is th 200MHz DDR clk the only option?


If you notice this pin is labeled: IO_L3N_T0_DQS_EMCCLK_14_0
EMCCLK is a clock pin specified for "Configuration Logic" I don't believe it is also a clock capable pin like others which will say MRCC or SRCC for example.
Looking more closely at the the DDR 200Mhz clock, you can absolutely use that as a standard clock, I may just not fully understood what I was doing at the time with the MIG7 DDR3 controller IP core. It may not be possible to use the DDR3 core at the same time with the using the 200Mhz clock with other stuff but looking at it again I see that the DDR clock comes in on MRCC clock pair.
Just be sure you know it comes in as a differential clock pair, you need to buffer this with the appropriate clock buffer options in either the clocking wizard if you use block view or instantiate the correct clock buffers in your HDL.
Here this will be your friend and enemy:
https://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/user_guides/ug472_7Series_Clocking.pdf

Also one thing I did mean and I know is impossible is driving PCIe off of this as a root complex without an external clock. The PCIe connection on the M.2 goes specifically to phys designed for the PCIe or similar high speed interface. This INCLUDES the PCIe clock connection, which is ONLY an input for the clock, this pair can not be driven and as such if you want to use this as a root complex you'll need a board with an M.2 to PCIe connector with the related power supply (3.3V) and HCST clock driver for both the nite-fury/sqrl and the endpoint PCIe slot. I was working on designing a board for JUST that case, but got side-tracked by another FPGA project ;)
Also I noticed that post by futaris and well... My thunder was stolen heh. So I figured I'd wait to see where that goes and maybe give that litex core a try, although they have a PCIe ENDPOINT not a ROOT COMPLEX! So less fun IMO :)

Anyway good luck and let us know how you make out!
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2020, 11:14:34 am »
I tried using the 90MHz clock as a clock input and got routing errors - probably due the reasons conmega specified. (I'm new at those so it could also have been a mistake on my part.)
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2020, 04:31:44 am »
I think it's possible to use the STARTUPE2 primitive to use the config clock in a design. You'll need to select the EMCCLK as the config clock, otherwise the built-in oscillator is used for config. The documentation for the STARTUPE2 is kinda terse though (UG953). The DDR clock will presumably be of higher quality.

The MIG can take a clock from "inside" the FPGA, but the default is for the clock to come from external pins.
 

Offline Arbies

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2020, 06:44:28 pm »
No surprise that I had no reply from SQRL regarding a schematic.

Hey guys, I originally got on the SQRL train for crypto and a cool FPGA board (trying to get back into FPGA programming, did a little in college). Anyhow, I am in their discord channel and mentioned this post.
They had this to say

"if they used the web contact, the email probably never came through. Not sure if I will be able to get it but they can try email us directly at support@squirrelsresearch.com - I always answer emails that come through to support"

Not sure what they can and cannot provide but figured I would share the info.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 06:54:16 pm by Arbies »
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2020, 08:22:56 pm »
Thanks for your post, Arbies. We've ascertained that the SQRL Acorn and the NiteFury are the same board, so we now have a full schematic.  :)
 

Offline Arbies

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2020, 09:11:07 pm »
NP, I have been lurking around here and there for while so glad to be able to contribute and connect the dots of my obscure range of knowledge. They did announce a few months ago "Official Notice: The Acorn line of hardware has officially been discontinued. We will continue to offer software / bitstream support as opportunities present." Around that time they cleaned up their website so it is hard to find things these days. If having a driver helps anyone:
http://www.squirrelsresearch.com/get-started-acorn/
I understand the SQRL driver works for all their products and I am not sure if there is any proprietary magic in their bit-streams to talk to their driver.
There is a walk-around if you want to get the linux driver working in the latest Kernel. I can dig up the commands if someone is interested.
Most of the bit-streams releases were released in the discord.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2020, 09:38:06 pm »
I took a quick look at the inf file for the Windows drivers and right at the op of SQRLDMA.inf is "Copyright (c) Xilinx  All rights reserved.   ...   XDMA.inf".
 

Offline fanat9

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2020, 01:00:26 am »
 
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Offline PharmEcis

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2020, 02:24:46 pm »
If anyone is interested in acquiring more 215+ and or some Nests I have a bunch available.  I also have some m.2 to pcie 4x adapters as well.  Can do package shipping.  Can sell via eBay if you want or we can go direct so I can save some money on fees.

As I am an unknown person here, I am linking my eBay store reputation.  I am a VERY known individual in the FPGA crypto mining space.

https://www.ebay.com/fdbk/feedback_profile/surplusinc

 

Offline Wiljan

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #63 on: May 20, 2020, 05:39:30 pm »
Ok, I have made the JTAG cable and I have soldered 3V3 + GND power wire to a external PSU and if does spin up and have LED flashing and draw around 1.3 A @ 3V3 with the shipped bitstream in flash

When I download my own bitstream the led changes and now the current are about 300mA makes sense since the FAN also draw some current.

I have a PLL in my setup and it would like to have a Reset connected ... now I do not have the SQRL connected to any PCI bus and therefore the PCI reset are not available, any suggestion for a Reset pin for a stand alone SQRL?

Does the FPGA have some build-in reset function?
 

Offline miken

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2020, 04:00:39 am »
On this family of FPGAs there is a global internal reset, so you can give registers initial values for startup. For example you could make a counter for waiting for a certain amount of time before releasing the PLL. That said, I haven't seen any negative effects from hardwiring PLL or MMCM resets.

If you want an external reset you'll have to add it on one of the connectors.
 

Offline Wiljan

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2020, 11:38:34 am »
Not sure if you refer to Global reset as reading the PROGRAM_B or the INIT_B pins?
For now I have tired the PLL reset as  .reset(1'b0),  and it works fine

Also I got both the 90Mhz and the 200Mhz to work

Next I have added the Config Flash s25fl256sxxxxxx0-spi-x1_x2_x4 as x4 (schematic says 25FL128 but Vivado detect it as 25FL256

Created a MCS file and programmed it and now the new bitstream loads fine from 25FL256 on power cycle
Had to remove the 90Mhz again since it blocked the SPI load
 

Offline stilger

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2020, 04:52:25 pm »
If anyone is interested in acquiring more 215+ and or some Nests I have a bunch available.  I also have some m.2 to pcie 4x adapters as well.  Can do package shipping.  Can sell via eBay if you want or we can go direct so I can save some money on fees.

As I am an unknown person here, I am linking my eBay reputation and listings.  I am a known individual in the FPGA crypto mining space. Maybe not as well as PharmEcis. :)

Rep - https://www.ebay.com/fdbk/feedback_profile/stilger

I have listed the Acorns and Nest's on eBay but would be willing sell direct as needed.

Acorns - https://www.ebay.com/itm/174307525400

Nests x2g - https://www.ebay.com/itm/174307537397

I actually have 14 Acorns. I'd make a super deal if someone wanted all 14 acorns and 4 nests. :)



 

Offline FPGA_Zealot

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #67 on: June 13, 2020, 01:12:59 pm »
I just tested my Acorn cle-215+.

The DDR is 1 GB and the flash is "Part identified : s25fl128sxxxxxx1". (Vivado)

I wonder if 128 and 256 flash parts were used.  The size may not be consistent across different devices.

 

Offline stilger

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #68 on: June 20, 2020, 02:07:59 am »
If anyone is interested in acquiring more 215+ and or some Nests I have a bunch available.  I also have some m.2 to pcie 4x adapters as well.  Can do package shipping.  Can sell via eBay if you want or we can go direct so I can save some money on fees.

As I am an unknown person here, I am linking my eBay reputation and listings.  I am a known individual in the FPGA crypto mining space. Maybe not as well as PharmEcis. :)

Rep - https://www.ebay.com/fdbk/feedback_profile/stilger

I have listed the Acorns and Nest's on eBay but would be willing sell direct as needed.

Acorns - https://www.ebay.com/itm/174307525400

Nests x2g - https://www.ebay.com/itm/174307537397

I actually have 14 Acorns. I'd make a super deal if someone wanted all 14 acorns and 4 nests. :)

Thanks to everyone that has bought these. I am now down to 3 Acorns with m.2 PCIe adapters, 2 Nest x2g's and 2 Acorns that are not listed because they do not have the m.2 pcie adapter.
 

Offline stilger

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #69 on: June 22, 2020, 07:46:52 pm »
Mine are all sold. Thanks to the folks here that bought. Good luck with them! :)
 

Offline benh

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #70 on: July 02, 2020, 04:07:07 am »
So I got one of these toys to play with Microwatt on. There's one thing I'm not sure I have right: The pins on the little P2 connector (AIO1N/P, AIO2N/P), do they come from a 3.3V IO domain or a 2.5V one ?

I assume I can use them as 4 generic IO pins and I don't have to use them as 2 LVDS pairs correct ? IE. I can stick a 3.3V UART there, can't I ?

There's something called "TMON_CORE" but I can't completely figure out what it is, it goes to a pin of the FPGA and the TMON pin of LTC3638.

Is there  a way to monitor the temperature of that thing ? I want to disconnect the fan as it's high pitch noise is really annoying.
 

Offline conmega

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #71 on: July 02, 2020, 10:23:38 am »
So I got one of these toys to play with Microwatt on. There's one thing I'm not sure I have right: The pins on the little P2 connector (AIO1N/P, AIO2N/P), do they come from a 3.3V IO domain or a 2.5V one ?

I assume I can use them as 4 generic IO pins and I don't have to use them as 2 LVDS pairs correct ? IE. I can stick a 3.3V UART there, can't I ?

There's something called "TMON_CORE" but I can't completely figure out what it is, it goes to a pin of the FPGA and the TMON pin of LTC3638.

Is there  a way to monitor the temperature of that thing ? I want to disconnect the fan as it's high pitch noise is really annoying.

You are correct. Those 4 pins are also duplicated on the 20 pin connector. But they are in the 3.3V domain and can be used as SE pins, so can the 2.5V pins on the 20 pin connector. Those can be used SE but they set the I/O domain to 2.5V to help allow LVDS use.
I actually in an earlier post suspected that you can remove the 2.5V regulator module and short this to 3.3V and make those 2.5V domain pins 3.3V as-well. But I have yet to need to try it or try it myself.
I actually used the exact same cable i made up for JTAG on the JTAG header on the other P2 header and used this for JTAG to a RISC-V core in my development and it worked great.
So 3.3V RS-232 should be fine too.
 

Offline Wiljan

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #72 on: July 02, 2020, 02:33:19 pm »
I want to disconnect the fan as it's high pitch noise is really annoying.

Yep very annoying (all small fans have to run fast to move little air) I have just blocked the fan mechanically, and when I see the current on my 3.3V Bench PSU goes form 250mA to 500mA every 10s for about 1s when the fan tries to start spinning again.

I think it fine while not running at demanding core yet,  sure a PWM controlled Fan control would be best
 

Offline benh

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #73 on: July 03, 2020, 05:52:29 am »
Thanks. I snatched one of those cheap FTDI 2232H USB thingies, verified it's "SPI" port B was wired in such a way I can use it for JTAG and its port A is a UART. Seems to work with an old Spartan board I have here, i'll start messing with the pico connector this week-end.
 


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