Author Topic: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?  (Read 5233 times)

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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
 

Offline futaris

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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.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SQRL Acorn as an interesting Artix-7 board?
« Reply #74 on: July 13, 2020, 09:56:28 am »
Whilst the Acorn CLE-215 seems to have been well and truly abandoned, it seems that the NiteFury hasn't. Whilst trying to get XDMA working with the Acorn, I noticed that the github repo for the NiteFury had been updated. The most interesting change seems to be the addition of a smaller LiteFury version with the XC7A100T. This seems to be priced at a more interesting $99, although this obvious is still higher than the Acorn (if you were lucky).

Details here at the NiteFury repo: https://github.com/RHSResearchLLC/NiteFury
 


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