Author Topic: Parallella available again (for people in the US)  (Read 6630 times)

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Offline Marco

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Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« on: June 30, 2014, 12:48:42 am »
119$ is a steal for a Zynq FPGA board with 1 GB of DDR3 and such a wealth of IO even ignoring the Epiphany processor ... I wouldn't be surprised if that doubles by the time I can buy it :/

http://www.parallella.org/2014/06/27/parallella-shop-reopening/
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 07:39:14 am »
I dont get it, $75 for bare chips in bulk and $120 for whole multilayer board with $50 FPGA? Is Xilinx sponsoring them?
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Offline Scrts

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 08:08:19 am »
No, Zynq is really so cheap.
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 08:15:15 am »
wondering who is still toying with it  :-//
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 09:12:15 am »
No, Zynq is really so cheap.

zynq is $50 on digikey, are they buying them at $25 or something?
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2014, 09:38:50 am »
No, Zynq is really so cheap.

zynq is $50 on digikey, are they buying them at $25 or something?
FPGA pricing is wierd - in moderate volume you can easily pay well under 50% of catalogue distributor pricing once you start talking to a franchised distributor and get "Supported pricing", whatever that is
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Offline Marco

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 01:41:28 pm »
wondering who is still toying with it  :-//

Probably most of them collecting dust already ... like most development boards in existence.

Regardless, if you want a Zynq development board there is nothing else in that price range.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 01:43:02 pm by Marco »
 

Offline JonnyBoats

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 02:14:43 am »
Too bad Dave did not include this board in his video reviewing FPGA boards.
 

Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 03:16:59 am »
As it happened I was just looking into this before deciding to pass on either the micro zed or parallela. With the micro zed you get a device locked version of Xilinx Vivado software so you can modify the fpga fabric. I don't think you get this with the parallela, only a bit file that comes with the board. So if you want to develop on a parallela you may need to buy a microzed board anyway, just to get Vivado. I could be wrong, don't take my word for it check on the parallela forum, they seem pretty good. I didn't take it that far because I lost interest for other reasons.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 11:02:05 am »
There is a free version, but you lose the logic analyzer.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 11:29:17 am »
With the micro zed you get a device locked version of Xilinx Vivado software so you can modify the fpga fabric. I don't think you get this with the parallela, only a bit file that comes with the board.
I've read somewhere in the Parallella forum that they are porting it to Vivado, which should be free for the small Zynq chips they are using, too. The current version uses PlanAhead and XPS (the free ISE WebPACK is sufficient for it), and you get it with full source code. I started to add an entity to implement a 64 channel / 100 MHz logic analyzer ( https://github.com/FrankBuss/parallella-hw/tree/sampler , see my commits for a difference to the forked project) and first tests are already working. I plan to use http://www.lxtreme.nl/ols/ as a client. A test connection to my board over a network socket is works, so I can use it from my desktop PC. Now I just need to extend the OLS client software to handle 64 channels, currently it is limited to 32 channels.

For testing I created my own GPIO board ( http://forums.parallella.org/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=191&sid=dd0107f50f424370c7d1212e4ac4c2af&start=10#p8588 ). But in general the software side of the Parallella system needs still some work. For example they have a differential ADC input on the Samtec connector, but until I described how to use it ( http://forums.parallella.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=111#p8740 ), nobody knew how to do it.

I guess the ZedBoard might have the better Linux software. Of course, good developers can change this :)
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Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2014, 12:17:17 am »
Thank you for that clarification Herr Buss. Somewhere back in the mists of time I was perusing the Xilinx site until my eyes glazed over.  I came to the over-simplification and completely incorrect conclusion that every device up to the spartan 6 lc45 or there abouts was workable with the web pack/ ISE and that everything newer/bigger/better required a big bucks license. The parallela certainly hits an extreme corner in the price vs performance envelope, but the little voice in the back of my skull says "too complicated".

How many tool chains do you need to juggle and master? target system (zync) arm  linux configure and program, zync fpga development tools, epiffany compiler/debug, plus anything on the PC side if you have the parallela taking to a PC.  :phew:  too much for my simple brain.

My strategy to retain sanity while learning fpga's  is to limit my choice to Altera/Quartus II  and stick with max 2 and De0 nano.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2014, 06:57:41 am »
Right, a DE0 nano is better, if you are just starting with FPGAs, and knowing both, I think the Altera software is easier to use than the Xilinx software.

I needed a few days to learn the Xilinx toolchain and to write a simple entity, but I knew already the Altera NIOS toolchain and the concepts how these FPGA SoC systems work and how your own HDL entity is integrated, which is similar in both systems, just the GUI is completely different, and I know VHDL. Then there is the Linux side, but I've done Linux driver development for a professional project for some years, so this was easy. If you learn this all from scratch, including VHDL or Verilog, you might need a few weeks until you see your first Linux controlled blinking LED with your own HDL code. With a DE0 nano you can do this in a day (without Linux).

Using the Epiphany chip is much easier. Adapteva provides an Eclipse IDE and pre-compiled toolchain for it, and you can program it in C. There are tutorials and cool examples on the forum how to use it. No need for FPGA programming or toolchain juggling, if you just want to use this chip.
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Offline miguelvp

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2014, 07:43:35 am »
And after you do the myfirst_fpga and myfirst_nios tutorials on the DE0 nano (although the 2nd one might be harder since they migrated to Qsys from SOPC now unless you stick to the Quartus II version that comes on the CD, 10.1 I believe)
You might want to take advantage on their vast Altera FPGA training curriculum:

http://www.altera.com/education/training/curriculum/fpga/trn-fpga.html

Edit: and in there you'll find out how Qsys works so you can do myfirst_nios using the latest (btw I got an email a couple of days ago that a new version of Quartus II is out, 14.0)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 07:47:14 am by miguelvp »
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 11:24:25 am »
A first version of my Parallella 64 channel / 100 MHz logic analyzer is working now:

http://www.frank-buss.de/parallella/sampler/index.html
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
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Offline Scrts

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Re: Parallella available again (for people in the US)
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 08:36:31 am »
No, Zynq is really so cheap.

zynq is $50 on digikey, are they buying them at $25 or something?

We get the Automotive Zynq for less than 20USD. With Altera it's possible to go way much cheaper than that.
 


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