Author Topic: Nexys 3/4 boards.  (Read 7652 times)

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Offline Fsck

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Nexys 3/4 boards.
« on: August 27, 2013, 11:36:28 pm »
I'm wondering if anyone has used/played with these boards and had any interesting views on them, or if they had any problematic quirks.
It'd be the first FPGA board that I'd own personally for tinkering and such.

I'm leaning towards the Nexys 4 as it's newer and has some insane specs. There's only a 40$ difference between it and the Nexys 3 using academic pricing so performance/price seems far superior.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 11:45:22 pm by Fsck »
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 11:48:27 pm »
FWIW, I have an Atlys board (big brother of Nexys 3) and haven't had any problems with it. The only annoyance is the poorly available VHDCI connector, but that's not an issue on the nexys 3/4. If you can get academic pricing it's really a no-brainer, get the nexys 4. ;) That's a pretty powerful artix-7 on there.
 

Offline krenzo

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 11:52:07 pm »
I have an Atlys and had a Nexys 2 before I accidentally fried it.  They're good boards.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 04:55:49 am »
Yeah, I've used the Nexys 2 before, basic, but appeared to be pretty decent.
The Nexys 4 looks new so it's still a bit of an unknown quality to me.
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 05:47:27 pm »
Yeah, I've used the Nexys 2 before, basic, but appeared to be pretty decent.
The Nexys 4 looks new so it's still a bit of an unknown quality to me.

If I could get one for $159 I'd do just that, and give a review. But $299 is a bit too much right now. :P

And oh yeah, I also have a nexys 2. Still use it these days, mostly as logic analyzer...
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 02:47:58 am »
48$ to ship it to Alberta. =\
But, still better than buying from within canada.
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Offline Fsck

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 12:41:31 pm »
If I could get one for $159 I'd do just that, and give a review.

it's supposed to arrive today according to fedex. I've never seen a review of an fpga board so I'm not sure what people would want to know about it. ideas?
plus, I'm a physics guy not an EE so still a novice compared to many on these forums.
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Offline joelby

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 01:32:38 am »
it's supposed to arrive today according to fedex. I've never seen a review of an fpga board so I'm not sure what people would want to know about it. ideas?

The biggest issue I've had with Digilent boards is that their manuals and schematics are often wrong! Have a look at my FPGA page - there's a review for the Numato Lab Elbert, and a sort-of-review for the Digilent Atlys.

Other than the manual, other things to consider are the kinds of peripherals and whether it's possible to get the data sheet for them (occasionally a problem with Digilent), the software that comes with them, whether there's a self test design and how well that works and if it's actually useful as a reference for the peripherals, any educational resources provided, and so on.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 02:33:36 am »
The manual thing is sort of a moot point right now. Digilent doesn't list a manual for the Nexys 4 and nobody else on the web seems to have a copy.

Also, it arrived earlier today. It is neat, like a super buffed up Nexys 2. This one appears to have a self test upon power on.
Vivado isn't as mindblowing as xilinx's marketing would imply, but perhaps I just haven't delved deep enough into the software yet.
I think it's still too new for additional resources though. It doesn't seem to have left much of a mark on the net as there's barely a mention of it.
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Offline joelby

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2013, 02:36:06 am »
Maybe they've given up on trying to write manuals! Probably for the best.

You don't really need one, as long as you've got the schematic and/or a pre-written UCF file or a list of pin mappings and part numbers.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 02:45:12 am »
or perhaps their contribution to save the world's resources? don't need to transfer those pesky bits across the internet.
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 02:54:26 am »
Maybe they've given up on trying to write manuals! Probably for the best.

You don't really need one, as long as you've got the schematic and/or a pre-written UCF file or a list of pin mappings and part numbers.

Heh. I took a look earlier today, and that is precisely what is provided. UCF file + schematics. Too bad they changed the usb part compared to older board, but oh well, maybe that PIC will do the job just as well as the old EZ USB fx2.

Guess they don't even pretend to provide examples for MIG anymore. :P Although with a bit of luck examples will pop up later, same happened with older boards.
 

Offline WarSim

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Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 04:26:56 am »

48$ to ship it to Alberta. =\
But, still better than buying from within canada.
Just to let you know Newark has them for reasonable price without the risk of a 200% brokerage fee from UPS.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 04:45:55 pm »

48$ to ship it to Alberta. =\
But, still better than buying from within canada.
Just to let you know Newark has them for reasonable price without the risk of a 200% brokerage fee from UPS.


don't see any nexys4's at newark. the best nexys series I see is the 3 for 202$.
I got my nexys4 for 223.51$ for the board + shipping, and 18.85$ in brokerage from Fedex.
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2013, 06:05:43 pm »
For those of us in Europe, Trenz also carries the Nexys 4.

http://shop.trenz-electronic.de/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1_114_123&products_id=1398
http://shop.trenz-electronic.de/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1_114_119&products_id=1399

Seems to be out of stock right now, but they did have stock earlier on.
 

Offline senso

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2013, 10:07:22 pm »
There is always digilent.ro, their Romanian distributor, the lady that is running the site is very educated, and some times can do some additional discounts over the listed prices(at least for educational email domains).
 

Offline WarSim

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Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 11:36:33 pm »


48$ to ship it to Alberta. =\
But, still better than buying from within canada.
Just to let you know Newark has them for reasonable price without the risk of a 200% brokerage fee from UPS.


don't see any nexys4's at newark. the best nexys series I see is the 3 for 202$.
I got my nexys4 for 223.51$ for the board + shipping, and 18.85$ in brokerage from Fedex.
Sorry must have missed a reference, though Nexys3 was the target.  My bad.  :)
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Nexys 3/4 boards.
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2013, 11:45:27 pm »
Yeah, it's not exactly obvious but I favored the Nexys 4, and it's the one I ordered.
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