Author Topic: using an fpga for led cube control  (Read 2971 times)

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Offline naimis

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using an fpga for led cube control
« on: October 05, 2013, 02:36:54 pm »
I'm about to embark on assembling another LED cube (orange, for the Halloween season), and was thinking of ordering an FPGA eval board at the same time. Some months ago I'd poked around with Xilinx' dev software with the intent of making a "24-bit" full color RGB LED cube. The microcontrollers I'd been using up to then couldn't handle the refresh/scan rate required so the intent was to go FPGA.

I've leaned toward a Digilent eval board w/ breadboard attachment to get started with. Xilinx partially due to brand recognition but the fact that I work with a number of experienced Xilinx users makes it more appealing, knowing I have people I can ask questions. I figured I could experiment and learn fpga development using my original LED cube while I have the seasonal orange one on display :)

Am I nuts? Is Xilinx the wrong choice here?

Offline Dago

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Re: using an fpga for led cube control
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 03:05:06 pm »
Xilinx has nice chips but I VASTLY prefer the Altera tools.

The Xilinx software has to be the most buggiest piece of crap software I've ever used.
Come and check my projects at ! I also tweet as

Offline hughes_k

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Re: using an fpga for led cube control
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 12:26:57 am »
I've never used any FPGA design software other than the Xilinx ISE Webpack, and while it is buggy in a few spots, it's nothing that will "ruin your day," just quirks that you see once and work with from then on.  A lot of software is like that, I find...

The Digilent boards are nice.  I'm also tempted by the Mojo hobbyist board since it has a bunch of I/O and is cheap.

Offline kunzem

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Re: using an fpga for led cube control
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 01:49:44 am »
Risking a necro but i got a similar project in first prototype atm:

Led Cube 8x8x8 RGB driven by TLC5941 12bit ic's

All low level control (multiplexing, SPI to the drivers and timings) are done by an spartan3 that is still abit bored ;)

the spartan3 is feed by SPI from an raspberry with 24bit/pixel data

the spartan has an brightness table for each color to translate 8bit to 12bit with nice curve

you can feed all data to the spartan via SPI, position mappings, current setting for each LED and the brightness tables.

i thinking about to put the project up here in a thread if you are interested.



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