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Aessent Technology Ltd
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Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere

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For people with an interest in the Raspberry Pi and its camera here is a board that intercepts the signals from the camera and passes them through the FPGA before giving them back to the Pi. Of course you might also do without the Pi altogether.  Three of the aes2209 daughter boards fit on the aes220 HS USB FPGA board so in theory six cameras can be connected to the FPGA. Well at least the hardware is here to do so.

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Assembled the Raspberry Pi, the aes220 High-Speed USB FPGA board and the Pi camera together.
The FPGA is used as a man in the middle in this configuration, processing the images before they reach the RPi. Although it is now possible to hook more than one camera to the FPGA. Non image related communication between the FPGA and the RPi, is possible via the USB ports or via the GPIO interface using the aes2208 daughter board.
There remains all the programming to be done. But at least the hardware is now in place.
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2013-07-16
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Hi Folks,

Do people have strong preferences when it comes to the data bus size of SDRAM linked to an FPGA? I am designing the replacement board for the aes220 USB FPGA module. The Spartan3AN is giving way to an Artix7 chip but I am also replacing the SDR SDRAM with a DDR2.
My preference is to place an 8 bit data bus size device as:
- the controller IP from Xilinx fits in one bank (overlaps two banks for the 16 bit version),
- although the bus size is smaller the depth of the device is greater (8 banks, 16M addresses vs 8 banks, 8M addresses for 1Gb devices),
- it matches the size of the USB pipes (8 bit)
- it is smaller and easier to route (OK that's more my problem than the user's).

Can anybody think of reasons why I should go with the 16 bit data bus version of a DDR2?

Sébastien

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Posted about receiving some prototype PCB on the Raspberry Pi community last week (https://plus.google.com/100916504717963582641/posts/d8aziJhYWcd)
as they interface between the FPGA on the aes220 and the Pi. Broke into a sweat when it came to assemble them, all of my own doing as well: http://aessent.com/blog/blog-archive/entry/nothing-like-the-smell-of-baking-in-the-morning.html

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The PCB I mentioned in a previous post have arrived with a raft of others. The ones relevant to the Pi are the aes2208 and aes2209. They interface to the Pi GPIO connector and zero insertion force sockets (notably the one going to the camera).

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Still to be cut to size but at least it looks a bit more like a proper PCB. Now we can see the pads for the zero insertion force sockets as well as for the voltage translators.
Beside it is another interface board to the GPIO of the RPi this time. Since the aes220 can also interface to the RPi via the USB port that will give a lot of options for the FPGA to communicate with the Pi.
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2014-02-13
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A PCB in the making. The picture is an update from the board manufacturer. The board is 20x43mm from one connector to the other, it hasn't been cut to size yet. The traces haven't been etched yet but if you look closely you can see all the vias have been drilled through already. Once completed it will allow to interface the flex rigid cable of the RPi that normally goes to the camera to the aes220 High-Speed USB FPGA. There are two flex rigid connectors on the board so it will be possible to have the FPGA in the path between the RPi and the camera. Or to connect one to six cameras to the FPGA (there are three slots for this size of cards on the aes220).
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Should have put this out there a while back but here are the Raspberry Pi and aes220 High-Speed USB FPGA boards exchanging data via the USB using the FPGALink library (and command line interface) from +Chris McClelland(see http://www.makestuff.eu/wordpress/software/fpgalink/). It shows a file being sent from the Rpi to the FPGA at 22MB/s and returned at 18MB/s.
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2014-01-14
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