New Equipment! An FPGA Board And Some Delicious Pi :-)

So I’ve finally got myself something I’ve been wanting for a long time – an FPGA board. FPGAs are extremely useful for building large digital systems. All you need to do is write code in either VHDL or Verilog and you’re done (well not quite. There are a few more steps but we’ll look at that later). Originally, I was planning to buy a DSP board from Texas Instruments. However, a friend at MITx (More on that in another blog post) told me about the boards made by Digilent (Thanks Hobie!). Till now, the boards I found were too costly for me. There were a few with Digilent that were perfect! I decided to go with the Nexys3. Read more of this post

Fedora 14 Installed! – Well not entirely…

After an extra day of waiting (wish I had a blazing fast net connection :(), I finally got a chance to look at Fedora’s 14th release myself. Here is the desktop screenshot:

Read more of this post

Circuit Simulation in GNU/Linux – Lets begin!

Welcome back! :)

As promised, here is the first of my tutorials on EDA in GNU/Linux. In this post we will start with SPICE simulations. Please remember that I’m a total beginner to these tools as well so I could be wrong at places (post a comment and I’d be happy to correct) and that my examples will remain very simple.

Prerequisites

For this tutorial you’ll need these tools installed.

  • gEDA gschem – A schematic capture program.
  • gnetlist – a program that converts your schematic to a netlist.
  • ngspice and gnucap – circuit simulators.
  • gspiceUI – A graphical circuit simulator.
  • gwave – a waveform viewer.

This tutorial assumes that you have taken up a course on basic electronic circuits. It would help if you know how to write a spice netlist but its not a necessity. Read more of this post

EDA in GNU/Linux

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be posting a few tutorials on EDA in GNU/Linux. EDA, Electronic Design Automation, is basically a class of tools which make an electronics engineer’s life a lot easier. (Wikipedia article). These tools are used by every company or institute. Most of you would have heard of SPICE (known popularly as PSpice), a circuit simulation tool. Many similar tools exist for analog and digital circuits, VLSI design, embedded systems and PCB (printed circuit board) design. However, most of the well known proprietary tools are very costly for an individual to buy and use. In college, students end up using cracked (which is illegal and I discourage this) versions of software. Evaluation versions do not have most of the important features or are valid for just a few days. Read more of this post

Dual Display!

Dad bought me two 20in monitors last week (Thanks dad! :)). I need two monitors to work and I couldn’t manage with a single monitor while working from home. The new monitors are DELL IN2020M – 20in LED HD monitors. Pretty cool eh? I just managed to get both my monitors to work on Fedora. Here is a pic: Read more of this post

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