$30 FireAnt Development Board Features Efinix Trion T8 FPGA (Crowdfunding)

FireAnt Trion T8 FPGA Board

When I think FPGA, company names such as Xilinx, Altera (now Intel), or even Microsemi come to my mind. But there are also other companies such as Anlogic or Lattice Semi that offer FPGA chips. Today I’ve come across another FPGA silicon vendor, namely Efinix, with their Trion T8 FPGA found in XIPS Technology’s tiny FireAnt development board targeting makers and hardware designers. FireAnt specifications: FPGA – Efinix Trion T8 (T8F81C2) with 7384x LE counts, 8x embedded multipliers, 1x low-power oscillator, 1x PLL, 122.88 kbit internal RAM; Package – BGA-81 (5×5 mm) Storage – 8 Mbit serial NOR Flash Expansion – 2x 20-pin headers (soldered or unpopulated) with up to 35 GPIOs Debugging & Programming Micro USB 2.0 port via FTDI FT232HQ USB to serial chip JTAG signals in bottom layer Misc – Onboard 33.333 MHz crystal oscillator for PLL; 6x LEDs including 4 user configurable; 3x buttons (Reset, BTN1, […]

DirtyJTAG Firmware Convert $2 STM32 “Bluepill” Boards or ST-Link V2 Clones into JTAG Adapters

DirtyJTAG is a JTAG adapter firmware for cheap STM32 boards like BluePill or equally inexpensive ST-Link V2 clones that was developed to create an  alternative to the cheap – but now obsolete – LPT Wiggler cables, and more expensive USB JTAG probes. You’ll find the source, and documentation on Github. First, you’ll need to flash the firmware using the DFU method or an SWD programmer (for ST-Link) or USB to TLL debug board (for STM32 dev boards), before making the connection to the target board as shown below (for Bluepill). STM32 JTAG PA0 TDI PA1 TDO PA2 TCK PA3 TMS PA4 TRST PA5 SRST You can then use mainline UrJTAG for your newly flashed JTAG adapter. If you prefer OpenOCD, it might eventually be possible to use Versaloon firmware instead on STM32 Bluepill board. Thanks to Zoobab for the tip. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a […]

Getting Started with Pine64 PADI IoT Stamp – Part 2: Serial Console, GCC SDK, Flashing & Debugging Code

PADI IoT Stamp module powered by Realtek RTL8710AF ARM Cortex M3 WiFi SoC is a potential competitor to Espressif ESP8266 modules.  Pine64, the manufacturer of the module, sent me their kit with a $2 IoT stamp, a breakout board, a USB to TTL debug board and a J-Link debug board. In the first part of the review I’ve shown the hardware and how to assemble PADI IoT stamp kit. In the second part I’m going to write a tutorial / getting start guide showing how to control the board with AT commands, build the firmware with GCC SDK, and finally demonstrate how to flash and debug the firmware with the J-Link debugger. The Quick Start Guide indicates you need to connect the USB to TTL debug board to UART2 instead of UART1 as I did on the very similar B&T RTL-00 RTL8710AF module, and set connection settings to 38400 8N1. […]

ARMADA 8040 Networking Community Board with a Quad Core ARM Cortex A72 SoC Coming Soon for $300 and Up

Developers interested in ARMv8 server or networking boards are starting to have more and more affordable choices. After AMD Opteron A1100 series based LeMaker Cello board, and Softiron Overdrive 1000 server, SolidRun is now working on ARMADA 8040 networking community board powered by Marvell ARMA8040 quad core Cortex A72 network processor. ARMADA 8040 networking board (mrvl8040) preliminary specifications: SoC – ARMADA 8040 (88F8040) quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with MoChi architecture System Memory – 4GB DDR4 DIMM by default Storage – 4x SATA 3.0 port + micro SD slot Connectivity – 1x Gigabit RJ45 port, 1x SFP SGMII @ 2.5Gbps, dual 10Gbps copper with auto switchover to dual SFP+ Expansion – 1x PCIe-x4 3.0 slot, Linaro 96Boards expansion slot exposing GPIO, UART, I2C and SPI, Marvell TDM module header USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x micro USB ports Debugging – Console port (UART) over […]

Beyond Debug Key Enables JTAG & UART Debugging, Supports OpenOCD

Beyond Semiconductor, a fabless semiconductor company based in Slovenia which develops their own 32-bit BA2x IP cores, has sent me one of their development tool, namely Beyond Debug Key supporting JTAG and UART interfaces either with BeyondStudio for the company’s BA2x processor, or the open source suite OpenOCD for other processors. Since I don’t have any Beyond Semi boards, I instead configured it, and quickly tried it with Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained ARM Cortex A5 development board, and OpenOCD (Open On-Chip Debugger). The debug tool comes in the package above describing the key features of the kit: Performance Transfer rate in excess of 600 kB/s 30 MHz maximum JTAG clock Less than 20 μW power draw from target board Compatibility Fully compatible with Beyond BA2x processor family Access any 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit or 64-bit processors via JTAG Works with all JTAG compliant devices Software Support OpenOCD for access to a range […]

Marvell SMILE Plug DevKit is Now Available for $199

The SMILE Plug is a development kit, designed jointly by Marvell and Standford University, that brings Wi-Fi connectivity to a classroom, and allows up to 60 pupils / students to interact with their teacher via their phones’ or tablets’ web browser. Other possible applications include cloud computing, wireless AP, industrial control, medical instrumentation, office automation, as well as mesh and grid computing. The SMILE Plug is now available with the following updated specifications: SoC – Marvell ARMv7 compliant Marvell ARMADA 370 CPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 Storage – 1 GB NAND Flash + microSD slot Connectivity WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n via Marvell Avastar 88W8764 4×4 WiFi for up to 60 nodes 2x Gigabit Ethernet USB – 2x USB 3.0 External backup battery for hours of reserve power* (optional accessory) Power on button and restart Power Supply – 12V/2amp external power supply JTAG and UART port for programming and debugging […]

OpenOCD: Hardware Debugging and More – ELCE 2012

Peter Stuge, self-employed hardware, software and security consultant, talks about OpenOCD open source tool for JTAG debugging at ELCE 2012 in Barcelona. Abstract: The presentation walks through how to use the OpenOCD open source software to debug embedded systems on the hardware level via JTAG interface, allowing single stepping, setting breakpoints, inspecting register and memory contents and more, starting before the CPU even executes the first instruction. After an introduction to JTAG debugging we look at how to use OpenOCD both standalone for firmware flashing as well as together with the GDB GNU Debugger for convenient debugging of bootloaders or the Linux kernel. These tasks will be demonstrated, and the respective OpenOCD configuration details will be explained.The presentation targets intermediate-level developers who work on bootloaders, BSPs and kernel drivers, deeply embedded systems, and test and production engineers with an interest in using OpenOCD, which can allow unified tooling across all […]

IAR Systems I-jet Hardware Debugging Probe Is Now Available

IAR Systems has announced the availability of I-jet, a new in-circuit debugging probe that can be used in conjunction with Embedded Workbench for ARM, IAR C/C++ compiler and debugger tool suite. I-jet provides download speeds of up to 1 MB per second, JTAG and Serial Wire Debug (SWD) clocking at up to 32 MHz (no limit on the MCU clock speed), and Serial Wire Output (SWO) frequencies of up to 60 MHz. I-jet probe is powered by USB and can also power the target board (Up to 400mA) and measure the power consumption accuratly (200 uA @ 200khz). The probe is plug-and-play, and supports automatic core recognition, and direct download into the flash memory. I-Jet supports ARM7, ARM9, ARM11, ARM Cortex-M, ARM Cortex-R4, and ARM Cortex-A5/A8/A9 cores. Serial Wire Viewer (SWV), Embedded Trace Buffer (ETB) and JTAG adaptive clocking are supported and all JTAG signals can be monitored. The probe […]

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