Components

In this tutorial we will use the USB port and create a project that will echo back all the data sent to the Mojo.

This will teach you how to use components in your projects.

Getting Started

Like before, we will start by creating a new project. Go to File->New Project... and create a new Lucid project. I'm calling mine Serial Port Echo. It is from the Base Project example.

Great! Now we have a bare-bones project. The Mojo's USB port is accessible to the FPGA through the AVR (the microcontroller). The AVR acts as a USB<->serial bridge once the FPGA is configured so we need to talk to the AVR over UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter).

Components

Components are prewritten modules that you will likely need to use in many of your projects. For this tutorial, we need to add the AVR Interface component to our project.

Launch the Component Selector by going to Project->Add Components...

Under Interfaces you will find the component AVR Interface. Click the checkbox next to it.

Component Selector

Notice that there are four more components under AVR Interface that automatically got selected. These are dependencies of AVR Interface. That means they must be included for it to work.

You can click each one for a short description of what it does. Each of the dependencies can be included separately for use if your own projects if you want (they exist in other categories).

You should take some time to look at what components are available to you for your future projects.

Click Add to copy the components into your project.

Notice that there is a new category called Components.

Components Added to Project

You can open any of the components you want to take a look at how they work. However, for this tutorial we will be using them as a black box.

Instantiating the Component

Now that the components we need are in our project, we need to use them.

We are going make some changes in mojo_top.luc.

  .clk(clk) {
    // The reset conditioner is used to synchronize the reset signal to the FPGA
    // clock. This ensures the entire FPGA comes out of reset at the same time.
    reset_conditioner reset_cond;

    .rst(rst){
      // the avr_interface module is used to talk to the AVR for access to the USB port and analog pins
      avr_interface avr;
    }
  }

This will create an instance of avr_interface named avr.

If you only do this, you will actually get an error. The error is because some of the inputs to the module were never assigned. Add the following to line 33.

    // connect inputs
    avr.cclk = cclk;
    avr.spi_ss = spi_ss;
    avr.spi_mosi = spi_mosi;
    avr.spi_sck = spi_sck;
    avr.rx = avr_tx;

    // connect outputs
    spi_miso = avr.spi_miso;
    spi_channel = avr.spi_channel;
    avr_rx = avr.tx;
    avr.channel = hf; // ADC is unused so disable
    avr.tx_block = avr_rx_busy; // block TX when AVR is busy 

Here we are just connecting the inputs and outputs of the avr instance to the inputs and outputs of our module.

Also, now that the connections to the AVR are actually being used, don't forget to remove the following lines that assign default values from the always block.

    spi_miso = bz;          // not using SPI
    spi_channel = bzzzz;    // not using flags
    avr_rx = bz;            // not using serial port

Note that avr.channel is set to hf, this will disable the ADC since it is an invalid channel. You should disable the ADC when you aren't using it because the AVR with otherwise spend time taking readings. You can get better USB data rates when it is disabled.

Also note that avr.rx connects to avr_tx and avr.tx connects to avr_rx. This is because the top level signals were named the same as those on the AVR while the module signal names are its own. You want the module's transmitter to connect to the AVR's receiver and vice versa.

We are still missing some connections, but first a small detour.

Sending and Receiving Data

When new data arrives, the signal avr.new_rx_data goes high. This tells you that the data of avr.rx_data is valid. Normally you would want to wait for avr.new_rx_data to go high and then do something with the data.

To write data to the USB port is the same idea. We set avr.tx_data to the byte to send and we set avr.new_tx_data high. However, there is one more signal to look out for. That is avr.tx_busy. If this signal is high, the transmitter is busy for some reason, either it is currently sending a byte or the AVR can't take any more data at this moment. Either way, if you try to send data when this is high, it will be ignored.

For this simple example, we are going to ignore avr.tx_busy and just live with dropped data if too much stuff is sent at once. The next tutorial will handle this more gracefully.

All we want to do is echo data we receive back to the transmitter. To do this we can just connect the transmitter to the receiver.

    // connect the receiver to the transmitter
    // to echo the data back
    avr.tx_data = avr.rx_data;
    avr.new_tx_data = avr.new_rx_data;

You should now be able to build your project and load it on the Mojo. If you fire up your favorite serial port monitor and connect to the Mojo, any text you send should be sent right back. Note that the baud rate you set doesn't matter (it's ignored) as long as it's not 1200, which is used to put the AVR into bootloader mode.

Capturing Data

Before we wrap up, let's do a little more with the incoming data. We are going to save the last byte received and display it on the LEDs.

To do this this, we need an 8 bit dff.

    dff data[8]; // flip-flops to store last character

we can then write to the dff when we have new data.

    if (avr.new_rx_data) // if new data
      data.d = avr.rx_data; // write it to data

    led = data.q; // connect the LEDs to our flip-flop

On the last line, we connect the LEDs to the output of the dff.

If you don't assign a dff a value, then it will retain the last value it had. Since we are only assigning it a value when avr.new_rx_data is high, it will hold the last byte until the next one comes in.

Now, if you build and load your project, when you fire up a serial port monitor you should not only see the text you send back in the monitor, but the LEDs on the Mojo should also changed depending on the character you sent.

The full module looks like this.

module mojo_top (
    input clk,              // 50MHz clock
    input rst_n,            // reset button (active low)
    output led [8],         // 8 user controllable LEDs
    input cclk,             // configuration clock, AVR ready when high
    output spi_miso,        // AVR SPI MISO
    input spi_ss,           // AVR SPI Slave Select
    input spi_mosi,         // AVR SPI MOSI
    input spi_sck,          // AVR SPI Clock
    output spi_channel [4], // AVR general purpose pins (used by default to select ADC channel)
    input avr_tx,           // AVR TX (FPGA RX)
    output avr_rx,          // AVR RX (FPGA TX)
    input avr_rx_busy       // AVR RX buffer full
  ) {

  sig rst;                  // reset signal

  .clk(clk) {
    // The reset conditioner is used to synchronize the reset signal to the FPGA
    // clock. This ensures the entire FPGA comes out of reset at the same time.
    reset_conditioner reset_cond;

    .rst(rst){
      // the avr_interface module is used to talk to the AVR for access to the USB port and analog pins
      avr_interface avr;
      dff data[8]; // flip-flops to store last character
    }
  }

  always {
    reset_cond.in = ~rst_n; // input raw inverted reset signal
    rst = reset_cond.out;   // conditioned reset

    // connect inputs of avr
    avr.cclk = cclk;
    avr.spi_ss = spi_ss;
    avr.spi_mosi = spi_mosi;
    avr.spi_sck = spi_sck;
    avr.rx = avr_tx;
    avr.channel = hf;           // ADC is unused so disable
    avr.tx_block = avr_rx_busy; // block TX when AVR is busy

    // connect outputs of avr
    spi_miso = avr.spi_miso;
    spi_channel = avr.spi_channel;
    avr_rx = avr.tx;

    // connect the receiver to the transmitter
    // to echo the data back
    avr.tx_data = avr.rx_data;
    avr.new_tx_data = avr.new_rx_data;

    if (avr.new_rx_data) // if new data
      data.d = avr.rx_data; // write it to data

    led = data.q; // connect the LEDs to our flip-flop
  }
}