BMOW title
Floppy Emu banner

Frame Buffer Test

I’ve made some progress on Plus Too, but don’t get overly excited by the photo until you understand what it’s doing. I’ve finished the Verilog implementation of the video timing and pixel shifting modules, as well as some portions of the address decoder and the interleaved memory controller that I described earlier. I synthesized those modules, added a fake 32K ROM implemented inside the FPGA, and mapped it into the portion of the address space where the screen buffer is supposed to reside. I filled the ROM with a random 512 x 342 Mac desktop screenshot that I grabbed from the web. Using my Spartan 3A development board, I downloaded this design to the FPGA, and connected a standard VGA monitor. The result is the photo you see here. It’s just a static image, and there’s no interactivity, no software, and no CPU.

So what does this prove? Not too much yet, but it demonstrates that my video timing module generates the correct memory addresses and load enable signals, and with the correct timing. It also demonstrates that my pixel shifter module retrieves data from memory correctly, using the unconventional “double pumping” technique that was described in the memory controller blog entry. This technique performs two 16-bit wide loads every eight cycles of 8 MHz CPU clock, on the 5th and 7th cycle. Because the intervals between loads aren’t constant, the pixel shifter module must load the data into a different portion of the shift register for 5th cycle loads vs 7th cycle loads.

Long story short: some encouraging pictures to look at while I continue to work on the meat of the design for my Mac Plus clone.

Be the first to comment! 

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply. For customer support issues, please use the Customer Support link instead of writing comments.