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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
1,230 Views

Excalibur documentation

I recently bought an old development board from a second hand shop. 

There's a sword on the back with the label 'Excalibur'. 

 

However, there was no documentation included. The Altera website (http://www.altera.com/literature/lit-exc.jsp?gsa_pos=1&wt.oss_r=1&wt.oss=excalibur) gives a dead link (http://www.altera.com/literature/manual/mnl_epxa1_devbd.pdf). 

 

Does anyone have a 'Getting Started' guide or any other documentation about this hardware? 

 

There's also an ethernet module plugged in with the following markings: 

InNet / SCS 

SI- 40138 

 

Is this a standard module for the Excalibur or is this from a different set?
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7 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
56 Views

Can you take a photo of the board and post that? (Actually you might not have enough postings yet - email to my forum name and I'll post it). 

 

I purchased an Altera kit that also had Excalibur on it, but it ended up being a NIOS II kit. Excalibur used to be the name used for the Altera FPGA with an ARM9 core. 

 

Lets figure out what kit you have, and then see if we can find docs. Did it come with a CD-ROM? 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
56 Views

There's no CD with it, but it probably originally did. There's a remainder of a white sticker on the ESD bag stating 'EXCALIBUR NIOS VERSION 1.1'. 

Does that sound familiar? 

 

I'll e-mail you a picture of the board and the FPGA.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
56 Views

Hi Marv, 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

There's no CD with it, but it probably originally did. There's a remainder of a white sticker on the ESD bag stating 'EXCALIBUR NIOS VERSION 1.1'. 

Does that sound familiar? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Nah, that does not really provide any information. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

I'll e-mail you a picture of the board and the FPGA. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Ok, I've attached them. 

 

The photo shows an APEX20K200EFC484-2X. The literature for this part can be found (eventually!) on the Altera web site 

 

http://www.altera.com/literature/lit-apx.jsp 

 

The main thing you really want though is the schematic for the board.  

 

Its your lucky day. This is the same kit that I picked up on eBay ... along with the CD-ROM for the kit. I'll see if I've made an example top-level example and post it, along with the schematic and user manual etc (assuming they're on the CD-ROM). 

 

The version of Quartus that will work with this kit is likely 9.0sp2, which is the version I use for FLEX10K devices. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
56 Views

Here's an example design for the kit. Rebuild the design as follows; 

APEX20K NIOS Processor Development Kit -------------------------------------- 9/15/2014 D. W. Hawkins (dwh@ovro.caltech.edu) This is a really old development kit that I picked up on eBay. Fortunately it came with a couple of CD-ROMs, so I have the schematic and technical documentation. An Altera Forum user also picked up this kit, but did not have the docs. The docs package is 93MB, email me if you want a link to it. This example design provides a basic top-level design, including pin assignments and basic timing assignments. The kit comes with two possible devices. The kit I have has a EP20K200EFC484-2, but the Altera Forum member posted a photo showing his board contained a EP20K200EFC484-2X (where the X means it has the clock-lock feature, i.e., a basic PLL). Edit synth.tcl to change the part number. To synthesize the design; 1. Unzip the zip file, eg., into c:\temp\nios_hdk_basic 2. Start Quartus II 9.0SP2 I believe this is the final version to support APEX20K devices. It is the last version that supports FLEX10K and ACEX devices. Select the Tcl console. If you cannot see the Tcl console, make it visible via View->Utility Windows->Tcl console. 3. Change directory to the project folder and source the synthesis script, i.e., # cd {c:\temp\nios_hdk_basic} # source scripts/synth.tcl Synthesizing the NIOS HDK 'basic' design ---------------------------------------- - Creating the VHDL files list - Applying constraints - Processing the design - Processing completed where# is the Quartus Tcl console prompt. 4. Start the Quartus programmer and program the board. I used a USB-Blaster, clicked on the programmer "Auto Detect" button, which determined that there are two devices in the JTAG chain, changed the EP20K200C/E file to apex.sof, checked the "Program/Configure" option, and then clicked the "Start" button. The hex displays on the board then show an incrementing count. Pressing the push-button switches lights LEDs ... SW4 = RHS hex display decimal point SW5 = LHS hex display decimal point SW6 = LED2 SW7 = LED1 Viola! You have a working example. Enjoy.  

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
56 Views

That's more and faster than I could've wished for. 

 

Thanks a lot! This should really kickstart getting something decent running.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
56 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

That's more and faster than I could've wished for. 

 

Thanks a lot! This should really kickstart getting something decent running. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

You're welcome. 

 

Keep in mind that for $50 to $100 you could have purchased a much more powerful FPGA kit :) 

 

Eg., see the links in this thread 

 

http://www.alteraforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46216 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
56 Views

I know, this kit only cost me around $7. 

Let's first find the limitations of the old stuff before I go with something better :)
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