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Valued Contributor III
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NEEK GPIO: Newbie question

Sorry for such a newbie question, but here goes: 

 

I'm a software developer that is making the first forray into embedded FPGA design. Being a little naive I picked up the Altera NIOS II with Cyclone III (NEEK?) 

 

Anyway, as beginners are naturally inclined to do, I want to do some basic I/O signaling. You know send a pin +5v high, send one low. Listen on another in case it goes high. All that newbie stuff. 

 

Here's the rub, this thing seems to be missing any form of basic GPIO pins and the HSMC bus is completely occupied by the LCD daughter card, HSMC seems to be a one card add-on technology. 

 

Sorry to be such a newbie, but any advice?
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Valued Contributor III
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Yeah for GPIO, that's not really the board you want. You can of course remove the daughter board from the mezzanine connector but the connector (made by samtec) isn't really for gpio either. I actually have the breakout daughter card that converts the HSMC mezzanine connector to the the Santa Cruz connector.  

http://www.slscorp.com/pages/hsmc_e-gasket.php 

But I'm guessing you don't want to buy any further pieces after spending $500.00 on the NEEK. 

 

Anyway, there are still plenty of fun things you can do without the GPIO. The truth is, it's so easy to get something more complex up and running (like Ethernet for example) that doing the GPIO is almost too remedial of a first step. 

 

However, the first thing I did with my board was write a little NIOS program that printed out status over the JTAG UART while writing to the blue LEDs on the main board. This was a simple enough test to prove I at least had things working well enough. 

 

Jake
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Valued Contributor III
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Yeah I agree with jake, I guess i am kinda of a newbie too, but i can tell you something the dev kits are an ausom platform to learn from, there is plenty of stuff on the dev boards you can use to start your altera adventure. 

 

Id advise trying out all the cool examples available in the nios installation direct 

C:\altera\80\nios2eds\examples 

 

another thing to look at is  

http://www.altera.com/support/ip/processors/nios2/ips-nios2_support.html  

which i assume you might have already seen, it has some cool documents, there is one somewhere in there which tells you about making your first nios system... 

 

regards nadeem
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Valued Contributor III
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NEEK (Nios embedded evaluation kit) is a nice board, but as said, not particularly suited for digital IO applications. As a general remark, none of the todays or previous generation FPGA families has 5V IO or is 5V tolerant.  

 

Terrasic DE2 or similar (somewhat less IO) Altera DK board has IO pin headers that are useful to connect digital interfaces. Previous nios ii development kit, cyclone ii edition even has 5V tolerant IDE headers.
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