FPGA remote slow control via UART 16550 :: Overview


Name: uart_fpga_slow_control
Created: Aug 29, 2011
Updated: Jul 2, 2017
SVN Updated: Apr 11, 2012
SVN: Browse
Latest version: download
Statistics: View

Other project properties

Category: Communication controller
Language: VHDL
Development status: Stable
Additional info: Design done, FPGA proven, Specification done
WishBone compliant: No
WishBone version: n/a
License: LGPL

Block Diagram



Control the activity and status of your FPGA by targeting a memory mapped space inside it.

Based on:

Simple three steps access procedure:
  • -- Write words of 2 bytes address and 4 bytes data.
  • -- Ask for an update targeting the update register (default 0x8000 0x00000000)
  • -- Read words of 2 bytes address and 4 bytes data.

The code comes plug and play:
  • * the whole uart initialization process is automatic
  • * 4 pins interface to the outsideworld: serial tx, serial rx, uart clock, hard reset
  • * up to 2^16 32 bit wide registers for user logic control and monitor

Declare the registers you want to read and write in the top level entity:
  • + the rest will be handled automatically by FSMs.
  • + almost no documentation is required.
  • + no knowledge of the internals of the core required.
  • + the top entity is self-explanatory.

Remotely control the logic from a PC:
  • ~ Under Windows use RealTerm to simply send and receive HEX commands (
  • ~ Simple Python script to drive the uart via command line in linux (see software details tab above).
  • ~ TCP/IP to UART bridging is just around the corner using inexpensive external devices.

crossplatform compatible (tested on Xilinx Virtex-5 and Altera Stratix-4 devices).
Tested up to 1 Mbps with a 29.4912 MHz oscillator.

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