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Unformatted text preview: Connexions module: m31349 1 Building FPGA Communications Projects with LabVIEW * Christopher Li Christopher Schmitz Andrew Muehlfeld This work is produced by The Connexions Project and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License † Abstract An introduction to developing digital communications and digital signal processing projects using LabVIEW's FPGA module. The purpose of this tutorial is to give users the foundation to build projects on FPGAs such as the NI-5640R IF-RIO. 1 Introduction The eld-programmable array (FPGA) has emerged as a viable hardware implementation of digital signal processing functions. The primary advantage of an FPGA is its exibility: FPGAs are reprogrammable through hardware description languages such as VHDL and Verilog HDL. In recent years, FPGAs have been closing the performance gap with non re-programmable application-speci c integrated circuits (ASIC). Although the potential performance advantages of FPGAs are widely debated and beyond the scope of this report, we will mention here that some of the alleged performance advantages of FPGAs include improved I/O and parallel performance which a ord higher rates of processing . 2 Purpose of this Tutorial The purpose of this tutorial is to motivate you, the reader, to explore FPGA-based digital signal processing and communications projects using National Instrument's (NI) LabVIEW. In this tutorial we use the NI PCI- 5640 IF-RIO (intermediate frequency, recon gurable input/output) transceiver, which contains the Virtex- II Pro FPGA. The technical speci cations of the FPGA and transceiver can be found in NI PCI-5640R Speci cations . LabVIEW 8.6 contains an FPGA module that makes building and designing systems on the FPGA intuitive for the following reasons. You do not need to worry about writing hardware description languages, for the FPGA module synthesizes VHDL code for the FPGA during compilation. Instead, you will take advantage of LabVIEW's graphical interface and inclusion of FPGA and DSP related modules make it convenient for developing a system with many components. Stated informally, with LabVIEW, you will be spending more time clicking and dragging rather than typing. * Version 1.1: Aug 16, 2009 6:12 pm GMT-5 † http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ http://cnx.org/content/m31349/1.1/ Connexions module: m31349 2 3 Overview: Developing an FPGA-Based Communications System in LabVIEW The FPGA module in LabVIEW is capable of taking a VI le and synthesizing the HDL code when compiling the VI onto the FPGA. In this module, from the project explorer of an FPGA project, we can control countless processes and features on the FPGA such as multiple clocks, direct memory access (DMA), analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analog (DAC) converters, and memory blocks. Overall, FPGA application development can be broken down into two stages: development on the HOST VI and development on the FPGA VI....
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