Thursday, June 2, 2016

FPGA Audio Processing with the Cyclone V Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9

The DE1-SoC FPGA Development board from Terasic is powered by an integrated Altera Cyclone V FPGA and ARM MPCore Cortex-A9 processor. The FPGA and ARM core are connected by a high-speed interconnect fabric. Linux can be booted on the ARM core and the FPGA and ARM core can communicate.

The DE1-SoC board below has been programmed via Quartus Prime running on Fedora 23, 64-bit Linux. The FPGA bitstream was compiled from the Terasic Audio codec design reference. After the bitstream was loaded on to the FPGA over the USB blaster II interface, the NIOS II command shell was used to load the NIOS II software image onto the chip. A menu-driven, debug interface is running from a terminal on the host via the NIOS II shell with the target connected over the USB Blaster II interface.

A low-level hardware abstraction layer was programmed in C to configure the on-board audio codec chip. The NIOS II chip is stored in on-chip memory and a PLL driven, clock signal is fed into the audio chip. The Verilog code for the hardware design was generated from Qsys. The design supports configurable sample rates, mic in, and line in/out.

Additional components are connected to the DE1-SoC board in this photo. The Linear DC934A (LTC2607) DAC is connected to the DE1-SoC and an oscilloscope is connected to the ground and vref pins on the DAC.

The DC934A features an LTC2607 16-Bit Dual DAC with i2c interface and an LTC2422 2-Channel 20-Bit uPower No Latency Delta Sigma ADC.

3.5mm audio cables are connected to the mic in and line out ports, respectively. The DE1-SoC is connected to an external display over VGA so that a local console can be managed via a connected keyboard and mouse when Linux is booted from uSD.

With GPIO pins accessible via the GPIO 0 and 1 breakouts, external LEDs can be pulsed directly from the Hard Processor System (HPS), FPGA, or the FPGA via the HPS.

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