Connecting external RAM to TSK51 processor (using Altium Designer and the NanoBoard)

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Hi! Sorry if this is not the right group for the question but it seems
to be the closest to the topic I could find.

The problem is this:

I'm trying to implement a simple processor-based project on the
NanoBoard using Altium Designer. I'm using TSK51 and external memory
chip (128K SRAM) on the NanoBoard and my task is to connect them by
writing a VHDL memory controller. I've created a schematic and connected
it to the HDL and I've written a simple C-program to test the design.
The general idea is that the external memory would function as both
program and data memory and the controller would do the mapping - lower
64K on the chip would act as program memory and higher 64K as data
memory. I belive all the connections are correct and external memory is
selected on the processor but nothing works. It could be that it's all
messed-up but one thing bothers me - how do I tell the Designer where to
place my program? When using internal FPGA memory, I can specify it as a
child core and I assume that would instruct the Designer where to place
the binary. But how to do it when using extenal chips? And what if I
wanted to make the higher 64K on the chip the program memory, could I
specify that somehow?

If anyone has any idea or knows where to look, I would greatly
apprechiate it!

Thanx!

- R.

Re: Connecting external RAM to TSK51 processor (using Altium Designer and the NanoBoard)

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It's been a *long* time since I used the TSK51 on the Nanoboard but from
memory, I don't think you can actually use the external memory as
program memory?!? I don't think there's any mechanism to download a
program to the external SRAM chips.

Regards,

--
Mark McDougall, Engineer
Virtual Logic Pty Ltd, <http://www.vl.com.au
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Re: Connecting external RAM to TSK51 processor (using Altium Designer and the NanoBoard)

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It's possible - I succeded eventualy. The error was in the HDL memory
controller, more specificaly in deselecting CS (probably some timing
issues). I conected the TSK51 to external SRAM bank via my memory
controler, short-circuted the internal rom in- and out-bus and took care
of other related signals, pulled the pin for external memory selection
high and the Designer took care of the rest. I will still have to
connect the logical anylizer to the memory's pins to varify the design
but the programs I tried running seem to work flawlessly. I referenced
to a design from the Designer's examples folder, how to connect the
TSK51 to external memory and do the SRAM/LCD/etc. memory mapping.

Thanx for the effort and feel free to post any comments!

Btw. does anyone know if the "after" keyword causes Xilinx VHDL
synthesizer to systhesize delay circutry or is it simply ignored?
And one more Altium Designer question: how do I connect anything to a
user header on the nanoboard - the connector doesn't seem to be in the
library. Thanx!

- R.

Re: Connecting external RAM to TSK51 processor (using Altium Designer and the NanoBoard)

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For some reason it disappeared in later versions of DXP?!?

Look in Library/Fpga for the constraint file for your FPGA module. In
there you'll see a section 'Burch-Style 20-Pin Headers'.

You can simply create ports on your top-level schematic named HB[10..2]
and HA[10..2] and connect to those. There's an example in the
VideoArcadeGames - TSK51 project under Reference Designs.

Regards,

--
Mark McDougall, Engineer
Virtual Logic Pty Ltd, <http://www.vl.com.au
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Re: Connecting external RAM to TSK51 processor (using Altium Designer and the NanoBoard)

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Fascinating! ;)

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Thanx a bunch!

- R.

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