2022-07-25, 20:30–22:00, Gear ⚙️
The MCH2022 badge contains an FPGA: a very powerful piece of technology, but possibly somewhat daunting to get started with. This workshop aims to get you started with FPGA development, and to teach you the potential of this new and versatile technology.
TL;DR bring a USB-C-cable, install the latest WIP build of Icestudio from downloads.icestudio.io, and come have FPGA fun with us!
The FPGA on the badge can be used to implement your own hardware logic: it is a "blank slate" digital chip. This can be very powerful: extend the functionality of the badge with e.g. extra processing cores, hardware graphics acceleration, or video output interfaces.
The code you write (or the schematic you draw) doesn't run step-by-step, but instead describes hardware logic. This means you can also implement logic that does things in parallel. This offers great performance benefits.
The performance benefit of FPGA's is accompanied by a relatively steep learning curve. However, with the creation of Icestudio, we now have a tool that lets you visually create and edit schematics for hardware logic, which you can run directly on your badge. For daring and advanced users, examples and instructions for using the Yosys toolchain are also available here.
I am an Electrical Engineering student, but studying was never my strong suit. I like to build things, take up projects and make things happen. That's also how I landed in the organization of SHA2017, and in the badge team for MCH2022 as project lead.
Projects of my own include the Metertrekker (a device to extract information from modern Dutch electricity meters), a cheap DIY induction loop amplifier to accommodate (on a budget) people with hearing aids, facebooklekcheck.nl, and various other web-based projects, some of which are proprietary.
I'm very interested in efficiency and sustainability in general, and in effective and engaging education. You can follow me on Twitter to see some of the random things I stumble across or think about in life. :)