CSE 370 Laboratory Assignment 0


Assigned: Monday, 4 January 2010
Due: End of Lab Section that week


This lab is very simple as we haven’t gotten into any of the real subject matter yet.  However, we can get some preliminaries out of the way such as signing out your lab kits and making sure you can log in to the lab computers and start up the software you’ll be using this quarter.  It may take a little bit of a time, but it will save a lot next week.


Laboratory Design Kits

The design kits contain everything you need to construct most of the circuits assigned to you over the course of the quarter. You are responsible for your lab kit and we expect that you will return the kit in good working order with all pieces intact. This especially applies to the chips, which have very delicate pins (that should inserted and removed from the solder-less bread-board – the white rectangle will all the holes – with extra care).

Please make sure all of the above are provided for you in your kit. We will provide additional materials later on in the quarter if they are necessary to complete a lab.

We are aware that accidents can happen and the pins on chips may already been weakened from years of use. Typically if you break a pin the chip will be replaced and the damage will be forgiven; however in cases of gross negligence you will have to pay for a replacement. Take care not to short out your board by connecting Ground to Power. This results in a very large current that can quickly destroy the components of the board including the board itself. Finally be careful not to snap off wires inside the I/O connectors or the holes in the solder-less breadboard. Wires are best extracted with the needle-nosed pliers.


Altera Terasic DE1 Prototyping Board

The picture above is a diagram of the prototyping board with most of the major components highlighted. For the first few labs you will be using the various input/output devices located directly on the board such as the switches and LEDs. Further details will be provided in each lab. Take note of the large FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) that is highlighted on the board. Later on in the quarter you will be programming this and directly interfacing with all the devices on the board.


Switches, Keys, and LEDs

The image is a zoomed in picture of the prototyping board. As you can see, each little hole has a corresponding pin mapping (more on this in later labs) and a pre-programmed functionality. Remember the program that the TA’s put in the non-volatile memory mentioned above? Well in addition to having the HEX display scroll CSE 370, the program also maps those holes to the indicated switches, keys, or LEDs. So for example, if I hooked up the hole labeled "A13 SW9" to the hole labeled "D21 LEDR9" with a wire, I would be controlling the red led labeled LEDR9 on the DE1 board with the switch labeled SW9.  


The Solder-Less Bread Board

The solder-less breadboard attached to your prototyping board is where you will be building all of your circuits. Notice the red and black wires going to each of the rows at the top and bottom of the board. The red wire denotes VDD (+5 Volts) and the black wire denotes Ground (0 Volts) – we will always use this convention with all our circuits.  Never directly connect these two rows together in any way. You should have both a VDD and Ground at the top of your board and a set at the bottom. Even though there are spaces between the rows all of the holes are directly connected to each other. This means you have rails of VDD and Ground both at the top and bottom of your board.

In addition to the rails of VDD and Ground provided for you on the board there are two 43 column holes separated by an indented divider. All 5 holes in one column are connected, however, the column of 5 holes above the divider is not connected to the column of 5 holes below the divider. All of these connections are internal to the board so you cannot see them. So remember, if you connect VDD into one of the five holes in a column, all five holes now have VDD (+5v) running across them.

The red line marks where VDD runs across the board, and the black line marks were GND runs across the board. The holes on the board are interconnected as the blue line shows, up-and-down for each 5 hole segment.


Assigned Tasks

  1. Check out a lab kit from the TAs.  Make sure it includes all the parts listed above and you either have some wires already in the kit or know where you can get wires in 003.

  2. Log in to one of the lab computers.  Let the TAs know immediately if you have any problem doing this as we want to make sure it is corrected ASAP.

  3. Once you are logged in, find the program “Active-HDL”.  Start-it up and make sure you see this sequence of screens.

    Just click “Next”.

    Just click “OK”.

    Type in “lab0” for the “workspace name” and then click “OK”.

    Just click “Next” again.

    Make sure the “Default HDL Language” is set to “Verilog” (it may start up with “VHDL”).  Click “Next”.


    Type in “lab0test” (make sure not to use any punctuation in the name) for the “design name” and then click “Next”.

    At this point, you can just click “Finish” and you should have the following on your screen.

    You have successfully started up the Aldec tool if you’ve reached this point.  You can now quit Active-HDL.

  4. You may want to start the introductory tutorial for the Aldec’s Active-HDL (note that the version in the tutorial is slightly older but is very close for our purposes).  This tutorial will be a required part of next week’s lab and is likely to be a bit premature, but for those of you who want to get started….. 

    Before you start the tutorial, download the lib370.zip file, and expand and install it on your Z: drive. Note that we ask you to store your files on your own space on the Z: drive because the lab machines are returned to a pristine state after every user logs out.  Make sure to not store any files you care about locally – they will be lost, and always log out when you leave the lab.  You'll need to add "LIB370" to your ActiveHDL library during the tutorial.
    Once ActiveHDL is open and you have created your workspace/design, click on "Library->attach library" and point to the lib370.LIB.  Right click on lib370 in the library browser and choose "attach".

  5. Finally, make sure to log out of the lab computer you are using.

Lab Demonstration/Turn-In Requirements

Normally, a TA needs to "Check You Off" for each of the tasks of the lab assignment.  This won’t be necessary with this first lab, but do make sure to let the TAs know if you have any trouble with the steps above.


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