May 4, 2022

FPGA - Spartan 3E board - first startup


If you look close, the silkscreen is marked "5V DC only" right next to the barrel connector. My unit came with a 5 volt, 4 amp power brick. 4 amps! The brick has a european AC plug, so I will need a plug adapter before I can use it (the brick itself works on 110-220).

Meanwhile I scrounge around and find a proper barrel connector in one of my drawers. I connect it to a 5 volt, 10 amp supply that have handy, ensuring that the center is Vcc and the outside of the plug is ground. I connect this to the starter board.

There is a power switch on the board (an actual slide switch). I turn it on and a red LED next to the barrel connector comes on. There are no other signs of life, but I measure 3.3 volts at various places where it ought to be on the board.


The next thing is USB. The board has one of the ancient square USB type A connectors you rarely see these days. I dig one of those cables out of my USB cable bin. When we plug that into my linux system and watch the logs, we see:
May  4 09:19:45 trona kernel: usb 3-1: new high-speed USB device number 3 using xhci_hcd
May  4 09:19:46 trona kernel: usb 3-1: New USB device found, idVendor=03fd, idProduct=000d, bcdDevice= 0.00
May  4 09:19:46 trona kernel: usb 3-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=0, SerialNumber=0
Linux has no idea what to do with this, but there it is. The vendor 0x03fd is Xilinx, so that is encouraging.
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