Trial of python with Arty Z7, an FPGA board

We can try image processing on the Intel’s FPGA Zynq easily using with the software pynq. Here we will try FPGA image processing using Digilent’s Arty Z7-20 which is easy to obtain instead of Zynq. Compared to Zynq, the Arty Z7-20 has the difference that there is no built-in microphone and there is no power switch. Originally Zynq and Arty Z7-20 are developed using Vivado and SDSoC which are development tools for FPGAs, but with pynq you can develop from python (Jupyter Notebook) which runs on web browser.

pynq with Arty Z7

Preparation

  1. I have prepared an Arty Z7, miscroSD card with capacity of 8 GB or more, Ethernet connection (can assign the address by DHCP), micro USB power supply (the operating current was about 600-800 mA), and USB camera (if possible). Because the Zynq chip becomes hot while use, we may need heat sink on the chip.
  2. Download the image file from the pynq page and write it to the microSD card.
  3. Connect the microSD card, Ethernet cable, USB camera, and then connect the power supply.
  4. Access “http://IP address:9090” in the browser. The initial password is xilinx. ssh also works, both username and initial password can be accessed with xilinx.
  5. Try the image processing in the tutorial, such as transfer to FPGA.

Troubles I encountered…

  1. The MAC address changes frequently after power cycles. It is difficult to assign fixed IP address by DHCP.
  2. Browser dependent. I have encountered an error message “Can not connect kernel” with Firefox. Safari is OK.
  3. My Arty Z7 board cannot accept power supply from the DC plug (7 - 15 V) now, although I was able to use DC plug at first. I tried to resolv the problem with a tester and the circuit diagram, and I found the DC plug part is short-circuited. However the input of DC regulator IC TLV62130RGT is not short-circuited. I confused the situation.
Published on 4th September 2018