Author Topic: New to the Digital World  (Read 3032 times)

Faber

New to the Digital World
« on: March 23, 2008, 06:14:08 PM »
Okay, I looked through the "Resources" threads, and I'm still miserably lost.  R.G. was saying something about PICs or whatever they're called and how they "exploded".

So, should I just look through those links?
What programming language should I learn for these PICs?
Can someone just point me in the right direction?

(Sorry, I'm an analog person, but I want to do both.  Code is so cool!)

gaddargaddar

Re: New to the Digital World
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 06:21:35 PM »
"C" is great ... Easier than Assembly ...  :D
support music,not rumors

Faber

Re: New to the Digital World
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008, 06:49:01 PM »
okay so I will need to learn C. that's cool. I read the intro and have gathered a bit like dsp is the only way to actually control the signal and microcontrollers control switches and pots and stuff?

iaresee

Re: New to the Digital World
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 11:28:17 PM »
PIC is a nice way to start. They've been around for a while, are cheap, easy to program and have good feature sets. Check out this for a nice little guide on getting started with programming PICs. And see this for good information on programming PICs using C instead of assembly. In the end you're running compiled code on a generic processor though and I find you can hit walls pretty fast when working with PIC processors. On the hardware <-> software balance you end up spending more time in software with PIC as you program around it's idiosyncrasies and optimize your code to get the performance you need.

Personally I'm an FPGA guy. Nothing quite like bypassing all that compiled code nonsense and getting down and dirty with a little Verilog and a ByteBlaster. You can get a nice development kit from Altera (full disclosure: I work for Altera) for a hundred and fifty bucks that includes an FPGA suitable for pedal type application development, CAD software, decent A/D|D/A, debounced buttons, extensible input via an IDE type connector, an SD reader...list goes on. The only thing its missing is rotary encoders, but it's not hard to build a set of rotary encoders on an extension strip. You can use DSP development tools like Matlab and bridge to the FPGA via Altera's SOPC Builder. Lets you build up DSP algorithms in Matlab's sweet DSP building environment and then implement it directly as hardware as opposed to running it as code on a generic processor.

SeanCostello

Re: New to the Digital World
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2008, 07:17:57 PM »
You can use DSP development tools like Matlab and bridge to the FPGA via Altera's SOPC Builder. Lets you build up DSP algorithms in Matlab's sweet DSP building environment and then implement it directly as hardware as opposed to running it as code on a generic processor.

Hmm. Any more info on this?

(disclaimer: I used to work for Analog Devices, in the DSP department, but I am now interested in whatever technique works best. Looking at Freescale DSPs, Spin Semiconductor, etc.)

Sean Costello

iaresee

Re: New to the Digital World
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 11:36:56 PM »
Hmm. Any more info on this?

(disclaimer: I used to work for Analog Devices, in the DSP department, but I am now interested in whatever technique works best. Looking at Freescale DSPs, Spin Semiconductor, etc.)

Sean Costello
Certainly. Here's an overview of the Matlab <-> DSP Builder <-> SOPC Builder flow: http://www.altera.com/products/ip/altera/t-alt-matlab.html -- you get to design DSP algorithms in Matlab and DSP Builder helps you migrate them to VHDL or Verilog blocks that work in our chips, you stitch it all together with SOPC Builder. Here's a bit more information on DSP Builder: http://www.altera.com/products/software/products/dsp/dsp-builder.html -- you can even go straight to FPGA if you know how to build the top level module and don't need SOPC Builder's help. If you own Matlab you can get a trail eval to use it with DSP Builder from here: http://www.mathworks.com/products/connections/trials/altera.shtml

Let me know if have any more questions. There's an Altera Forum as well where you can ask questions. I occasionally answer stuff there: http://www.alteraforum.com/