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m4-la Logic Analyzer Home Page


The m4-la is a Logic Analyzer written in VLSI Hardware Description Language (VHDL). Although the Logic Analyzer core module is not platform specific and could be adapted to other platforms, this project instantiates it in a specific target - the Xilinx ML403 Development board featuring a Xilinx Virtex4 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) device with embedded PowerPC Processor. The Logic Analyzer core is instantiated as an Intellectual Property (IP) core using Xilinx Embedded Development Kit (EDK) and Platform Studio (XPS) which require Xilinx Integrated Software Environment (ISE) or ISE WebPACK Tools. The Base System Project (BSP) also instantiates the Power PC (PPC) processor, a 10/100 Ethernet MAC, a 16550 RS232 block, and memory units for instruction and data. Also instantiated are button and LED interfaces. The Logic Analyzer core supports 32 individual sample channels connected to the ML403 Expansion Header1. The sample rate is variable from 100 MHz to 1 MHz. Sample data storage is implemented using 128 Kilo-bytes of SyncSRAM for a maximum storage depth of 32768 samples of 32 channels. Hardware interface control is provided by an embedded application running in the target on the PPC processor and is written in C and compiled by EDK. Control and data interface is provided over the 10/100 Ethernet interface using TCP/IP socket protocols. Sample data is aquired and stored to SRAM in the target ML403 using user configurable trigger conditions, and transferred to the Logic2.exe application running on the Windows32 host for display which serves as the Graphic User Interface (GUI). The Logic2.exe application was originally developed for an Altera FPGA based custom board attached to a MZ104 single board computer running a linux kernel. This application with minor modifications is used to control the m4-la Logic Analyzer. Logic2.exe is written in C for Windows32 hosts and compiled using MS Visual Studio 6.0 and above.

The Xilinx ML403 Development Board

The Logic2.exe GUI Application