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  • Linux Operating System (this guide uses Ubuntu 16.04)
  • Utility Software (git, make)
  • Quartus Prime
  • A SpiderSoM (alternatively MX10) with SpiderBase
  • One of the following:
    • OpenOCD
    • USB Blaster and Quartus Programmer

Installing VectorBlox ORCA Core and RISC-V Tools

  • Download the source from https://github.com/VectorBlox/orca using git.
    This guide uses the install locations /opt/orca/ and /opt/riscv/, you can substitute them if you wish.
  • Open a terminal window and run:
    $ git clone https://github.com/VectorBlox/orca.git /opt/orca
    $ cd /opt/orca/tools/riscv-toolchain/
    $ export RISCV_INSTALL="/opt/riscv"
    $ ./build-toolchain.sh
    Info: This may take a while.
  • Finally, add the RISC-V tools to your path. Open .profile in your home directory with a text exitor and add the line:
  • After updating the path variable you may need to logout and login again or run the following command in the terminal:
    $ source ~/.profile

Compiling Firmware

  • Download the RISC-V & FreeRTOS Example and unpack.
  • Then choose either RISC-V or RISC-V & FreeRTOS and run make.
  • For this, open a terminal window and run the commands:
    $ wget ftp://ftp.aries-embedded.de/products/MX10/software/demo/20190506_SpiderSoM_quartus_riscv_freertos.zip
    $ unzip 20190506_SpiderSoM_quartus_riscv_freertos.zip
    • For the RISC-V standalone demo:
      $ cd riscv_freertos_example/riscv
    • Or for RISC-V with FreeRTOS:
      $ cd riscv_freertos_example/riscv_freertos
    $ make
  • This will create the bootrom.mif (Memory Initialization File) in the subfolder out.
  • Copy the bootrom.mif to riscv_freertos_example/quartus
    $ cp out/bootrom.mif ../quartus

Terminal after calling make.

Quartus Prime Project

  • Open Quartus Prime and load the project under riscv_freertos_example/quartus.
    INFO: This Quartus project is specific to the SpiderSoM - for the MX10 the pin assignment has to be changed.
  • Open Assignments -> Settings -> IP Settings -> IP Catalog Search Locations and add the search path to ORCA.
    If ORCA was installed under /opt/orca/ then type in as search path /opt/orca/**/* and click on the Add button.

Type in the search path and then click on Add.

  • (Optional) Launch Qsys Platform Designer and open qsys.qsys
    • (Optional) Under System Contents, double-click onchip_memory2_0 and under memory initialization provide your bootrom.mif file. Per default the bootrom.mif in the quartus folder will be used.
    • (Optional) Save and Generate the Qsys system.

Setting the memory initialization in Qsys Platform Designer

After programming:

  • If the red LED on the module starts blinking once per second, the FPGA was programmed successfully.
  • If the green LED on the module starts blinking once every two seconds, the RISC-V Core and its firmware is working.
  • PMod J2 will output a binary counter.
  • You can use the UART of the FPGA by using standard tools such as picocom:
    $ sudo picocom -b 115200 /dev/ttyACM0
    • Every character written is looped back and should be displayed on the terminal.

Characters written are looped back and displayed.