[hackerspaces] FPGA Workshop 4: Behind the Scenes (November 8)

Sébastien Bourdeauducq sebastien.bourdeauducq at lekernel.net
Wed Oct 21 15:18:33 CEST 2009

FPGA Workshop 4: Behind the Scenes

In the previous workshops, we have seen that FPGAs can emulate any logic 
circuit without moving (mechanical) parts. 

FPGAs are however not magic nor mystical devices and this workshop will shed 
light on how they work internally. After theoretical explanations on their 
functioning, we will program them very close to the "bare silicon" by 
configuring manually each logic element on the chip, without any Verilog or 

This will give you a better understanding of the challenges involved with 
writing open source programming tools, reverse engineering existing FPGA 
designs, injecting backdoors into FPGA bitstreams, and squeezing the most 
performance out of an FPGA chip. 

For the hands-on part: 
* Bring your laptop 
* IMPORTANT: Install Xilinx ISE. The installation takes a long time that we 
cannot waste during the workshop. 
* Bring a Xilinx FPGA board such as the Avnet Spartan-3A starter kit used in 
previous workshops. 
* The board must have a Xilinx FPGA. Boards with non-Xilinx chips cannot be 
* Your board must have at least 2 pushbuttons and 2 LEDs. 
* Bring any required programming (JTAG) cable and try to make sure that it 
works (driver installed etc.) before coming. 

You can come to the workshop without a board, but obviously you might be 
unable to perform the manipulations yourself.

* Venue: /tmp/lab (www.tmplab.org/contact) near Paris, France
* Date: Sunday November 8th 2009, 14:00-19:00+
* Language: FR/EN (depending on attendees)
* Price: Free of charge
* Please subscribe by editing the wiki page 

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