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Anadigm Field Programmable Analog Array (FPAA)

This is work that was done in 2004 with the Anadigm Field Programmable Analog Array (FPAA) development kit. The FPAA is a chip containing switched-capacitor analog circuits that can be reconfigured to implement many different functions (filters, amplifiers, etc). The development kit part number is AN221D04, for the AN221E04 chip. This page is describes my progress in setting up and using the development kit.

My first project with it is a data acquisition system for in-house use. My goal is to implement a USB-based data acquisition system. The FPAA will provide filtering, level translation and A/D conversion, while an Atmel ATmega64 AVR micro handles the data transfer to the PC.

The first step is to acheive data transfer from the FPAA to the AVR. For this step, I set up an A/D converter with a variable DC input using the Anadigm Designer2 software (available from the Anadigm website). It uses 3 of the predefined modules: an A/D, a DC source, and a variable-gain amplifier. The output is 3 signals: data, clock(4MHz) and sync(250kHz).

The A/D output is connected to the SPI port of the AVR. The select input of the SPI port is active low, so the sync output needs to be inverted. A logic gate could be used, but a simple one-transistor inverter works fine here. I used a 2N4401, but any high speed switching transistor should work. The internal pullup resistor of the AVR SS input needs to be enabled for this to work.

The maximum recommended clock rate of the A/D module is 4 MHz, which is also the maximum recommended clock rate of the SPI port when the AVR is running at 16 MHz.

Next issue is getting the data into the PC. The data goes out the serial port of the AVR to an FTDI FT232BM USB-to-serial converter. The serial interface is being clocked at 2 megabits per second (the FT232BM supports a 3MHz rate, but 2MHz is the max the AVR ATMega64 UART can support in asynchronous mode). The receiving PC is running Linux (2.4.22 kernel). Using the standard FTDI driver in the kernel, the best rate so far is about 1MHz. So, we can stream continuous data at about a 100kHz sampling rate. The other operating option is to sample at the A/D's maximum 250kHz sampling rate, buffer the data in the ATmega64's internal SRAM, and then transfer it to the PC non-real-time. The ATmega64 has 2k of internal SRAM; it also supports external SRAM, but I don't currently have that on my test board.

Here's the sample output. It's input signal is an Anadigm sinewave generator module connected directly to the input of the A/D via an internal on-chip connection. The input signal is 5kHz at 2 volts amplitude. Frequency analysis uses a single 1024-point FFT with a Hamming window.

Credits: the Linux Penguin logo is from Simon Budig,
$Date: 2016/02/16 12:29:09 $