Every programming book begins with “Hello World” as the first code. The hardware equivalent of “Hello World” would be “Glowing LED’s”
Here’s what you’ll need
1. FPGA Board with User LED’s (duh)
2. USB programming cable or JTAG programmer
3. Design software by FPGA vendor
Choose an HDL Language & simulator. I used VHDL with ModelSim.
Here’s the VHDL code snippet to “Glow 2/4 LED’s “
Step1: Write HDL code
Step 2: Simulate using any VHDL simulator
Step 3: Add user constraints (.ucf extension) for LED location. You need to check datasheet of FPGA board for User LED locations. Synthesis, Implement & Generate bitstream (.bit file).
Example UCF File with ‘LOC’ation constraints
Step 4: Program/configure bitstream using JTAG/USB Programmer.
Step 5: Observe LED’s.
It is as simple as these 5 steps. Your first project is ready.
To choose an inexpensive FPGA board use read the previous post which you can find here.
Addendum —> You could display “Hello World” by interfacing FPGA with an LCD/VGA but it requires writing the interface logic & moreover using FPGA’s for displaying text would be wastage of silicon real estate.