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FPGAs and the Open Computing Language

FPGAs and the Open Computing Language:

Open Computing Language is the first open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors found in personal computers, servers and handheld/embedded devices. In other words, OpenCL is a framework for writing programs that execute across heterogeneous platforms consisting of CPUs, graphics processing units (GPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and other processors.

Altera will show off their FPGA SOC devices including hardened Dual ARM Cortex A9 cores along with the Quad ARM Cortex A53 core integrated into the Stratix 10 FPGA’s on the Intel 14nm tri-gate process. They'll cover the heterogeneous computing tools including OpenCL SDK for the development of hardware based acceleration. Please join us for this presentation and live demonstration.

We're excited to have Altera sponsor food and drinks for this meetup!


6:30 Arrive, grab food and drinks (thanks to Altera)

6:45 Brad Kinard & Brian Oehlke of Altera and Arrow 

8:00 Pitches & Demos:

* Sabertron lightsabers!

* DeadEye marksmanship!

* Curb energy!

8:30 meetup adjourned

Call to Action

If you have a new project or Kickstarter you'd like to demo, email me, [masked], and I'll add you to the agenda!

If you'd like to sponsor this meetup please contact me! If you're interested in Austin Hardware Startups, help spread the word!

Massive thanks to Altera for providing food and drinks at this event and continued thanks to Capital Factory for providing meeting space.

Also, you should probably follow @atxhw on twitter to stay in the loop on meetups!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    wasn't able to make this meetup. Which fpga board would you recommend for a laser sintering 3D printer? Right now I am using a RAMBO board and Marlin firmware but I think I will need to make an upgrade to control the heaters.

    June 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      thanks for the reply, i may not be able to add heaters since the casing is made out of acrylic. i wanted to be able to control the heater's dwell/soak time and heat up the powder right up to the melt point and then sinter the powders with just a small dab from the laser

      June 29, 2014

    • Iain G.

      Do you have an idea of what sort of precision on the timing control you require for that operation?

      June 29, 2014

  • Andre' L.

    @Alex, FPGAs are for ultra high performance compute and or to push all of your discrete electrical designs into pure hardware. Moreover, the great majority of FPGA boards are for eval only and aren't for product deployment. For example, a simple FPGA board with a decent chip, power, IO, LCD, etc. might be $99-300, or as high as $15,000 if you want bleeding edge tech. That all said, FPGA and programmable logic is NOT what you need. Looking at the RAMBO board this is a very underpowered arduino based board with the ATMega 2560, which rates as hardly a blip on the compute scale. Sound like you just need more horsepower, and you need to run an ARM based board. That's what I would suggest. A Cortex M3/M4 at[masked] mips and floating point with say 512-1M of FLASH and[masked]K of SRAM will allow you to writing killer apps and perfect for the 3D printing algorithms, you can code in C/C++ and port your current C/C+ ("Processing")
    code -- so that would be my suggestion --

    1 · June 23, 2014

    • Andre' L.

      @Alex, the RasPi or BeagleBone would have 10x more power than you need, so they would definitely do. But, remember, both are not designed for tight real-time control, so if you want to control a microsecond accurate PID control loop, then those boards aren't going to do since they have full blown operating systems. But, as long as you only need high millisecond control then they will work. That said, if you want something that is simpler then I suggest a dev board from either ST in the "Discovery" line series or from Freescale in their Kinetis line. In those cases, they are more identical to the Arduino in that you are dealing with a simple microcontroller, no operating system, and straight C/C++. But, RasPIs aren't expensive, if you don't need a lot of IO and real-time control, then the RasPi will have more than enough compute, plus video, etc. and you will be able to write your control code.

      June 29, 2014

    • Andre' L.

      Continued...So, you can start with a RasPi (forget beaglebone), and if its got too slow IO then you can go to a ARM dev board like these: ST Micro­­



      June 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    The Meetup was fantastic. It was very exciting talking to so many people with an interest in hardware. Definately worth the drive from San Antonio.

    1 · June 20, 2014

  • Richard G.

    Would love to get a copy of the slides... Best presentation style for BUSY slides is to turn on accessibility in windows (the magnifier), then use a wireless mouse and hover over areas you are talking about to highlight them for those 30 feet away!

    June 20, 2014

  • Drue P.


    June 20, 2014

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