It is now easier to get started with Clash on the Arrow DECA development kit. with the release of the DECA Starter Project.
The DECA development kit is an inexpensive ($37 ex. VAT at the time of writing) FPGA development kit with a lot of peripherals and has a decent-sized FPGA for many projects:
If you haven’t already, install
stack, a build tool for Haskell: https://docs.haskellstack.org/en/stable/README/. (In case you are a
nix user, just follow the DECA starter project README from this point on: https://github.com/clash-lang/clash-starters/blob/main/deca/README.md)
stack is completely installed and on your
PATH, you can now create a new Clash project for the DECA devkit using:
stack new my-clash-deca-project clash-lang/deca
my-clash-deca-project is the name of the folder where the project will be created.
Now change directory to
my-clash-deca-project, and run:
stack run clash -- DECA --vhdl
This will compile the
src/DECA.hs Haskell/Clash source file to VHDL. If this is the first time you are building a Clash project using
stack then this step will take some time as
stack will install (from source) many of the project dependencies.
When all goes well, the last couple of lines in the terminal should read something in the spirit of:
Registering library for my-clash-deca-project-0.1..
GHC: Parsing and optimising modules took: 0.730s
GHC: Loading external modules from interface files took: 0.000s
GHC: Parsing annotations took: 0.002s
Clash: Parsing and compiling primitives took 0.140s
GHC+Clash: Loading modules cumulatively took 1.207s
Clash: Compiling DECA.deca
Clash: Normalization took 0.019s
Clash: Netlist generation took 0.003s
Clash: Total compilation took 1.246s
Now that VHDL generation is finished, you can start Quartus Prime; once started, in the menu bar, click
File -> Open Project and open
syn/deca.qpf. In the menu bar, click:
Processing -> Start Compilation. This can take up to a minute depending on your machine. If everything worked as it was supposed to work then the last messages in the logs should be in the spirit of:
Info (332101): Design is fully constrained for setup requirements
Info (332101): Design is fully constrained for hold requirements
Info: Quartus Prime Timing Analyzer was successful. 0 errors, 2 warnings
Info: Peak virtual memory: 550 megabytes
Info: Processing ended: Tue Jun 1 09:51:50 2021
Info: Elapsed time: 00:00:01
Info: Total CPU time (on all processors): 00:00:01
Info (293000): Quartus Prime Full Compilation was successful. 0 errors, 11 warnings
After synthesis has finished, it is time to program our FPGA board. Connect the FPGA board to a USB port, and start the programmer from the menu bar:
Tools -> Programmer. Press the
Start button on the left to program your FPGA and wait until the progress bar says
Once programmed, you should be able to operate the DECA devkit as seen here:
Currently, the starter project is just a minor adaption of the blinker circuit described in the Clash FPGA starter blog post. The included README.md elaborates some more on the purpose of all the files in the project, and also repeats the above instructions on how to program the FPGA.
For now, the DECA starter project only connects the LEDs and the push-buttons. The intention is however to improve this DECA starter project over time and to add Clash descriptions that enable you to talk to all the other peripherals on the devkit.
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