Simple VGA interface for tiny FPGA boards

fpga_vga_adapter

[devb] has been playing around with XESS FPGA boards for ages, and as long as he can remember, they have had built-in VGA interfaces. His newest acquisition, a XuLA FPGA board, doesn’t have any external parts or ports aside from a USB connector. He needed to get video output from the board, so he decided to build a VGA interface himself.

He prototyped a 512-color VGA interface board which worked just fine, but he thought it would be way too cumbersome to use for each and every project. To keep life simple, he designed a small PCB that integrates a VGA connector and all of the resistors he needed to get the signal from the FPGA. His boards plug directly into a breadboard, so only a handful of wires is needed to connect the FPGA to a monitor.

As you can see on his site, the adapter works quite well, allowing the FPGA to put out a crisp 800×600 image with little fuss. [devb] has also posted all of his design files on his site in Eagle format for anyone interested in replicating his work.

10 thoughts on “Simple VGA interface for tiny FPGA boards

  1. why do all those build ups on breadbords look so nice here. mine are more like 5 diffrent cable colours and totally cluttered! :D

  2. Perhaps it’s all relative but $70 for a 200k gate FPGA and 8 MBytes SDRAM (plus supporting circuitry) doesn’t seem too pricey to me. You could probably fit a few soft arduinos in there. He has a cheaper version for $40.

  3. Wait… rather than just buying a VGA connector, he sawed off the end of a $200 high-end FPGA board that had one on?! Wow.

  4. Even the wires match the VGA connector color!

    Compared to it, my protos really look like a kind of “Technicolor-Spaghetti-Mess”…

  5. Nice project. Just a couple of questions.

    Where is the zip file for the project? I looked and I don’t see it.

    The message board for the other project won’t let me post because the editor doesn’t open up on my screen.

    What is VGA connector part and where can I order it?

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