We’ve always found the Cypress PSoC an interesting beast. It’s a CPU with functional blocks that you can configure to build various I/O devices, including incorporating FPGA logic using Verilog. [MiguelVP] has an excellent multi-part project that produces VGA output from a PSoC. So far it just generates a fixed pattern, but a frame buffer is in the works, and there is plenty of detail about how to configure the PSoC for the task.
Although the PSoC has some analog capability, [MiguelVP] uses a cheap R2R DAC and VGA connector to interface to the VGA monitor. You can get the same PSoC board the project uses for about $10. The software, unfortunately, is Windows-only, so be prepared to fire up a virtual machine if you run Linux or Mac. Our own [Bil Herd] did a video introduction to PSoC that you can watch after the break.
The post mostly focuses on the configuration of the chip (with plenty of screenshots). However, the Verilog has enough comments and there is enough theory of operation that if you are more interested in how the VGA logic works, you’ll still find the post worthwhile.
Driving a VGA isn’t all that difficult, and we’ve seen it done by small CPUs and even 7400 TTL logic. However, the point isn’t the VGA driving as much as it is something flashy and non-trivial to help you get started with PSoC.