2.1. Getting Started With Nysa

This document has the following three parts:

  • Installing Nysa on your system
  • Set up Nysa
  • Explore some of the features and commands available

2.1.1. Requirements


Currently Nysa is built for Python 2 you can download it here


Pip simplifies the process of installing Python modules. You can test if you have pip installed by openning up a terminal and typing: pip --version

If you do not see a version number here’s how to get it:

  1. Download and install pip
get-pip.py <https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py>
python ./get-pip.py
sudo pip install --upgrade pip
  1. Using apt-get install git, iverilog and gtkwave
sudo apt-get install git verilog gtkwave

2.1.2. Installation

From a terminal install nysa from the github repo using pip


sudo pip install git+https://github.com/CospanDesign/nysa

Pip will install the nysa module as well as the command line tool

2.1.3. Nysa Command Line Tool

The Nysa command line tool is available to the user, to view all the commands type:

$> nysa --help
usage: nysa [-h] [-v] [-d]

Nysa Tool

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose         Output verbose information
  -d, --debug           Output test debug information

  Nysa Tools


Enter the toolname with a -h to find help about that specific tool


cbuilder                 Functions to help create code to go into platforms

     generate-slave      create a project to generate a nysa compatible core
     devices             manage/view devices IDs and descriptions

ibuilder                 Functions to generate an entire image (or binary) to be downloaded into a platform

     image-builder       create a vendor specific project to generate an image for a platform

host                     Functions to view and control boards

     reset               performs a soft reset the specified board
     ping                performs a board ping, this is the simplest level of communicatio If a board responds to a ping it has been reset and the clock is running correctly
     board-programmed    reads the status of the FPGA 'Done' pin to determine if the FPGA is programmed
     program             Initiate a program sequence
     upload              upload a program file to the specified board
     sdb-viewer          display the contents of the SDB of the specified board

utility                  Functions to update and/or upgrade the nysa tool including adding new platforms and verilog packages

     init                creates the local nysa_projects directory, initializes the configuration files. To see the status of the current nysa setup run 'nysa status'
     utils               utility functions
     boards              list connected boards
     platforms           list platforms (installed and remotely available)
     install-platform    install a platform to the local system
     install-verilog-repoinstall a verilog repository to the local system
     install-examples    install FPGA Project examples to the local system
     status              print the status of the nysa tools

We will be using some of these functions to configure Nysa and communicate with either a physical or simulated FPGA board.

2.1.4. Initializing Nysa

Initialize Nysa

nysa init
nysa install-examples all

What is it doing? Nysa needs to do the following things in order to be set up correctly

  1. Create a directory where users can create projects (both core projects and image projects), by default it creates a directory in <home>/Projects/nysa_base on Ubuntu.
  2. Retrieve the default verilog repositories. They will be installed in <home>/.local/nysa/verilog/ directory. A list of packages that will be installed can be found here: Verilog Repositories
  3. Install all of the supported platforms. Currently a list of packages are stored here: Board Platforms
  4. Install examples for the supported platforms: Examples Projects

2.1.5. Talking to an FPGA

Run the following command:

nysa boards

You should get an output that looks something like this:

Scanning artemis_usb2... Found 1 board(s)
    Board ID: FTYNUFY9
Scanning dionysus... No boards found
Scanning sim... Found 11 board(s)
    Board ID: dionysus_spi_pmod
    Board ID: dionysus_sf_camera
    Board ID: dionysus_i2c_pmod
    Board ID: dionysus_dma_test
    Board ID: dionysus_stepper_pmod
    Board ID: dionysus_dma_controller_test
    Board ID: dionysus_nes
    Board ID: dionysus_i2s
    Board ID: dionysus_pmod_oled
    Board ID: dionysus_uart_pmod
    Board ID: dionysus_pmod_tft
Scanning artemis... No boards found

Nysa will query the host computer for any boards attached. It even queried simulated boards. Any of the above boards can be used in the following examples.

Note about implicit names When executing a command that interfaces with a board Nysa will attempt to determine which board the user is refering to. For example, if the ‘artemis_usb2’ board was the only board attached to my computer and I types nysa ping Nysa will send a ping down to artemis_usb2. The command nysa ping would be the same as typing nysa ping artemis_usb2 -s FTYNUFY9 (Assuming FTYNUFY9 was the board’s serial number). If there are multiple boards for a single platform the user will need to explicitly write the entire command.

As an example, if there were no physical boards attached and the nysa ping was issued, the following would occur:

$> nysa ping
Error: ping_board: Serial number (ID) required because there are multiple platforms availble
Available IDs:

The following variation to the command would resolve this: nysa ping sim -s dionysus_spi_pmod

$> nysa ping sim -s dionysus_spi_pmod
Pinging board... Received a Response! Ping a board

Ping is the simplest form of communication, the purpose of the command is to verify that the

  1. The communication medium is working (UART, USB, PCIE, etc...).
  2. The clock is working correctly.
  3. The FPGA is programmed.
  4. The most basic functionality is working.

Simulation Example, pinging the simulated board ‘dionysus_spi_pmod’

$> nysa ping sim -s dionysus_spi_pmod
Pinging board... Received a Response!

Physical Board Example (in this case artemis_usb2)

$> nysa ping
Pinging board... Received a Response! SDB Viewer

The SDB (Self Defined Bus) Viewer. When the Nysa image build tool creates an FPGA image it also generates a ROM that is embedded in that image. That ROM can be read and parsed to determine the behavior of the FPGA by the user.

Simulation Example, read/parse the SDB and display it on the command line

$> nysa sdb-viewer sim -s dionysus_spi_pmod
Important: NysaSDBManager:read_sdb: Parsing Top Interconnect Buffer
Bus: top        @ 0x0000000000000000 : Size: 0x200000000
Number of components: 2
     Bus: peripheral @ 0x0000000000000000 : Size: 0x04000000
     Number of components: 4
         SDB                  Type (Major:Minor) (01:00): SDB
         Address:        0x0000000000000000-0x0000000000000380 : Size: 0x00000380
         Vendor:Product: 8000000000000000:00000000

         wb_spi_0             Type (Major:Minor) (05:01): SPI
         Address:        0x0000000001000000-0x000000000100000C : Size: 0x0000000C
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000005

         gpio1                Type (Major:Minor) (02:01): GPIO
         Address:        0x0000000002000000-0x0000000002000008 : Size: 0x00000008
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000002

         1:2                  Type (Major:Minor) (00:00): Nothing
         Address:        0x0000000003000000-0x0000000003000000 : Size: 0x00000000
         Vendor:Product: 8000000000000000:00000000

     Bus: memory     @ 0x0000000100000000 : Size: 0x00800000
     Number of components: 1
         mem1                 Type (Major:Minor) (06:02): Memory
         Address:        0x0000000000000000-0x0000000000800000 : Size: 0x00800000
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000000

Physical Board Example (in this case artemis_usb2)

$> nysa sdb-viewer
Important: NysaSDBManager:read_sdb: Parsing Top Interconnect Buffer
Bus: top        @ 0x0000000000000000 : Size: 0x200000000
Number of components: 2
     Bus: peripheral @ 0x0000000000000000 : Size: 0x06000000
     Number of components: 6
         SDB                  Type (Major:Minor) (01:00): SDB
         Address:        0x0000000000000000-0x0000000000000440 : Size: 0x00000440
         Vendor:Product: 8000000000000000:00000000

         artemis_usb2         Type (Major:Minor) (22:03): Platform
         Address:        0x0000000001000000-0x0000000001000004 : Size: 0x00000004
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000000

         gpio1                Type (Major:Minor) (02:01): GPIO
         Address:        0x0000000002000000-0x0000000002000008 : Size: 0x00000008
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000002

         sata                 Type (Major:Minor) (14:01): Storage Manager
         Address:        0x0000000003000000-0x0000000003001000 : Size: 0x00001000
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000010

         dma                  Type (Major:Minor) (13:01): DMA
         Address:        0x0000000004000000-0x0000000004000095 : Size: 0x00000095
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:0000C594

         artemis              Type (Major:Minor) (22:02): Platform
         Address:        0x0000000005000000-0x0000000005000003 : Size: 0x00000003
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000000

     Bus: memory     @ 0x0000000100000000 : Size: 0x08000000
     Number of components: 1
         ddr3_mem             Type (Major:Minor) (06:03): Memory
         Address:        0x0000000000000000-0x0000000008000000 : Size: 0x08000000
         Vendor:Product: 800000000000C594:00000000 Other Host Commands upload

Upload an image file to a board. The format of the files is platform specific. For Artemis USB2 and Dionysus the format is a ‘bin’ file that is generated from the Xilinx bitgen tool.

Uploading a binary to artemis USB2

$> nysa upload top.bin
Info: upload: Found: Numonyx 2048 KB, 32 sectors each 65536 bytes
Info: upload: Erasing the SPI flash device, this can take a minute or two...
Info: upload: Flash erased, writing binary image to PROM
addr: 00000000, len data: 0016A674, len self: 00200000
Info: upload: Reading back the binary flash
Info: upload: Verifying the data read back is correct
Info: upload: Verification passed! program

Issue a signal that will reprogram the FPGA. This is platform dependent. For Artemis USB2 and Dionysus the command will pull the ‘PROGRAM_N’ pin low FPGA which tells the FPGA to read in the data from the SPI Flash ROM.

Issuing a program command

$> nysa program
Wait for board to finish programming...........................Done! reset

Many times FPGA images have a reset signals, this command will pusle the reset signal which resets FPGA’s internal state machines

$> nysa reset

2.1.6. Conclusion

This is all the high level utility functions of Nysa to learn more about how to: