EECS 373 Lab 1: Introduction to the Hardware Development Tools



See posted lab schedule for due dates, in-lab, and post-lab due dates.


In this lab you will learn to:

  1. Use Microsemi's integrated design environment (Libero SoC) to implement a simple logic function in the FPGA hardware.
  2. Observe logic signals with a simple low cost analyzer Logic Analyzer, a high end Logic Analyzer and Oscilloscope. 

This lab reference guide "Libero Project Flow Reference Guide" is quite lengthy because of the many screen shots and detailed procedures. This is a necessary introductory phase to get you acquainted hardware development tools. While the document is long, you should be able to finish the In-lab section within the lab period. You may also get a good start on the Post Lab assignment, but will likely have to finish outside the lab period. You will be given 24 hours access to the lab the first lab period via keypad entry so that you may use the lab at your convenience. There will also be additional supported open hours that will be posted on the course web page.

Pre-Lab Assignment

There is no Pre-Lab assignment for this lab. The lab requires no preparation. Consider reading over the Libero SoC tool flow tutorial. You will spend most of your in lab time doing this exercise. 


Do the Libero Tutorial posted with the lab. Be sure to do all the parts. It will provide you with everything you need to do the post lab. Don't hesitate to get started on the post lab once you are finished with the tutorial and basic instrument review. 


You may (should) work with your partner for the Post Lab. Only one submission for each assignment is necessary. The assignment is due within the first hour of  your next home lab section.  The demonstration can be made during any staffed lab before the deadline. All other materials should can be submitted via Ctools before the deadline. 

Post-Lab assignment 1: Hardware Design

Design and Implement hardware using Verilog and the 100 Mhz system clock  that will sequentially blink LEDs 0 - 7 back and forth. See example video.  Each LED should only be on for 0.25 seconds.

1) Be sure and read over the common pitfalls section at the end of the Libero Tutorial.
2) Don't forget to check the synthesis warning by opening Synplify as shown in the Libero Tutorial. Some warning such as implied latches will keep your design from working.
3) Consider just blinking one LED to start to make sure your counter is working.

Print the demonstration sheet and have one of the lab staff verify the functionality of your hardware. Be sure everyone in your group is included on the demonstration sheet. The lab instructor will collect the demonstration sheet at this time.

Post-Lab Assignment 2: Digital Signal Observation

Probe one of the LEDs with the Saleae and  verify the on time.  Submit a screen shot including the period measurement.

Probing LED 0

Reference the Basic Lab Equipment Introduction for specific information on how to use the instruments.  The Saleae logic analyzers are not included with your kits or the stations. You will have to get one from the lab instructor.

Submit a screen shot with your post lab.

Post Lab Assignment 3: Observing Switch Bounce

Observe the switch bounce for one of the push button switches on your kit with the oscilloscope. Reference the Libero tutorial to probe the switch and the Introduction to the Lab Equipment for information on triggering the scope. Safe a screen shot of the scope to a USB drive and submit it with your post lab.

Submit a screen shot of the switch  bounce with your post lab.

Accessing the Lab and Support outside of your Home Lab Period

Typically, you will not be able to complete your lab during the home lab time. Most labs can take 2 to 4 times the duration of one home lab period. You may attend the other home lab periods if there is room. Home lab students have priority during their home lab period.

Alternatively, there are several open supported labs provide through out the week. See the supported hours schedule posted on the home lab web page for times. You may attend any open lab. 

In addition, you may use the lab anytime there is not a scheduled conflict.You will be given a keypad entry code to the lab so you can use the lab any time other lab sections are not meeting. Be sure and read the unsupported lab policy before using the lab. There are important lab safety issues documented in the policy. 


LED, SWITCH, USER I/O Pin-out Quick Reference

Here are the pin numbers of the SmartFusion chip that are connected to the physical LED1-8, SW1,2 and user IO 1-5. The figures are specific to the kit and can be found in the kit reference manual.

Note, the LED numbering in the following figure begins with one.

LED and Pushbutton Switch FPGA Pin Numbers