Let’s face it. We are all clueless about a lot of things. And I am still considering myself clueless about FPGA development. Even nowadays FPGAs are not necessarily part of everyone’s standard repertoire. Even experienced embedded system engineers often leave this part to the FPGA expert.
Don’t get me wrong: If you can avoid FPGAs, stay away from them. Programming your embedded system in your preferred language will always be easier than writing and testing reliable FPGA code. However, if you can’t avoid them, FPGAs offer fascinating flexibility and allow you to implement hardware with incredibly fast response times. Just a few years ago people developed their own silicon for those applications.
Although I consider myself a decent hard- and software developer, I was pretty clueless how to program a modern Xilinx FPGA. I found that getting into FPGA programming was surprisingly hard. The following tutorials are a diary of my endeavour into programming the Zynq FPGA from Xilinx.