Bonfire RISC-V CPU on Arty A7

I have a project in which I want to create a console in FPGA and was disappointed to find the Papillo project was pretty much dead and did not support the Xliinx 7 series. I found the Bonfire RISC-V (RV32IM) processor and decided this would be a great replacement for the ZPUino.

I recently purchased an Arty A7-35T board so I can run the Bonfire processor. I plugged in a Micro SD and USBUART Pmod. The Micro SD slot is for storing and running Lua applications and the USBUART Pmod is for debugging (more on that in another post).

I successfully flashed the bonfire_arty_rev_v1.2.0_elua_0.9.1_193-gb2bf8f8.mcs image.

The first issue I came across is the Configuration Memory Device is different on my board. Mine has a Spansion s25fl128sxxxxxx0-spi-x1_x2_x4 not a Micron mt25ql128-spi-x1_x2_x4.

The second issue I had was using minicom. I could not get any response from the board until I did the following:

  1. Press CTRL-A Z
  2. Select "o" (cOnfigure Minicom)
  3. Select "Serial port setup"
  4. Use F and G to set:
    • F - Hardware Flow Control : No
    • G - Software Flow Control : Yes
  5. Press ESC until you are back to the main prompt

So now I have successfully connected to my Arty running Bonfire processor! 😄