Opal Kelly XEM3001

Today my Opal Kelly XEM3001 arrived. I’m hoping to use it for some high-speed signal processing, which I’ll write about when I have more to show for it. For the time being, I just wanted to mention that the FrontPanel software works on my MacBook Pro more or less, though I must point out that some of the samples are trying to find wave files in c:\windows, which is a cute bug, and luckily pretty harmless (these being just sample projects, after all). The sample code showed that it was possible to upload code to the FPGA (and fast!) as well as communicate to the device via USB.

Edit. Well, it works on my Mac, but not on Ubuntu. The supporting software (which is free as in beer) is shipped binary-only, and is built for Fedora 7. I found this thread where Opal Kelly responded to a user’s support question by trying to sell him a custom build.

Of course, I’d be elated if they’d just release the source, I can’t really expect everyone to wake up to the 21st century. Still, if they insist on this silly binary-only distribution, it’d be nice if they’d support the same distribution that Xilinx supports (ie, Redhat). It’d also be nice if they could find a way to ship without dynamic linking dependencies. *sigh*