Carte Blanche is an Apple II FPGA based peripheral board that allows existing and new Apple II cards to be recreated and used in Apple II, II+, IIe, IIGS and III systems. The programmable Xilinx XC3S250E or 500E provides a plethora of logic resources to capture the most complex of Apple II expansion card designs, or to accommodate complex new technologies that can be brought to the Apple II to continue its useful and interesting life. Additional expansion is provided by the on-card standard Nanoboard style peripheral board, giving the card a range of existing technologies ready to simply be plugged in. Carte Blanche  comes with standard common peripherals on board, which includes an SD IO Card, memory, Clock, Flash, IDE hard disk interface and SVGA interface. Carte Blanche expands the soft Apple concept by not only making available an easy medium for reproducing existing designs, but also by bringing powerful new peripherals to the Classic Apple II. Carte Blanche is set up, designed and debugged in the soft Apple development environment, before becoming a complete independant Apple II peripheral board ready to be plugged straight into a real Apple of your choice.
Carte Blanche FPGA Peripheral Board
The Nanoboard, as part of its design environment, has available various peripheral boards that can be used with Carte Blanche. Some examples of boards available to use in this way are PB12, an audio/video card; PB02, a Mass Storage/Compact flash/SD card; PB05, a wireless Ethernet, Zigbee and Bluetooth board; PB03, a USB, 10/100Mb Ethernet Interface and IrDA board; and PB13 an HDMI Interface board.


Carte Blanche features:



Carte Blanche has been completed and has had several examples built to demonstrate the capabilities of the board. Examples include the popular Microsoft Z80 Softcard, the Stellation II 6809 Mill card and a standard VGA video card.


A Field Programmable Gate Array-based Apple II compatible peripheral board
Carte Blanche without additional peripheral board or SD card.
Carte Blanche - AD 3D visualisation confirms the board is ready to bring to reality and commence software development.
Testing in an Apple IIe confirms bus transceivers isolate Carte Blanche during FPGA bitstream loading.
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A 65C816 tests onboard memory cache and bus transceivers.
Altium Project Archive
FPGA Configuration Bitstream
Altium Schematic and PCB Archive
SOURCE
BIT FILE
SCH+PCB
Carte Blanche and the Apple II Slots board in an FPGA based Apple II motherboard.
Carte Blanche is capable of recreating existing cards as well as enabling new peripheral cards. We are exploring new options and the capabilities of Carte Blanche as we develop test applications and demonstrations for the card. For a summary of Carte Blanche's ability to replace existing cards please see "Carte Blanche AII replacement cards.pdf".
For help, guides and tips on setting up Carte Blanche, information on Using Carte Blanche & JAT, Re-programming Carte Blanche's onboard Platform Flash using JAT, experimenting with Carte Blanche & a JTAG adaptor, and Other Tools are all available from these links.


Carte Blanche is batch manufactured with either 250K or 500K gate FPGA devices.
The Carte Blanche member list can be found here;
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=rzSV3VnLs18ySKyghWCy4-w&single...

Manufacturing status is maintained here;
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=t3hW_HYbvbQ7_46uezV08kA&output=html


Carte Blanche assemblies ready for diagnostics and programming.
Final Carte Blanche assemblies going through burn-in testing.
Although Carte Blanche schematics and source documents detail a particular set of IO peripherals as a fixed standard, Carte Blanche is able to program most of its IO to be any of the common logic interfaces available today. For example, through software programming an Input can be reconfigured as an Output or vice versa. Expected logic signalling levels are selectable from 3.3V, 2.5V and 1.8V (for speed only). Output drive current, such as 16mA, 12mA, 8mA etc are also selectable. Additional features such as programmable PullUp resistors, or PullDown resistors are available on all IO's, making interface and experimenting easy.

For information regarding Carte Blanche's FPGA capabilities, see the following reference documentation from Xilinx;

DS312 -         Xilinx Spartan-3E FPGA Family Data Sheet
UG332 -         Xilinx Spartan-3 Generation Configuration User Guide
XAPP453 -     The 3.3V Configuration of Spartan-3 FPGAs

An example would be the Carte Blanche SVGA port, which is configurable. To the FPGA it is a group of generic pins capable of being whatever the designer would like them to be. SVGA, VGA, PS2, I2S Audio, SPI, I2C, PWM, JTAG, UART, SD Card, etc or a combination of any of these. As long as there are enough physical pins on a particular connector to interface to the device you wish to connect to, then the FPGA will be able to accommodate the right electrical setup and direction for most pins. The only exclusion is for 5V devices, which require some form of level translation. This can be as simple as a resistor in most circumstances.

Carte Blanche Add-On's

Delta Sigma Audio/Video board (Prototype)
Delta Sigma Audio/Video board
ASIC Adaptor board

To visit the Carte Blanche IO Interface Gallery, click here.

For other examples of designs that configure Carte Blanche's IO for various different interfaces, see the downloads page where you will find diagnostics and demo's for both Carte Blanche 250 and 500.



Carte Blanche and the Apple II slots board.Together they provide all the required resources to implement a complete 5V only Apple IIe that is 100% compatible with all Apple peripheral cards.
Carte Blanche with the ASIC Adaptor board setup as a Ethernet Interface.
Proof of concept in development. Modular CB configured with an internal mass storage USB key and an external USB hub.