GECKO3 Homepage

Welcome to the GECKO3 Project homepage.

The GECKO system is a general purpose hardware/software co-design environment for real-time information processing or for system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. The GECKO project supports a new design methodology for system-on-chips, which necessitates co-design of software, fast hardware and dedicated real-time signal processing hardware. Within the GECKO project, the GECKO3main module represents an experimental platform, which offers the necessary computing power for speed intensive real-time algorithms as well as the necessary flexibility for control intensive software tasks. The GECKO3main module can be used for research and industrial projects. The complete GECKO3EDU system including additional modules with sensors, motors and mechanical housing is used for educational purposes.

All parts of this project are open to the public (Open Source) and are either licensed under the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons. Read the License article for full information.

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Our project files are public available from the homepage. Click the banner to access the project page at

Access the GECKO3 project page at

Further reading

  • The Project Description covers all modules with a short description.
  • The Standards page lists the technical standards defining the GECKO environment.

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Developer Blog

Final release GECKO3COM Firmware 1.0

We are proudly to announce the release of the firmware version 1.0.

It is considered as complete, fully functional and as we know bug free.

Configuration of the FPGA and communication is tested and documented see GECKO3COM for all information or follow this tutorial to start using it.

Download the Firmware EEPROM file:

changelog since version 0.5:

  • stand-alone mode fully working (writing to the spi flash and fpga configuration during $
  • added some more visual guidiance using the bi-color LED. we flash now the LED for all c$
  • old externel usbtmc driver confirmed to be working with linux 2.6.33

GECKO3COM Firmware 0.4-rc

Today we commited the release candidate for the GECKO3COM firmware version 0.4 to the opencores SVN.

Implemented functionality in this firmware version:

  • FW upgrade through USB DFU class
  • Works as a USB TMC device (test and measurement class)
  • Handles all mandatory IEEE488 and SCPI commands
  • FPGA can be configured through USB
  • Two different FPGA configuration files can be downloaded to the onboard memory
  • Loads one of these configuration files during power on

Next step is to implement the transparent data communication between the USB host and the FPGA. Most of the work for this is done in the Firmware, the IP core needed in the FPGA for the communication is under heavy development. Unfortenately we have to change the developer of the IP core, so we can't promise a release date yet.

When the tests for this version are successfully we will upgrade all GECKO3main modules in the Microlab and update the documentation.

· 2009/11/16 16:41 · zac1 · 0 Comments

Configure the FPGA in Matlab

The GECKO3main can now be configured with binary *.bit in MATLAB over the USB interface. The configuration time takes 6 seconds for the XC3S4000 whereas it takes 50 second over parallel JTAG with iMPACT! This is a speedup of 8.3 times!

More Information: Configuring the GECKO3main FPGA

· 2009/06/18 16:33 · kll1 · 0 Comments

FPGA configuration works

This is the official release of the firmware version 0.3.

FPGA configuration with *.bit files works. header is analyzed and the fpga type is compared to the fpga type value stored in the eeprom. also the file length reported in the header file is used for configuration, no need to adjust this value. just initialize the correct fpga type in the eeprom after production and anything else works.

tested with usb 2.0 high speed and 1.1 full speed; tested with the GECKO3main prototype (1.5 mio gates) and a mass production GECKO3main (4 mio gates)

· 2009/04/07 17:47 · zac1 · 0 Comments
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