NanoBoard 3000 - RGB User LEDs

Frozen Content

The NanoBoard 3000 provides a bank of eight 1204 size RGB LEDs (S1204RGBSDJC, from Sansen Technology Co., Ltd). Internally, each LED is comprised of three distinct chips – the LEDs of which provide the component colors Red, Green and Blue. The anode of each is commoned and brought out to a single pin, which is subsequently connected to the board's 5V power supply.

Visual output through a bank of eight user LEDs.

Each LED is wired to, and driven from, three separate I/O pins of the User FPGA device, which allows for the brightness of each LED to be controlled using a standard PWM Controller. The LEDs provide a visual output for signals in an FPGA design.

The 24 LED driver signals are made to be active High, by placing an inverter on each line – outputting a '1' on one of these lines will illuminate the corresponding color component of the associated LED (Red, Green, or Blue).

On the Altera variant of the NanoBoard 3000 (NB3000AL), each of these 24 lines are pulled down to GND through 4K7 resistors, ensuring that the LEDs do not light in a spurious fashion.

The 24 LED driver signals – taken after inversion – are made available at a standard 1.8" ATA/IDE interface, courtesy of a 2x20 FFC header, labeled 'SWITCH&LED IO'. This connector provides convenient exposure not only of these signals, but also signals relating to the board's generic switches. Four spare I/O lines (SPAREIO1, SPAREIO2, SPAREIO3, SPAREIO4) are also routed from the User FPGA to this connector.

1.8" ATA/IDE interface
connector for accessing
switch and LED I/O.

Location on Board

The RGB LEDs (designated LED18-LED25 and labeled '0' to '7' respectively) are located on the component side of the board, between the 'TEST/RESET' button and the 8-way DIP-switch. LED18 (labeled '7') is in the left-most position.

The 1.8" ATA/IDE interface connector (labeled 'SWITCH&LED IO' and designated J28) is located on the component side of the board, to the left of the User FPGA (U8) and below the backup battery for the board's Real-Time Clock.

Schematic Reference

The LED circuitry can be found on the following sheets of the motherboard schematics:

  • Sheet 32 (LED_RGB_SMDx8.SchDoc, entitled Visual Indicators)
  • Sheet 33 (LED_RGB_SMDx2.SchDoc, entitled Visual Indicators)
  • Sheet 36 (CON_NB3000_LEDKB.SchDoc, entitled LED and Button Ext. Connector) – showing the 40-pin connector from where the individual User LED driver signals are made externally available.

Design Interface Component

Table 1 summarizes the available design interface component that can be placed from the FPGA NB3000 Port-Plugin.IntLib, to access the RGB User LEDs.

Table 1. User LEDs port-plugin component.


Component Symbol



Component Name






Place this component to interface to the RGB User LEDs.

Although the 24 signals leave the User FPGA on separate pins, the interface component requires three 8-bit bus inputs. Connection to the component's bus ports depends on where in the design these signals are sourced. If, for example, you wish to monitor port output from an 8-bit wide port peripheral, you would wire directly from that port output to the LEDS_RGB interface component.

If, for example, you wanted to monitor 8 bits from a 32-bit data output, or if you wanted to bring single signals together from various device outputs, you would need to use an appropriate bus joiner device.

For more information on the available bus joiner components available for use in an FPGA design, refer to the Functional Classes – Bus Joiner section of the FPGA Generic Library Guide.

Further Device Information

For more information on the RGB LED (S1204RGBSDJC), refer to the datasheet (S1204RGBSDJC[1].pdf) available at

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