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coetool is a cli or gui program to convert from .coe files (VGA memory map for a ROM in an FPGA) to image files and the other way around, load an image and generate .coe file. Also it is possible to zoom images, export (both .coe file and image) and view raw bytes. #uayor #4fun

It is free software, cross-platform (same code runs on Linux, Windows and MacOSX), developed using python3 and PyQt5, and looks like this:

CLI interface:

        jaxvi@piv:~/DEVEL/COETOOL$ python3 -h
        usage: [-h] [-c FILE FILE]

        coetool: convert from .coe file (VGA mem) to image file and vice versa

        optional arguments:
         -h, --help            show this help message and exit
         -c FILE FILE, --convert FILE FILE
                                convert from IN_FILE to OUT_FILE (supported output
                                formats: bmp, jpg, png, and coe )

        Example: coetool --convert rom_vga.coe outimage.jpg

GUI interface:

coetool shot


Basically I wanted to generate my own .coe file from an image in order to configure a ROM for the FPGA board we use in laboratory: Nexys 2 Spartan 3 FGA.A .coe file is used when working with Xilinx in a variety of ways, in my case I was given a romvga.coe file to test, this is: create ROM, load to FPGA + some VHDL code to control etc... and generate VGA signal to show.

The main part in this file is a "MEMORY_INITIALIZATION_VECTOR" providing the bytes of the img data we want to show via VGA. I wrote a code to read this file, take bytes string and create a bitmap to show or to save as image file. Each byte represents a pixel in RGB332 8 bits indexed format: 3 bits Red, 3 bits Green and 2 bits Blue. No more and no less.

The tricky part is the conversion between image formats, because you usually have a RGB 24 bits or 32bits, with alpha channel, compressed, header stuff etc.. (see Lenna.png example) and need a plain bitmap, in fact the bytes array with the image data. I use both PyQt5 and PIL as graphics libraries to deal with that and a custom palette needed because of the indexed 8 bits format. You'd rather see the code...

Show me the code!


Download coetool-v01.tar.gz source code.

License? GPL
Yes, I use git for development but let me just link here a tar.gz
Yes, this runs on Linux, Windows and MacOSX, see the screenshots
No, I haven't built any package (in fact I have, but not sure if they will run properly :s #to-do #pain) denpendencies: python3 + PyQt5 + PIL ...

for example in Ubuntu, open a terminal and try:

sudo apt-get install python3-pil python3-pyqt5
wget && tar -xvf coetool-v01.tar.gz && cd COETOOL-V01


Linux Debian jessie/sid x64 Windows 7 pro x32 MacOSX 10.8.5 x64 FPGA VGA signal on stage!
coetool shot coetool shot coetool shot coetool shot



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