The Papilio Arcade kit is meant to accurately recreate classic arcade games on a low-cost, modular, and Open Source FPGA board called the Papilio One.
Its VGA, stereo audio, and joystick ports provide all the basic building
blocks needed to recreate classic arcade games. Additionally, it is easy to add
new features such as SVideo, extra joysticks, MicroSD cards, and wireless
controllers through the use of "Wing" adapters.
There are several really exciting Open Source FPGA
based arcade projects out there that can be supported by the Papilio
Arcade kit. The Papilio Arcade kit aims to be a low cost
hardware kit that can consolidate all of the available projects onto
a common hardware platform. Many of the existing projects are not
seeing a wide audience because they are targeted for either
expensive hardware, obscure dev kits, a design that is not being
manufactured, or cannot be expanded. The benefit of the Papilio
Arcade kit is that it is low cost, Open Source, readily available,
and expandable with the Wings concept. Below are some links to the
cool Open Source Arcade projects that should be able to run on the
Papilio Arcade kit:
NES on an FPGA - This is a really cool project that is
targeted for an expensive development kit. The Papilio One
Arcade kit would be a great low cost hardware option for this
Atari 2600 on
FPGA - Awesome! A full Atari 2600 on an FPGA, this design
actually includes a hardware design with it but it is not clear
if the author is interested in manufacturing this hardware. The
Papilio One is readily available and offers easy expandability.
Games - No list is complete without the awesome work that
MikeJ has done over at FPGA Arcade, he has completed several
arcade games. He is working on a very a very high end piece of
hardware to support his designs, but the cost is going to be
very high. The Papilio Arcade kit can provide a lower cost
option for a wider audience.
- The ultra cool Uzebox project brings a ton of games and an
easy to use environment to make your own games. Just like it was
possible to implement an
AVR compatible soft processor that supports Arduino sketches,
it is very conceivable to adapt a FPGA soft processor that we
can port the entire Uzebox project to. We can even make it more
powerful to eliminate the current limitations of the Uzebox
hardware. Maybe Papilio Arcade kit would be a good hardware
upgrade path for the Uzebox.
What is special about using an FPGA to recreate
arcade games is that FPGAs allow all of the circuitry of original
arcade game motherboards to be shrunk down to a single chip! All of
the original digital circuitry can be accurately recreated using a
HDL (Hardware Description Language) such as VHDL or Verilog. The
best part is that all of the code is Open Source so you can download
the project and start experimenting, simulating, and learning how
this classic Arcade hardware works without being an FGPA expert. The
projects are ready to be downloaded and synthesized for the Papilio
One right now!
Please Note: The Pac-Man code currently
works with the Open Source
Papilio One 500K FPGA dev board. At this time the Papilio
One 250K board is not supported, it may be possible to cut down the
memory usage of the Pac-Man game to make it fit within the Papilio
VGA Wing (8 color Wing for now, can be upgraded
with future Wings)
Ready to run Pac-Man bitstream for
Papilio One 500K. (Sorry no bitstream for the 250K at this
time.) This bitstream contains the Pac-Man hardware and the
Open Source Ping Pong ROM from
copyrighted Pac-Man ROM is NOT included in this bitstream.
Ready to synthesize Pac-Man source code
for the Papilio One 500K. Start experimenting with the
Pac-Man source and become familiar how the internals of a
classic Arcade game works. No copyrighted ROMs are included
in this package.
Pac-Man is currently working and any game that uses less than 40K
of RAM should be portable. At this time Pac-Man is the only game
that has been ported and tested, the other games linked in the
overview section are still wide open for anyone who wants a fun
We have final hardware available and are hard at work on documentation.
The Papilio Arcade kit is available with through hole parts so anyone
can build it DIY. The features are:
3-bit VGA for up to 8 colors. (Expandable to 4096 colors with future
A stereo audio jack that is fed by a high speed Delta-Sigma DAC
A DB9 Joystick port that allows Atari 2600, Commodore 64, and many other
Joysticks to be plugged directly in. Classic Arcade joysticks can be easily
interfaced by wiring them up to a female DB9 connector.
There will be open Wing Slots to add features such as extra joystick ports,
MIDI inputs, SD cards etc.
Here is a look at the prototype hardware for the under development Papilio Arcade kit. We have the prototype to a point that proves it works but are looking for any input, suggestions, and help with finalizing this Open Source design. Visit the Papilio Arcade discussion forum for updates, new schematics, preliminary documentation, and everything else.
Here is a look at using a classic arcade joystick and buttons with the Papilio
The Papilio Arcade Kit is a DIY kit that
provides everything needed to recreate
classic Arcade games such as Pac-Man.
Open Source HDL projects provide the
hardware definition for study,
implementation, and extending.
The Papilio Arcade Wing provides, 12bit
VGA, Delta-Sigma Audio, and DB9 Joystick