MCC + ChatGPT: Customized test equipment for all

Moku Cloud Compile makes FPGA programming easy, and ChatGPT makes it even faster

Although traditional equipment reliably solves most test and measurement challenges, it can come up short when supporting cutting-edge experiments or designing advanced products with unique requirements. Scientists and engineers may turn to simulation or processing data offline in software, but they can usually find higher-performance solutions through user-programmable FPGAs. These solutions enable users to add custom functionality to an instrument and run it in real time, interacting with real-world signals. However, despite their usefulness, these solutions can be complex and difficult to implement. Moku Cloud Compile (MCC) eliminates these barriers for users familiar with FPGA programming, allowing them to focus on writing their code with no boilerplate and no software download. But what about users with expertise in their domain but little or no FPGA experience?

Enter ChatGPT, the advanced natural language processing tool that’s recently been dominating headlines around the world thanks to its ability to interact with users in conversational dialogue form. Beyond conversing with users, ChatGPT can generate custom VHDL code that is compatible with Moku devices, bringing the power of FPGA coding to more users than ever before.

Together, ChatGPT and Moku devices create something much greater than the sum of their parts. For time-constrained users, MCC expertly handles one set of issues (like complicated FPGA programming tools, interfacing, and deploying to real-world hardware), while ChatGPT takes care of another set: writing the actual code. That’s right: MCC makes customization and FPGA programming easy, and ChatGPT makes it even faster. Let’s check it out, using Moku:Pro as an example.

Consider the code snippet shown in Figure 1 that sets the two outputs to the absolute value of the inputs. The user prompted ChatGPT with the required operation to compute, and ChatGPT did the heavy lifting.

Figure 1: Code to output the absolute value of inputs, generated by ChatGPT (left), and example input and output waveforms captured from the Moku:Pro Oscilloscope (right)

While this is a simple example, ChatGPT can write logic to compute math operations, logical operations, and more complex processing like moving averages and outlier rejection. Furthermore, ChatGPT suggests improvements and optimizations to existing code. For example, if the user wants to add additional functionality to provided modules, such as filtering or signal processing, ChatGPT can recommend modifications to the code that would achieve the desired result. A good starting point would be to review one of the many comprehensive examples provided by Liquid Instruments, and request that ChatGPT modify it to your needs.

Combining ChatGPT and Moku Cloud Compile opens up endless possibilities for engineers and scientists of all levels of HDL experience. By leveraging the power of natural language processing, users can create custom code that is both simple and effective, without needing any prior knowledge of digital logic design or programming. As test and measurement devices become increasingly powerful, the need for simpler and more accessible programming interfaces becomes more important. By using ChatGPT to generate VHDL code for use with MCC, users can accelerate their development timelines and optimize their workflow like never before. This incredible interoperability opens up new opportunities for researchers, engineers, and scientists to explore the limits of what is possible with Moku devices, and to push the boundaries in applications from quantum optics to electronics research.

To learn more about how ChatGPT and Moku devices work together, contact us for a personalized demo.