I have a Verilog module that is able to make my FPGA blink its LEDs at frequencies according to certain variables/constants I've set within the code. However, I would like to change these variables externally, so that I can alter the blink pattern on the fly without having to reprogram the FPGA every time. That's why I've considered trying to figure out how to transfer data to the FPGA board perhaps via the Ethernet port.
The FPGA board I have is the Digilent Nexys 3 with the Spartan-6 FPGA. I am using the Xilinx ISE with Webpack license to do designing and programming.
I've read some of the documentation, but a lot of it is hard to understand. From what I understand, I need to use create an Ethernet IP core. I did that on ISE by adding an IP Core as a source and selecting "Ethernet 1000BASE-X PCS/PMA or SGMII." Doing so created an .xco file in the design hierarchy. I clicked "View HDL Functional Model" and saw that there is a module defined along with many ports. The ports don't seem to match the pins listed in the Nexys 3 reference manual though. The Ethernet on the Nexys 3 board has the SMCS part number LAN8710.
Another method I've considered is using the Digilent Adept software to write data into the registers on the Register I/O tab. Apparently the range of values that can be input for the addresses is from 0 to 255 (8 bits). The problem is I don't know how to map these Registers onto the variables within the module (if that's even possible).
This is the first time I've been working with FPGA's (been at it for about a month), with little to no digital electronics background (I'm an undergraduate Physics Major), though I do have some programming experience as well as computer hardware and networking experience (CompTIA N+ certified). Anything info you can give to help a newbie along would be appreciated.