CPLD design

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I need to do a quick design with a CPLD - estimate is 128 cells with 64 I/O
pins. I don't really want to buy design software unless it is cheap and I know
some of the vendors are doing limited spec free versions.

Are there any experts on here who have evaluated what is currently available
and could point me in the easiest direction? Thanks!

Re: CPLD design
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Altera and Xilinx both have freely downloadable tools that will easily
implement designs that size.  comp.arch.fpga is a better place to look
for tips on CPLD design, too.

Ben Jackson
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Re: CPLD design

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No expert I, but Lattice ISPLever and Xilinx Webpack spring to mind.
Both free and downloadable (though registration is a pain). Unless
you've got a lot of patience and fast broadband I'd try to dun a CD out
of the local sales force.

Paul Burke

Re: CPLD design

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and if that doesn't work, check out Xilinx's website - I believe you can
order a Webpack CD online, but it will cost you a small amount for


Re: CPLD design

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If you are looking for small quantities (so that component price is not
too important), then there are lots of manufacturers, and most have free
software.  You still have to buy some sort of jtag-type download cable for
programming them, however, and you might find the easiest and cheapest way
is to get hold of a starter kit or small development kit.

Personally, I'd go for Altera, because I think their tools are better than
the (old) Lattice software I've used, and the Xilinx software I tried out.

Re: CPLD design

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Not an expert.

What package ? What voltage ? what IO voltage ?

Xilinx coolrunner2

The coolrunner2 starter kit is US$50 from the xilinx online store
comes with software including webpack has a coolrunner2 256 macrocell cpld.

Can also buy it and addon modules from Digilentinc
who make it for xilinx www.digilentinc.com

Quite a nice board and easy to use.
Just get some faster oscillators (4 pin, dip8)

cpld matrix http://www.xilinx.com/publications/matrix/cpld_color.pdf
carefully read datasheets for current and other limits

Usually can sink more current than they can source.

The cheapest of the xilinx cplds in 128 cells probably the coolrunner2's.
Costwise for large cplds you may find it cheaper to use a smaller fpga
depending on the features you need and quantities.

spartan and spartanxl have 5V versions

Don't know about Altera cplds as have never used them


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