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Re: Questions from newbie
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It's very hard to give you an example without knowing what kind of
background you have.  

I guess the easiest answer to this would be: wherever a designer in
the 80s would have used lots of individual logic gate ICs from the
74xxx series connected in some clever ways, today's designer will use
an FPGA and program the clever connections into that.

And just like, in the very early days, people would sometimes go an
build an entire CPU out of 74LS00 gates, for educational or even
practical purposes, you can now go ahead and connect the tens of
thousands of 74LS00 gates found in an FPGA to form a CPU.

So, get back to your original question: a FPGA can become a CPU, if
you want to, but a CPU usually can't become an FPGA --- it can execute
a program that simulates the behaviour of one, though.
--
Hans-Bernhard Broeker ( snipped-for-privacy@physik.rwth-aachen.de)
Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.

Re: Questions from newbie

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I'm not new to FPGA's, but I am new to using them in a hobby environment.
My prior experience was though commercial packages such as a research
department of a largish company would have.

What's needed to be able to program an FPGA from the point of view of a
hobbyist sitting at his computer at home, with a severely limited budget
(only what he can scrounge away from the kids and his wife's shoe shopping)?


Fredderic

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