Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?

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I'm just getting into FPGA design.  What are good FPGA vendors in terms of
good chips, good tools and good support?

Also, if you've used the Cypress PSoC mixed analog & digital chips & tools,
how did you find them?

- Chris



Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?

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Not claiming wide or deep knowledge of this subject but the Spartan 3
Starter Kit http://www.xilinx.com/products/spartan3/s3boards.htm is a
pretty good value.

Their Webpack software suite is on the CD with the starter kit or
available as a (large-ish) download.

Other good resources at http://www.fpga4fun.com/ and
http://www.digilent.us/index.cfm .

--
Rich Webb   Norfolk, VA

Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?
The two major vendors in the market today are xilinx and altera who
produce roughly equivelent devices from simple pals to system on a chip
scale fpga'a with all the design/simulation software provided.
There are differences in the design of the fpga's between to the two
manufacturers and my opinion is that xilinx produce the more
sophisticated devices with features such as 18x18 hardware multipliers
,multiple i/o standards and core voltages as low as 1.2 volts they are
however corespondingly more expensive.Altera devices are similar but I
always get the feeling that they are always one step behind in
producing new features.Other manufacturers are firms like
Cypress,philips etc


Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?

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philips ?
Philips sold their cplds to xilinx, see coolrunner2 and xpla / coolrunner
http://www.xilinx.com/cpld /

others include
Actel , Atmel , Lattice ,
for a list of manufacturers
http://dmoz.org/Computers/Hardware/Programmable_Logic/FPGA/Manufacturers /

Alex Gibson



Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?
Did I saw philips? sorry Ive got them on my mind at the moment:)


Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?
While Xilinx and Altera are probably slated as the "two major vendors",
there are still very good offering from companies like Actel
(www.actel.com), QuickLogic (www.quicklogic.com), and Lattice
(www.lattice.com).

Each have their own postiive and negative attributes.  Each have their own
flavors of engineering boards.  Some have higher speed units (Actel offers
parts approaching 500MHz speeds), etc.

Dave

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Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?

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The one that I know of that's really different is Actel, which produce
FPGA's based on non-volatile memories, either EEPROM or anti-fuse (the
others are all RAM).  The non-volatile aspect gives an advantage for
some applications because they are instant-on, unlike a RAM-based part
which must be configured.  They are also much more sensitive to the
needs of the military/space/aviation customer.

However, the design flow for an anti-fuse part becomes much more like an
ASIC, with much greater attention being needed for verification because
a boo-boo means burning and turning a chip, rather than just loading up
a new configuration.

--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?

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Start here
http://www.fpga-faq.com /

The two big vendors are Altera and Xilinx

Altera www.altera.com
free software quartus2 web edition

Xilinx www.xilinx.com
free software xilinx web pack

xilinx based boards

 Xilinx Spartan3 starter kit with a 200K gate spartan3 fpga. US$99
 Made by www.digilentinc.com  who make addon boards
including usb , ethernet, adc, other modules like Hbridges , breadboard,
wirewrap boards etc

www.xess.com also have boards (amoung many others)
http://www.burched.biz /


http://www.fpga.org/links.html
http://www.fpga4fun.com/links.html

Alex Gibson



Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?
Chris:

Atmel offers 32 MC, 64 MC , 128 MC CPLDs -ATF15xx Family for 5V,
3.3 V Applications.
If you need an 8-bit Micro + FPGA look no further than the FPSLIC ;
Atmel has a Tools Promo- 50% off for FPSLIC .
http://www.atmel.com/products/FPSLIC/
Hey if you go with a Xilinx or Altera FPGA, think of an Atmel
Configurator
to configure your SRAM based FPGAs


Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?

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While I love Atmel's AVR chips, their licensing costs for System
Designer or the FPGA syntesis packages are way too expensive for us
little guys as compared to similar offerings from Altera or Xilinx.


--
Rich Webb   Norfolk, VA

Re: Recommended FPGA Families & Tools?
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Get an STK594 $99 (or is it still half price?).
Write two app notes per year, and you have a free license for ever...
It will be extended for 6 months per app note

--
Best Regards,
Ulf Samuelsson
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