Good/Affordable Stater kits

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Hi guys, I was wondering if there were any good starter kits you know of
and where I am able to purchase them, I want to dip into VHDL a bit and
try out my creations on a FPGA, nothing too fancy as I'm no engineer,
just a hobbyist :) I saw one on Xilinx's online store for ~$50 US is
that a good choice?


Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
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Unless you just want to just run the canned demos,
I would suggest that you defer picking a device or buying
a board until you learn some vhdl language for synthesis
and simulation.

Work with modelsim or sonata until you have some synth code
and a working simulation testbench for your creation.

       -- Mike Treseler


Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
You may look at the Avnet's Spartan-3 promotion...The brochure claims
buying one demo board get one free later, at 95US$...but I don't know who
is elligible to that promo...

Best Regards,
Kelvin





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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
You may evaluate ActiveHDL . This is a extra user-friendly HDL
development/simulation environment and works with many synthesis tools
including WebPack XST. Sinthesis tools give an idea of how HW structure
looks like and programmable devices that can fit your design. When choosing
a board look at the devices it has.



Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
Look at

http://www.c-nit.net

for a Spartan-II board.

Sumit

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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
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Dear Sumit,

you already posted to this newsgroup that you have a protoboard for sale
as you have noticed your posting hasnt got any replies. Trying to push
your ad for your board again, doesnt make it better for your sales.

The previous replies to the original poster where good ones, specially
the $99 offer from Avnet looks really good, you get 2 boards for $99
(50,000 gates and 200,000 gates FPGAs). Also it defenetly is possible
to start without buing a board by using some free simulator.

Now to the original poster - the $49 Kits are usually PLD kits, they are
probably nice too, but if your budget allows for $99 - $149 price then
you should look for some board with 200,000 gates FPGA on board.

There are several such offerings, digilent is $99, this avnet offer is $99
most other 200,000 gate boards are little more than $99. there are many
100,000 gates board for around $99 (that c-nit board is just one of them).

About the avnet promo offer (compressd info accesible here)
http://xilinx.openchip.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2

I tried to buy it, the "checkout" was kind ok, but then I got to a page
that told me that they will contact me, what hasnt happened yet. So cant
tell if the offer is still valid and what are required qualifications.

Anyway you should do some shopping before buying there are lots of nice
kits available.

Antti

Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
So does this mean from now on if I reply to a query for
a proto/starter board, you will start beating me :)

Sumit

this newsgroup that you have a protoboard for sale
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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
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No - you can do whatever you want. This is what we all do actually. ;)
It was just an advice that posting ad with so small 'interval' doesnt
do much good. The original poster probably read your first ad already,
so reminding it once again did not increase your possible sales.
my 2 cents worth of advice.
and - I do not beat (hit) people or animals. Never had reason too.
but, the boy next door did hang himself to dead, and my last words
to him, well if they would have been different he could be alive
thats something I never know. [thats true story]

sorry Sumit, do not take critics so hard.
I have monitored your c-nit and wondered "what he is up too" ?
when I did see the proto for sale, then the question was answered.
hope it goes as planed with your venture

and for you more - your board is listed in our gallery for more
than a week http://xilinx.openchip.org/gallery
so we started to advertize your board already :)

antti

to the original poster - in the "gallery" are 36 Spartan II(E) boards,
4 Spartan III boards too

Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
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Your posting didn't contribute much to the group.  Most of
us had already seen your previous announcement/ad.

It would have been much more interesting if you had included
a list of the boards that you think of as compention and a quick
summary of which board is good for what/why.  Price?  I/O gear?
...

You can also use email if you don't have anything to contribute here.

Don't get me wrong.  I like announcements.  It's just that I
want engineering info rather than marketing blabber.

--
The suespammers.org mail server is located in California.  So are all my
other mailboxes.  Please do not send unsolicited bulk e-mail or unsolicited
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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
You might want to look at www.digilentinc.com
They have several boards under $150.00
and they're all supported by Webpack

Anna


x86asm wrote:

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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
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See http://www.altera.com/products/devkits/kit-dev_platforms.jsp for a
listing of Altera's development boards.  The $99 7K board and $195
Cyclone board are good choices for someone on a budget.  The Cyclone
board has a better (bigger & faster) FPGA on it, but for hobby
projects you likely want to focus at least as much on the board I/O
capabilities as you do on the FPGA on the board.  So it's good to look
at the list of what's on the board and see if it meets your I/O needs.

As other posters have pointed out, there's no shortage of dev kits at
pretty low prices out there.

The cheapest solution of all to get some experience is just to
download a CAD suite and start synthesizing & simulating without a
development kit.
You can get the web edition of Quartus for free from
http://www.altera.com/products/software/pld/products/quartus2/sof-quarwebmain.html .

Regards,

Vaughn
Altera

Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
Hi,

Does anyone have any idea regarding clock multiplication using all-digital
PLLs?
I am designing one system where I need to multiply clock frequencies on a
FPGA, but I would like to use all-digital components.
(without any analog components, preferably).
I trid a lot to get some good reference on the internet, but have failed
miserably. No one seems to have done it, but no one even said that it cannot
be done.
If anyone has relevant experience in this domain,  please suggest and
advise.

-Deepak
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Life is like a see-saw , with success and failure being
the two ends. Both of them come in succession, neither
of them is continuous.
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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
Hi,

  I've worked with ALTERA, XILINX, and ACTEL boards. I really liked
the XESS XSA  series boards (XILINX). I had the XSA-50 and I actually
used it for work, it worked pretty nicely.

  http://www.xess.com

  Xess has a big crowd of students and hobbists, and so, you'll find
enough info and projects to get started. The xess' boards come with
features like LEDS, SRAM, push buttons, Flash, CPLD, and others. If
you are looking for just the FPGA with access to as many free I/O pins
as you can get, try one of these boards http://www.burched.com.au /


  Have fun with whatever you decide to get,

  David

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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
Philip reminded me that there is a more comprehensive and up to date board list
on the FAQ at
http://www.fpga-faq.com/FPGA_Boards.shtml .  take a look there and see if there
is anything that meets your needs.

dave wrote:

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--
--Ray Andraka, P.E.
President, the Andraka Consulting Group, Inc.
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Re: Good/Affordable Stater kits
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There is an extensive list of boards listed at:

   http://www.fpga-faq.com/FPGA_Boards.shtml

Many of these can be programmed with the free sw from Xilinx and Altera.

Philip




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Philip Freidin
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Host for WWW.FPGA-FAQ.COM

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