Hiya folks. I've been really interested in PLD/CPLD technology ever since I learned that I could replace tons of logic chips for address decoding and such with a single chip. I still have no experience with using them, though. It always seemed too expensive for me when I looked into it before, considering the programmers and all that stuff required.
But then I found out about chips like the ATF1500 from Atmel and the MAX 3000 from Altera, which are like a couple bucks, and have ISP capability. I read about these Byteblaster cables for programming them, which plug into the parallel port and can apparently be built with just a few bucks in parts. So it does in fact sound like this could possibly be affordable for me to be able to mess around with without worry of any expensive mistakes.
My question though is related to programming them. Do these chips still require high voltages to program them? I saw a reference to 14v in regards to the Atmel chip, and didn't know if that meant the maximum allowable voltage when in that mode or what. That's been one of the hurdles to me in terms of costs, because I can't afford the programmers and have no bench power supplies that can dump out these various higher voltages that traditional PLDs need. I would love to find a CPLD which can handle 5v inputs when in normal use, and use that same voltage for programming them as well. 3.3v would be okay too, but 5v is preferable for the types of stuff I want to work with. Old CPUs like the 6502, Z80, flash memory, etc. Mostly DIP components, even though I know these CPLDs would be at least PLCC, but I think I can deal with that.
Anyway, any info anyone can pass along to help a newbie in this field would be much appreciated!