hi friends.. a small query..

hi, am Pavan working on a project in India. I am stuck with a problem. i hope one of u can clear it. before continuing ill tell u my project in brief. I am basically a fresh graduate. i love working on microcontrollers. but i would like to know which one would be better for my application. my application goes this way. i need to collect analog inputs convert into a digital format using a A/D convertor and use the digital data to do some calculations and based on the value send a signal to the output which changes state from one to the other. also i need to interface display and some keypad. so i thought a microcontroller with internal A/D convertor and memory is sufficient. But now i ve heard about this FPGA concepts and i would like to know which would be better. And also please mention some of the advantages of using FPGA over the microcontroller. hoping to get an answer soon. Thanking you

yours truly Pavan.

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Hello Pavan,

Welcome to the embedded world, I'm sure you'll enjoy it :) One thing: please try to use proper english when you write in newsgroups and use proper capitalization. All the 'u', 'ill' and other abbreviations make your post look rather childish, and might confuse others, especially those readers that are not native english speakers. It is also a good idea to use a more informative subject line; something like 'FPGA vs microcontroller' would have been more appropriate.

That doesn't look too compicated on first sight.

For the project you described, a FPGA would probably be overkill, unless very high speed is required. Just pick a simple microcontroller with A/D and some I/O ports.

The biggest advantage over FPGA's is usually speed: you can solve your problems in 'hardware' rather then in software, make use of parallelization. Another big pro is flexibility: you can create your own peripherals, cpu cores, etc.

FPGA disadvantages are cost (a simple FPGA is still more expensive then a small micro like AVR or PIC) and complexity.

My two cents: as long as a simple MCU is sufficient, use that. Don't start with FPGA's until you need more then existing components offer you.

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There are plenty of 8051 variants that will do this job and free tools on the net as well. Check out

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for starters.


Reply to
Ian Bell

pavan, Once i come accross about Atmel AVR family of microcontroller.

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It have in build A/D converter.You can happly use it for your application.

Reply to
Tamilmaran S

A built-in A/D converter is usually good for up to 8 bits of resolution. At higher resolutions the internal noise from the rest of the chip starts to spoil the accuracy.

So: It depends on the requirements of the application. One should remember that a good moving-coil pointer meter is 2%, which is about 6 bits.

Often an external A/D chip is easier to protect against the digital noise, and the cost difference is minimal.

Tauno Voipio
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Tauno Voipio

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