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?
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.
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)
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.
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
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
so we started to advertize your board already :)
to the original poster - in the "gallery" are 36 Spartan II(E) boards,
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.
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.
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