I am a hobbyist, actually an embedded software engineer trying to learn about verilog and FPGAs, and would like some advice.
I'm thinking of buying either the Xilinx Spartan 3 starter kit or the Digilent Spartan 3 board with a larger FPGA (say, the 400 instead of the Xilinx one with the 200). It's the same board, but Digilent allow me to order a larger part.
Do I need a larger FPGA? I can't answer that... but I figure it's like RAM... better to have too much and not need it than need it and not have it. What am I going to do with it? My first project will be to make an LED flash. Beyond that, I have no idea, but the Digilent-built boards have lots of ins and outs to play and learn with.
The Xilinx starter kit comes with ISE6.1 Evaluation, WebPack and also the EDK evaluation and MicroBlaze license. The Digilent board is just a board.
I'd like to use the latest tooks (WebPack 7.1), and use the MicroBlaze core, but I'm not a professional, don't have a rep and don't have a budget.
If I buy the Digilent board, can I just download the EDK, or is it something Xilinx charges for so I'd be better off buying the Xilinx starter kit?