looking for FPGA pin header board

Strange request but I'm looking for an fpga board that pretty much only has an fpga (perferably xilinx because i've only worked with xilinx so far) a prom and just a whole lot of i/o pins that are easily accessible.

I've done all i can on my protoboard (digilent spartan 3 board) and now i need to move to a more finished device. Problem is designing such an intricate pcb (espically with bga) for someone who hasn't done bga stuff before but requires many i/o pins and have never done a board more than 2 layers is leaving me a little challenged. So I'm hoping a small board that will give me most of the I/O's in headers would be available, but as of yet I haven't found any.

Does any know any that exsists?

Thank you Keith Wakeham

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You probably want some ground pins in there too.

Is the Spartan 3 big enough for your needs? It's got quite a few I/O pins available. If you need more pins, can you do some pin sharing with external logic? Either a multiplexor for input signals, or a bank of registers with clock enables for output signals.

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Hal Murray

Do you mean you need a development board? I am using Memec-Insight board with Spartan-3 and it has a 160 connector. There are probably 140 pins available for i/o.


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I've just done two different boards with a bga each, and they are my first boards that are greater than single layer ;). There are a lot of electrical advantages that you lose if you go to a pin header design.

Honestly, BGA's aren't as hard as everyone thinks they are. Just follow the recommendations for footprint layout in the datasheet, and use a manufacturer with 5/5/10 tolerances. I've pinned out well designed BGA's [~256 pins] on two layers that way [didn't fab that one, impedances didn't match up], and less well designed BGA's on 4-6 layers.

Get a professional fab house to mount the BGAs for your prototype, usually costs us ~50 Canadian for bake + mount [on bare boards].

You'll also probably need gold immersion, depending on what the people who mount your BGA's want.

--David Carne

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Thanks for the info

Looking more and more like going to have to use a custom pcb anyway. The code were using is small so a spartan 3 is ideal but it just needs so many I/O's (just the way it has to work with the other components)

Hopefully I'll be able to get something worked out

Keith Wakeham

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If you let us know what CAD system you are using... there might be a foot print about that's already getting produced. I've been using Spartan 2e 150 and Spartan 3 200 / 1000 in ft256 and fg360 respectively.

The Spartan 2 footprint is tried and true for Protel 99SE.. all you need to do is to add the optional outer 2 rows of vias (it uses pre-routes)

The Spartan 3 is based upon the Spartan 2 version and boards are expected next month.


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Simon Peacock

You may want to take a look at the BurchEd B5-X300, which uses a Spartan-IIE (300K gates), and has lots of headers. It's US$226. The web site doesn't show dimensions for the board, so I don't know how big it is.

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-Dave Pollum

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Dave Pollum

Not exactly pin headers, but the zefants are worth a look:

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Uwe Bonnes

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