I'm an embedded systems designer who feels that it's about time he started to learn about using FPGAs. I'm happy using PLDs, designed in something like CUPL but don't know where to start on bigger devices.
I only have a small budget for development tools and I'm in the UK.
From what I can see my best choice of manufacturer is probably down to Xilinx or Altera.
Can anyone suggest an evaluation board that would get me started?
I see that devices are sold in terms of their gate count. How efficient is a typical design? For instance, if I want to make a 16 by16 CPU controlled crosspoint how many FPGA gates will I need? I can see that I need 16 OR gates each with 16 AND array inputs for the output terms, 64 latches to store the selection and some more gates to do the latch address decoding. Is there any easy way to choose the right part?