Cheapest way to learning/experimenting FPGA

I'm new to FPGA and would like to learn how to program/use FPGA in cost effective way. What would be your recommendation ?

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FGPA for Dummies ?
can't be more helpfull since I hate acronyms.
-- Regards ........... Rheilly Phoull
<fpga> wrote in message> I'm new to FPGA and would like to learn how to program/use FPGA in cost

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<fpga> wrote in message> I'm new to FPGA and would like to learn how to program/use FPGA in cost

Hi Fpga
Look at the xilinx web site at www.xilinx.com they have a number of development boards for CPLD and FPGA's plus you can download the software for their development and simulation for free. I have bought the Coolrunner development board and found it quite useful for relearning VHDL.
Naveed
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The Man With The Harmonica (formerly MNQ) wrote:

That board only runs with windosh ex-pee. Anyone do same thing for GNU/Linux?

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software
Hi 7
I thought Xilinx did their development software for Linux and Unix systems? check this link http://www.xilinx.com/ise/marketing/new.htm
Naveed
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The Man With The Harmonica (formerly MNQ) wrote:

The ISE Foundation and ISE BaseX versions run under Linux. However, they are not free ($650 - $2500). And for that price, you may want to evalute both Xilinx ISE and Altera's Quartus (which also runs under Linux) before deciding which is best for you.
The FREE ISE WebPack only runs under Windows.
I do, however, remember hearing of some people having success running earlier ISE WebPack versions under WINE in Linux. That may be a possible alternative.
Jason
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Jason Tang wrote:

Wouldn't be able to get that kind of expense authorized without draggin it through meetings.

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Look in comp.arch.fpga the thread Announcing JOLT - Yet Another Xilinx Programming Tool
there is now a tool for programming fpgas from linux without having to run wine. http://www.science-and-technology.nl/research/jolt / Supposedly works fine with the new xilinx spartan3 starter kit.
Will still have to run wine for design and implementing in webpack.
For those that don't know
fpga - field programmable gate array (large programmable logic chip) A programmable logic chip in a high density of gates. There are a variety of FPGA architectures including programmable logic blocks, programmable interconnects and switches between the blocks.
or
High density PLD containing small logic cells interconnected through a distributed array of programmable switches. This type of architecture produces statistically varying results in performance and functional capacity, but offers high register counts. Programmability typically is via volatile SRAM or one-time-programmable antifuses.
cpld - complex programmable logic device CPLDs are a class of programmable logic devices. They feature the speed, design simplicity, and predictability of PALs. Conceptually, they consist of PAL-like function blocks that can be interconnected through a switch matrix.
pal - programmable array logic
Wine - windows gui emulator for linux latest versions can run most of the xilinx webpack.
Xilinx webpack - free cpld / pfga software that runs on windows. nonfree versions run on windows , linux , solaris. http://www.xilinx.com/xlnx/xebiz/designResources/ip_product_details.jsp?key=DS-ISE-WEBPACK
Altera also have a free version of their software Quartus II web edition https://www.altera.com/support/software/download/altera_design/quartus_we/dnl-quartus_we.jsp
Alex Gibson
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Elektor electronics magazine May 2004 has an experimentors board forAttera CPLD
www.elektor-electronics.co.uk

cost
software
via
of
matrix.
http://www.xilinx.com/xlnx/xebiz/designResources/ip_product_details.jsp?key=DS-ISE-WEBPACK
https://www.altera.com/support/software/download/altera_design/quartus_we/dnl-quartus_we.jsp
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Alex Gibson wrote:

ip_product_details.jsp?key=DS-ISE-WEBPACK
dnl-quartus_we.jsp
What is this web edition from both companies!? Does it need web connection to run? Does it pass any design information back through this web connection? Sorry just being totally paranoid - no one likes their designs stolen.
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No its the free versions of their software that can be downloaded from their websites after you have registered with them.
Also can order a cd from xilinx or one of their local distributors.
No it doesn't need a web connection to run.
Alex
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In aus.electronics fpga wrote:

The book "Digital Design, Principles and Practices" by John F Wakerly (Prentice Hall) came as a package with the Xilinx "Foundation Series" student edition for something round the $100 mark. I don't know anything about current availability or price of this bundle but it was pretty good value at one stage. The license requires online registration and will expire after some time (12 months I think but don't quote me) also the student edition is a bit crippled, from memory there is a limit on the gate count. The book comes with no hardware, just software but the software knows how to drive a JTAG off your PC parallel port which you can build yourself.
UTS has a course where the students built up a kit that connected to the PC parallel port and it had a small 3.3v FPGA chip with some buffers to implement a simple JTAG. I don't know if the circuit diagram is available but maybe a bit of research or some other poster might be able to point you at suitable hardware.
No linux support in the edition I looked at -- I ran it under Win-98 and it worked pretty smoothly.
It gives you enough to learn about and play with but you would need something else for any real project.
    - Tel
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Try the following link https://digilent.us/sales/Product.cfm?Prod=jtag3
Naveed
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Only use the software that comes with the book if your running windows 98 (equivalent to ise4.1 or 4.2).
It doesn't work with windows 2000 or windows xp. Use the latest webpack, request/order a cd from xilinx or their local distributor. In Australia www.memec.com.au
There is no licnese fee for the software with the book and it doesn't run out. Neither does the starter license for modelsim xe you can get for free from xilinx. For details see http://xup.msu.edu /
On the board for the subject is a cpld xilinx xc9572xl as well as pic 16f877 and a pic12f675 as a programmable oscillator leds, seven segment displays,rotary encoder,max232, speaker and a 16x2 lcd. No the circuit diagrams aren't available.
One that is, is http://www.geocities.com/leon_heller/pld_starter.html only thing with this one is it is very easy to blow the cpld . Easier to use a two pin crystal. Should be able to use a xc9572 in this board as well. Would recommend putting a diode bridge and regulator on the circuit as well.
The xc9572xl's are quite cheap is you buy a few, approx around US$2 each.
xc9572 / xc9536 are 5V and more expensive xc9572xl / xc9536xl are 3V3 and a bit cheaper
Need to make a simple parallel port to jtag cable to program the devices.
Other sites are http://tutor.al-williams.com / www.fpga4fun.com www.digilentinc.com http://www.fpga-faq.com /
http://www.fpga-faq.com/ made old style arcade games in fpga's
Xilinx sell a coolrunner2 cpld starter kit for US$50 + p&h http://www.xilinx.com/xlnx/xil_prodcat_product.jsp?title sign_kit or spartan3 starter kit (200k gate fpga) for US$99 + p&h http://www.xilinx.com/products/spartan3/s3boards.htm
These are made for xilinx by Digilentinc.com
Alex Gibson
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Check this page https://digilent.us/Education/videos.html

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<fpga> wrote in message

Go to http://www.fpga4fun.com and look at the $50 Pluto board. That's probably the very cheapest way to get into using a real FPGA (not CPLD). There are also many nice little projects on the site that you can use with the board. Serial, LCD, encoders, video signal, Ethernet, digital oscilloscope (with addition of simple A/D board) etc.
The Dragon PCI board also appears pretty feature-packed and easy to interface to, compared to a lot of other PCI FPGA board vendors I could name who use really obscure connectors so they can sell you their own expansion modules.
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" http://www.fpga4fun.com " it is so cool!... It must be seen !... How one can resist not to order few boards from this site?
But unfortunatelly both the Dragon board and Flashy are out of stock. Will they appear on the shop again? (If yes, when ? How much they cost?) Would it be possible to connect Flashy to Dragon for faster data transfer via PCI (or USB) from FIFO to PC? How can the FIFO size be extpanded to 4K samples?

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fpga wrote:

I'm not personally into fpga's, but someone once recommended to me www.opencores.org as a decent resource for open source hardware.
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How about Xess ? http://www.xess.com /

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