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FPGA dev kit suggestion

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Ferroto:
Dave one of the things that always bugged me about FPGA and Microcontroller dev boards is the complexity of these dev boards.

For example the Cyclone II dev board http://www.altera.com/products/devkits/altera/kit-cyc2-2C20N.html Is loaded with loads of components that aren't directly related to the FPGA's opperation such as an SD card reader some other IC's.

Now on the other hand I found a dev kit on sparkfun http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8458 that simply contains an FPGA breakout board with all the pins brought up to headers, an eeprom for the config image and a programmer.

I think that the sparkfun kit is a better value to beginners because it's simple, and only consist of hardware necessary to program\operate the FPGA. Also eventually you'll have to build a project on breadboard and the fact that every pin on the FPGA is brought up to a header makes it really easy to breadboard the design.

I just wanted to bring this up since you mentioned in the live podcast that you develop FPGA dev boards.

mikeselectricstuff:
There are a whole range of FPGA boards available, down to several DIP modules (e.g. Enterpoint, Trenz) . However the reason many boards include other stuff is that FPGA apps often need it - RAM for example. In most cases this stuff can be disabled by holding a  pin or two, but it would be a PITA to manually wire, say a big SRAM. There are about a gazillion different devboards out there, just choose the one that suits your needs.

wd5gnr:
I personally like this one: http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?NavPath=2,400,799&Prod=S3BOARD

I have built two CPUs on these but they are simple enough that you can do quick things too (e.g., no dynamic RAM controller needed, etc.).

A few links of interest for that:
http://www.drdobbs.com/embedded-systems/221800122 - My one instruction CPU (also see related articles on the cross assembler and Forth compiler; all uses that board)

16-bit CPU design (available on OpenCores): -- even if you don't care, the front panel design for this is pretty cool if I do say so myself or see the monitor at

http://tutor.al-williams.com/pldx-1.htm - Tutorial for a kit I used to sell with a Xilinx part. However, with boards like the above selling for about $100 I couldn't keep selling what I was selling

A few other related tutorials at http://tutor.al-williams.com/

DavidDLC:
For $50 US dollars you can get this:

http://www.em.avnet.com/evk/home/0,1707,RID%253D0%2526CID%253D46501%2526CCD%253DUSA%2526SID%253D32214%2526DID%253DDF2%2526LID%253D32232%2526PRT%253D0%2526PVW%253D%2526BID%253DDF2%2526CTP%253DEVK,00.html

David:
Here's one I made. I'd like to think its fairly simple :)



Thread: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=135.45

Dave

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