Author Topic: FPGA dev kit suggestion  (Read 10051 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline FerrotoTopic starter

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 289
  • Country: ca
FPGA dev kit suggestion
« on: May 24, 2010, 04:31:26 pm »
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.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 04:50:40 pm by Ferroto »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 13837
  • Country: gb
    • Mike's Electric Stuff
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 05:35:49 pm »
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.
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline wd5gnr

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 179
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 05:53:52 pm »
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/

 


Offline David

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 279
  • Country: gb
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 06:37:47 pm »
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
David
(United Kingdom)
 

Offline wd5gnr

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 179
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 06:54:45 pm »
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

Dave you do nice work ;-)
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 38043
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2010, 09:45:18 pm »
Yeah, all the extra peripherals on the board are common. I guess it depends on what you need.
If you are just experimenting then peripherals like an LCD and switches and led's etc are very handy.
The breakout board type is very handy if you want to embed into a project later of course.
The ones I develop are designed to be real easy to use at the software level, drag'n'drop type system development, and they are feature rich but fairly expensive. In fact the older design is probably the worlds most expensive development board which was originally around US$4K!
See: http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/410101.pdf
A newer version is much lower cost, but still not exactly hobbyist category:
http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/410102.pdf

The key here is the software. You get all the IP for various embedded micros and soft cores, c/c++ compiler, VHDL/Verilog, C-to-Hardware compiler, easy to use software stacks etc

I deliberately didn't link to their website or mention their name because the marketing bots are scouring the web and will find this thread...

Dave.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 10:56:52 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline charliex

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 342
  • Country: 00
  • Car Hacker
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2010, 10:38:22 pm »
other dave, that came out really nice.
 

Offline EEwannabe

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 10:49:26 pm »
Dave,

The 2nd link takes me to a nice common picture of a .pdf icon?

- Patrick
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 38043
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 10:57:23 pm »
The 2nd link takes me to a nice common picture of a .pdf icon?

Oops, fixed!
 

Offline David

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 279
  • Country: gb
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2010, 11:45:04 am »
other dave, that came out really nice.


Thank you, I was very happy with the result. A little disappointed with PCB Trains silkscreen though. Hopefully ash clouds won't prevent me from ordering from PCB cart again!

Dave
David
(United Kingdom)
 

Offline kc1980

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 99
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 10:29:22 pm »
I don't know if this is any good, but I got this one for $50.  It's based on a Spartan 3.  I'm planning a wedding so I have had ZERO time to mess with it.

http://www.xilinx.com/products/devkits/aes_sp3a_eval400_avnet.htm
 

Offline kc1980

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 99
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 10:30:28 pm »
Sorry. I just noticed that someone already suggested the Avnet one.   :(
 

Offline Zad

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1013
  • Country: gb
    • Digital Wizardry, Analogue Alchemy, Software Sorcery
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2010, 10:37:36 pm »
Sexy though it is, I wouldn't advise any beginner to go with the Altera Nios II Embedded Evaluation Kit. It looks great with it's big LCD, memory, and so on, but it is a bit of a swine to use. Not so much a learning curve as a learning overhanging cliff.

Offline Polossatik

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 295
  • Country: be
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2010, 10:40:59 pm »

A newer version is much lower cost, but still not exactly hobbyist category:
http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/410102.pdf

The key here is the software. You get all the IP for various embedded micros and soft cores, c/c++ compiler, VHDL/Verilog, C-to-Hardware compiler, easy to use software stacks etc

I deliberately didn't link to their website or mention their name because the marketing bots are scouring the web and will find this thread...

Dave.

you (helped) designing this stuff? I was drooling over that one a few months while ago until I checked my bank account and came to my senses....
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 10:45:08 pm by polossatik »
Real Circuit design time in minutes= (2 + Nscopes) Testim + (40 +120 Kbrewski) Nfriends

Testim = estimated time in minutes Nscopes= number of oscilloscopes present Kbrewski = linear approx of the nonlinear beer effect Nfriends = number of circuit design friends present
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 38043
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2010, 10:45:35 pm »

A newer version is much lower cost, but still not exactly hobbyist category:
http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/410102.pdf

The key here is the software. You get all the IP for various embedded micros and soft cores, c/c++ compiler, VHDL/Verilog, C-to-Hardware compiler, easy to use software stacks etc

I deliberately didn't link to their website or mention their name because the marketing bots are scouring the web and will find this thread...

Dave.

you (helped) designing this stuff? I was drooling over that one a while ago until I checked my bank account and came to my senses....

I do indeed. Welcome to (a good part of) my day job.

Dave.
 

Offline charliex

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 342
  • Country: 00
  • Car Hacker
Re: FPGA dev kit suggestion
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2010, 11:19:50 pm »
I need a dev board that does HDMI Input with HDCP support (i can add the license key) ->fpga -> 1Gbps ethernet or full PCI Ex 16 with DMA, designed any of those Dave?

the frame buffers would be encoded by the fpga, not raw in , raw out

needs to be able to encode minimum of 1900x1200@60fps >16 bit
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf