Electronics > FPGA

Good intros to FPGAs?

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Infraviolet:
I've never done anything with FPGAs before but feel I ought to learn about them at some point.

Can anyone recommend good online resources for learning about their principles, and recommend a brand of FPGAs which are compatible with linux-compatible open source software toolchains (none of the software I'd need for programming them would be anything which can't run on a linux PC or which needs some connection to a remote server, even just for an initial activation, which might go down) and which offers fairly decent availability on a wide variety of different chips/boards. Effectively like arduino, but for FPGAs.

free_electron:
There are no open source toolchains except for a limited one or two device from latticce. and those toolchains are made by external people (not latticce) whoe reverse engineered the bitstream.
The guts of an FPGA are the secret sauce owned by the device maker.

Learn verilog or vhdl. the rest is just sending it through the synthesizer. The source verilog or vhdl is portable , the bitstream is not.

Someone:

--- Quote from: Infraviolet on July 01, 2022, 11:09:15 pm ---Effectively like arduino, but for FPGAs.
--- End quote ---
There is nothing like this for FPGAs. There are some higher level abstractions such as Migen/LiteX which are trying to move into that space but they still end up using the vendor tools (not open source) to actually implement the design.

Do you like programming all your own libraries in assembler/C ? If no, FPGAs are probably not for you, its even lower level with fewer instructions/libraries/hard peripherals.

ataradov:
Yeah, forget about OSS software for FPGA. Lattice tools don't need an internet connection on their own, but they do require you to request a licence via a web site every 6 months. Others are very similar.

Infraviolet:
So unlike a lot of microcontrollers you're saying its not just the guts inside the chip's black resin body they keep secret, but also the protocol for "flashing" it and the compilation chain?

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