Electronics > FPGA

Long time since I've played with PLD's.

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Guys, it has probably been 30 years since I played with PLD's and then moved over to microcontrollers and never looked back.  I am now, however, looking back and want to know what the latest low-cost, and not nearing obsolescence, types of platforms I should look at.  I want to build a first fault detector for a security system to indicate which monitored window or door was the first to trigger.  Lets say 12 input signals where only the first to fault would latch. This is simple "AND, OR, S-R type logic gates I could have done in a PLD back in the 90's but of course all that stuff is obsolete and I would prefer to do this on a single chip instead of discrete logic chips. I could probably still do this within the microcontroller using port-pin interrupts, but I'm just curious about dabbling into PLD's again.  Is there some super-simple logic drop, drag, and wire it up software that downloads into a PLD?

All mainstream vendors obsoleted and removed visual design tools a long time ago. Anything you find for that would be old.

At the same time, I don't understand why your thing could not be trivially solved by an MCU. There is no modern low level PLDs and even smallest FPGAs are a complete pain in the rear with proprietary IDEs and license updates. I'd stay away from them unless the task absolutely can't be solved with an MCU.

Yes, I'm getting a sense of that in the market.  And severe shortages of this type of component.  I could do it "old school" with a FIFO shift register, but I just thought if there was something cool out there to learn it might be fun.

Why do you need a shift register? Get an MCU with >12 pins and connect your sensors directly.

If you really want low end FPGA look at Lattice or Gowin. Both have low density, low pin count FPGA. Some Lattice devices are even intermittently available for purchase right now.

The market has very much moved to micros.  I tried dipping my toes into the low end of programmable logic several years back only to discover it looks expensive and legacy.  Also there seems to be a culture of multi-hundred-dollar programmers & proprietary software, something which at least some micros have moved beyond.

Some micros even have some in-built programmable logic as a feature.  I suspect that's the cheapest & easiest (but totally "wrong") way of getting it nowadays.


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