Author Topic: Programming ATF16V8B PLD Devices...  (Read 10154 times)

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Offline DarkPrince

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Programming ATF16V8B PLD Devices...
« on: July 27, 2013, 02:43:12 am »
Hey everyone!

So with Dave releasing his FPGA videos lately, it reminded me that among many other components that were going to be thrown out, I acquired probably 40 ATF16V8B-15PC devices still in tubes. From research they are old school PAL-like devices (though interesting mouser still sells them at $1/pcs.).

So a bit back I looked into a bit and noticed the programming specification isn't open. So am I correct that those (obsolete) universal programmers are the only option? Has anyone scavenged up the programming algorithm? I really have no official plan for these devices so unless it is a modern universal programmer (USB based) I don't have too much enthusiasm to bring these to life. I just figure if possible it'd be fun to put them to use rather than let them sit in their tubes.

Programmer requirements are due to my hardware being modern (Windows 8, no LPT or serial ports) so "old-school" programmers would have questionable characteristics. May be able to bring back an old tower with LPT and XP if absolutely required.

Again, this is just for the heck of it... I've used Xilinx Spartan-6 before so this thing is peas in comparison. I have that engineer's curiosity to make it work.

Also, I wanted to add it isn't uncommon for me to write on one microcontroller to program another device. Exactly how I got into PICs... BASIC STAMP II programming the PIC before I got my PicKit.

Thanks everyone.

- Craig
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 02:45:57 am by DarkPrince »
 

Offline Short Circuit

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Re: Programming ATF16V8B PLD Devices...
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 03:43:29 am »
Should be supported by modern universal programmers too.
One of the first ebay pics has it on the device list;
http://www.ebay.com/itm/top853-USB-universal-programmer-EPROM-MCU-GAL-PIC-/160378432470?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25574cabd6

All those devices supported for less than 50 bucks. Back in the day (90's), we spend twice that amount on homebuild programmers that could only do PAL, or GAL, or EPROM...  :o

Ah, I see these are electrically erasable. From memory I thought PAL's were OTP and GAL's erasable.
But these parts are something in between. Otherwise fun would be over rather quickly.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Programming ATF16V8B PLD Devices...
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2013, 04:52:57 am »
I'm pretty sure that ATF16V8 is just Atmel's version of a GAL16V8.  That "16v8" part is pretty distinctive (and in the PAL/GAL/EPROM/EEPROM/FLASH arena, it was pretty common for same-functionality parts from different vendors to have (slightly) different programming algorithms.  All the GAL series are eraseable.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Programming ATF16V8B PLD Devices...
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2013, 08:22:30 pm »
And you can do a lot of stuff with these. Its a pity they have become mostly obsolete. Sometimes I used these for handling (push) buttons and simple logic functions in places where a microcontroller would be overkill. The biggest advantage is that these can't have a software crash  O0
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline DarkPrince

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Re: Programming ATF16V8B PLD Devices...
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 05:42:51 pm »
I'm pretty sure that ATF16V8 is just Atmel's version of a GAL16V8.  That "16v8" part is pretty distinctive (and in the PAL/GAL/EPROM/EEPROM/FLASH arena, it was pretty common for same-functionality parts from different vendors to have (slightly) different programming algorithms.  All the GAL series are eraseable.

Yeah I have noticed correlation between different device manufactures having the same part number minus a differing prefix. Unfortunate that the programming method was altered, though with how locked down the method is I guess that is the only way.


And you can do a lot of stuff with these. Its a pity they have become mostly obsolete. Sometimes I used these for handling (push) buttons and simple logic functions in places where a microcontroller would be overkill. The biggest advantage is that these can't have a software crash  O0

Yeah that is exactly why I am still interested even if old. What the heck, I got a bunch and if I can use them then I can use one of these in replacement of some logic devices especially if a variety of them is necessary.

Overall thanks everyone. I will look into the universal programmer approach as Short Circuit said. I'll hunt for some affordable yet versatile (haha, joke, I know) programmers that will come in handy for more than this device. Unfortunate that it was so locked down. Granted once a programmer is acquired it'd be possible to maybe determine the algorithm but I don't think I will be bothered. Limited value to knowing it if I have a compatible programmer. :P
 

Offline jeroen74

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Re: Programming ATF16V8B PLD Devices...
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 05:10:26 pm »
The only problem with these GALs is that they are extremely power hungry. A modern CPLD is a lot more flexible, cheaper, and needs a lot less power and can be programmed in-circuit.
 


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