Re: CPLD and FPGA designs

From: Scott McDonnell (
Date: 03/10/04

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 02:00:05 GMT

Thanks everyone for all the responses with information and real world
advice. I think I will probably work with CPLDs to begin with, just to get
myself familiar with the tools, synthesis, simulation, etc.. then I will
move on to FPGAs to implement in some of my real projects. I see Devry eSOC
boards on Ebay going fairly cheap that would give me a platform to start
making things happen. These are based on Altera Max Plus CPLDs and have dip
switches, 7 segment displays, JTAG interface, and protoboard pins.

Perhaps the best approach to that last bit would be to take a project I have
built with discrete logic and attempt to implement it in HDL. That way I
know exactly what to expect and what might be wrong if it doesn't work like
it should.

As far as languages - mostly, I am familiar with ABEL, but from the Verilog
and VHDL source I have seen, it shouldn't be too much of a leap to work in
those languages instead. I've been looking for a good reference book from
Amazon that will help ease the transistion.

Anyways, thanks again,
Scott McDonnell

"Scott McDonnell" <> wrote in message
> Ok, I am about to get myself a dev kit from Xilinx or Lattice to start
> working in HDL language. The know the basics of HDL programming, and have
> the materials to learn the rest, now I just need to start experimenting
> real parts.
> This question is about synthesis (and is a bit premature, I confess.) The
> only disadvantage I see to using FPGAs in a design is that some kind of
> must be attached to configure the FPGA. After I have a final, working
> and want a single chip solution, what is the next step? Do I send my code
> a vendor that makes masked parts? Is there a OTP FPGA? Are there FPGAs
> flash ROM built in?
> Sorry if these questions seem like newbie questions, but I have found tons
> of resources on HDL programming, but very little on actually going from
> software to hardware.
> Thanks for the help!
> Scott