From: Bob Smith on
Scorpiion wrote:
> Hi, I have just started out with some VHDL in school and would like to have
> something at home to play with. I'm not sure of CPLD vs FPGA for my use,
> but CPLD feel more suited for smaller projects I guess. My question is how
> Linux is supported as developmentplatform?

You might want to consider a BaseBoard4 from Demand Peripherals.
I designed the board _specifically_ to be used with Linux. This
means that it does not use JTAG for download and so does not need
the windrv stuff. The board uses a USB-to-serial FTDI part and
so downloading code to the board is as simple as
cat myfpgacode.bin > /dev/ttyUSB0

There is a tutorial on how to install the Xilinx tools on Linux,
how to build a simple counter (i.e. "Hello, World!" for an FPGA),
and how to download and test the code on a BaseBoard4. The build
environment uses vi and make. Check it out:

The board costs $100 and has a Spartan 3E 100K on it. This is
neither particularly cheap or over-powered but it sure is nice
to use Linux, vi, and make for FPGA development.

Bob Smith

From: Scorpiion on
Okey, many answers, thanks! :) I will need to look this up a little bit
more. But all these "developmentboards", is it like a programmer in those
so I can program other chips than the one on the board? Or is it not like
with MCU where you have a separated programmer? At school we have that but
when I look at most homepages there are always these development boards...

So, is development board used much more that just a bare chip and a
programmer? Maybe because the chip's are so complex that they always need a
custom PCB? How much does a CPLD/FPGA programmer cost? Can a
microcontroller "program" an CPLD/FPGA? It should be able to do that I
think but I have never does, I wonder how usual it is? And a last question,
I have read that some chip has a special memory that get loaded into the
chip a boot, is that more common then that the CPLD/FPGA stores it's

(I think that CPLD usually or always store the instructions in them self?)


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