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January 6, 2007
News - Enginursday: Exploring th…
about 3 years ago
Two days ago it was $59 at amazon, now $69
News - So You Want to Learn FPGA…
about 4 years ago
And as far as the verilog/vhdl side there are free tools out there that run on linux and windows that any one can dive in and start using. Understanding that you dont need to see an actual led light (or actual smoke come out of the part) to learn something, you can do huge, complicated designs, just like the professionals do it. That last step of taking your design to silicon has a learning curve sure, but you can divide those learning experiences up on these natural boundaries. I have been working in the silicon industry for years and along with the pay-for tools we use the free tools quite a bit (verilator and icarus and gtkwave), as we do our software development on chip/board simulators so that when silicon arrives we are mostly ready to go.
I dont see the logic is all that hard, counting from 0 to 1, AND, OR, NOT covers about 99% of it. The tools are proprietary and generally not at the quality of the equivalent software toolchains. That is a major barrier to entry for software folks to transfer over. xilinx or someone did a study back when languages were taking over schematic capture, and software folks were preferred over electrical engineers for doing logic design because all you had to teach them was the concept of things happening in parallel, they already knew programming languages and compilers and other similar tools. Today of course that is different. If someone were brave enough to make a programmable device where the guts of it, were open such that the open source community could make the compiler and place and route, etc, you would eventually see tools that dont suck, run everywhere, and overall better experience.
The real reasong for adding a coment though is that if you go over and look at what xmos.com has, which wants to be competition for cpld and small fpgas, that may or may not be a good stepping stone for software folks that want to do more than just bit bang some gpios. not the same languages, sure, C and asm instead of verilog and vhdl, not the same experience necessarily as pure logic, but the experience of understanding the signals you want to send or receive, using a simulator that provides waveforms that you use gtkwave or something with, that is all the same experience as with cplds and fpgas.
about 5 years ago
How do I load firmware from ubuntu/linux?
about 5 years ago
I would definitely buy breakoutboards to go with the mbed if sparkfun made them and/or sold them.
No public wish lists :(
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