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Configuring FPGA bulk chips

 
 
Insight Realm
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      09-06-2011
Hi there,

I found a cheap lot of 4 FPGA chips. What would I need in order to use
them? Do I need to create a PCB design? Are there boards for sale
where you can just plug in the chips?

Thank you.
 
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Brian Drummond
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      09-06-2011
On Mon, 05 Sep 2011 17:17:20 -0700, Insight Realm wrote:

> Hi there,
>
> I found a cheap lot of 4 FPGA chips. What would I need in order to use
> them? Do I need to create a PCB design? Are there boards for sale where
> you can just plug in the chips?
>
> Thank you.


Hoo boy.

And you forgot the only important bit of information ... which FPGA.
Manufacturer, series, size, package.

But never mind.

There are no suitable boards ... unless you lucked out and found the
exact FPGA used here
http://www.fpga4fun.com/
http://www.knjn.com/FPGA-PCI.html
or
http://www.knjn.com/ShopBoards_PCI.html

And I'm not sure he still sells the boards on their own.

So you probably have to get busy with pcb123.
http://www.sunstone.com/PCB123-CAD-Software.aspx
Or if your FPGA is in a BGA package, you need something a bit more heavy
duty. Keeping costs down, look at freepcb
http://www.freepcb.com/
Both run under Wine, if you aren't using Windows.

Then you need to design hardware for them. For which you need tools from
the FPGA manufacturer, Xilinx, Altera, Atmel etc. Check that the FPGA you
have is supported by the free tools before downloading 4GB or so of
tool... You may have to dig around their website to find obsolete (cough,
sorry, legacy* tool versions if these FPGAs aren't current.

But you'll probably find that a new commercially available board is so
cheap it's simply not worth the bother. For example
http://enterpoint.co.uk/products/
has
http://enterpoint.co.uk/products/edu...e/polmaddie-3/
Lots of I/O, and ready to go.

- Brian
 
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Nick Anghelidi
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      09-06-2011
On Sep 6, 2:40*am, Brian Drummond <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Mon, 05 Sep 2011 17:17:20 -0700, Insight Realm wrote:
> > Hi there,

>
> > I found a cheap lot of 4 FPGA chips. What would I need in order to use
> > them? Do I need to create a PCB design? Are there boards for sale where
> > you can just plug in the chips?

>
> > Thank you.

>
> Hoo boy.
>
> And you forgot the only important bit of information ... which FPGA.
> Manufacturer, series, size, package.
>
> But never mind.
>
> There are no suitable boards ... unless you lucked out and found the
> exact FPGA used herehttp://www.fpga4fun.com/http://www.knjn.com/FPGA-PCI.html
> orhttp://www.knjn.com/ShopBoards_PCI.html
>
> And I'm not sure he still sells the boards on their own.
>
> So you probably have to get busy with pcb123.http://www.sunstone.com/PCB123-CAD-Software.aspx
> Or if your FPGA is in a BGA package, you need something a bit more heavy
> duty. Keeping costs down, look at freepcbhttp://www.freepcb.com/
> Both run under Wine, if you aren't using Windows.
>
> Then you need to design hardware for them. For which you need tools from
> the FPGA manufacturer, Xilinx, Altera, Atmel etc. Check that the FPGA you
> have is supported by the free tools before downloading 4GB or so of
> tool... You may have to dig around their website to find obsolete (cough,
> sorry, legacy* tool versions if these FPGAs aren't current.
>
> But you'll probably find that a new commercially available board is so
> cheap it's simply not worth the bother. For examplehttp://enterpoint.co.uk/products/
> hashttp://enterpoint.co.uk/products/educational/polmaddie/polmaddie-3/
> Lots of I/O, and ready to go.
>
> - Brian


Hi Brian,

Well... I haven't really decided about which FPGA. I saw this offer on
ebay so I thought I might try to see if it is a better alternative
than buying the full board. I checked the enterpoint site but I need
something high-end which are costing a lot. Instead of paying on one
high end board maybe I can get more capabilities (more medium boards)
using cheaper (bulk + PCB + whatever work would be required) boards.

Thanks a lot for the detailed response.

Regards,
Nick

 
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