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get FPGA to run in stand alone

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Newbie level 4
Jun 30, 2012
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Hi there.
I know this is a trivial question, but I can't find a proper answer.. maybe it's just me who has a poor language.
Let me say in advance I never used an FPGA before and I'd like to try and buy one.
Is it possible to program an fpga and then detach it from the development board to embed it in another project?
There are two main reasons:
1) I'd like to use the same dev board to program more fpga chips so that I only have to pay for new chips
2) I can't really see the purpose of having a programmable chip which may only be used within an enormous board

So by reason I'd say yes, it is possible, but every fgpa i've seen so far is soldered in a devboard...

You don't store the code in the FPGA, you program it into the configuration chip memory. The FPGA loses its configuration when powered off and is reconfigured at power on by the configuration chip.

So, it's the configuration chip that you want, not the FPGA. Well, you also need another FPGA to go with it of course.

Configuration chips are small and cheap, and can be programmed in-situ (probably with the same tools you have with the dev board, or even byhacking a connection to it) so you really don't need to go pulling them off dev boards.

Smaller cplds ( like max devices) are flash based and store the configuration on chip. But larger devices are sram based and must configured at power on.

But I don't quite understand the ops problem.. It's a reprogrammable chip, why would you want to take it out? You can just store the config file on your pc and program the config you want.

You'll also need some expensive equipment and skills to reball an fpga without damaging it.

If you are making any product with an FPGA, you really should have a plan for easy/in-field updates. Each vendor has specs for programming in several different modes. There are probably settings on the dev board itself to allow you to become familiar with them.

With these options, you can go for economy serial flash all the way to an external processor loading the FPGA over the network.

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