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Usage of FPGA in hobby circuits???

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Full Member level 4
Dec 31, 1999
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fpga hobby

Can anyone give me suggestions about using (small) FPGA's in hobby electronic circuits? Most FPGA's seem to be hard to get. And nearly impossible to put on a board (> 100 BGA pins).
I'm not sure if other packages are still available and where i can buy these devices. (or free samples would be lovely ;-) )
Links to cheap ( below 250 euro/dollar ) developmentboards are also nice with shipment to europe!


hobby fpga

Are there any companies that I can send a bare PCB and the required components like a BGA chip and they will solder the these components like onto my PCB?

- Jayson

fpga hobbyist

I'm not sure if this works, but try to align the BGA on the Board (The hardest part) and then heat it with a paint stripper (You know...a heavy duty blowdryer) ;-)

Don't let the temperature increase too much....
Try it out with some sample device from Maxim with a BGA package first.
You'll have to have a bga footprint PCB first offcourse... ;-)

If you know some electronic production facility in your neigbourhood, you can allways ask there...Maybe a univeristy or technical college?

greetz, venz.

fpga hobby projects

You can by a lot of FPGAs or CPLD in "normal" Packages like PLCC, PQFP, ...
I have some experiences with Altera and Xilinx. Xilinx devices are cheaper than Alteras. Both companies offer free devolpment software for FPGA and CPLD (take a look at and
RS-Components ( and Farnell (www.farnell) are only two distributors for CPLDs and FPGAs. It is possible to by the devices in samall quantities from them.
In Germany we have a good company for development board. You should look at
At the Homepages of Altera and Xilinx there are more companies which are selling board.

Best regards,

how to solder fpga qfp

would it help if the PCB already had a layer of solder on it?

How do the pick-n-place machines put BGAs onto boards?

- Jayson

bga usage

Depending on the logic volume of your design.
If you're aiming towards a moderate logic design - than maybe you should check CPLD avenues - alike Actel & Lattice.

Also - Altera & Xilinx have moderate logic cells volume FPGAs which are packaged in the good-old QFP low-cost packages. More importantly - these QPFs are relative easy to assemble/solder.

The cost/complexity factors involved in BGA assembly - renders it definetely NOT for Hobby Electronics !

hobby bga

Hi Jayson,

I guess the Pick'n'place machines just pick up the BGA.
Aligns the device using the fiducials and place it on the board.
I'm not sure how they fix the device so it doesn't fall of before it goes into reflow. They probably put a small amount of solder past on the PCB?

I'm curious now...i'm going to check this...

greetz, venz.

ball grid array soldering hobbyist

Can you describe what extactly is reflow?

Secondly are there any adapter sockets that allow me to put in a BGA and convert it to a PLCC or some other solderable package type?

- Jayson

fpga hobby electronics

Jayson :lol:

BGA's are placed using high precision pick and place equipment that typically uses a video system to align the PCB . The PCB will have solder paste stenciled onto the board and this holds the device in place as it goes through a reflow oven . The ovens vary but are basically a moving belt that passes the board thru several different temperature zones (heated by either hot air or infra red) until the solder melts. During the set up process you typically use xray machines to check for aligment problems.

Hope this helps

Merry Christmas

Schmitt :lol: :lol: :lol:

beginning fpga hobby

I have managed to get a handfull of Altera EPM7064 devices . Does anybody have any nice projects I can use them for ??


Schmitt :lol: :lol:

csbga hobby assembly

Hi Schmitt,

you can make a nice flashing christmas tree as a gift for your friends.

But be sure to have it ready for tomorrow.


hobbyist reflow oven


No problem ! Would you like one !

Merry Christmas

Schmitt :lol:

hobby assembly bga

Yes I would like to have one. Please PM me the christmas tree.

Thank you in advance and a merry christmas,

bga assembly hobby

Good site about FPGA:
Low cost FPGA boards:

pq208 package pcb layout rules

I have new UP1 Development Board for sell

fpga hobbies

Thanks all for the infomation!

I'll check them out and hopefully post a finished project with them someday.


hobbyist bga

check this site for the adapter sockets for BGA



best fpga for hobby

This Xilinx Spartan 2 series FGGA has 200,000 gates and comes in PQ 208 package, the footprint can be easily developed in orcad and is TQFP type package so no worries of BGA soldering etc.

fpga chip for hobby circuits

i think Lattice is better, it is more cheap.

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