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what development board is good value?

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Advanced Member level 5
Jul 20, 2001
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Can anybody recomend a good fpga development board using an xilinx device? Reasonably priced and available in the UK.
I know the theory, need to do it for real. These days in the job market, you need to be able to cut it on the fpga front!

I have to ask..

What is the purpose of these developments boards? All you can do is write some VHDL/Verilog, simulate, do a synthesis, place&route and then put it in an FPGA that's on a board.

With that FPGA, since it's on a board you haven't designed, can: drive a few leds, be a target on a PCI bus, and that's about it.

Couldn't you do all of this in simulation instead or am I missing something?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying these boards are a waste of money or anything, I am just curious as to why would someone buy them. Could you use these to test a MP3 decoding algorythm for example? How would you do that? Provide data to/from the FPGA using the PCI bus? Would that be a good example of using such a board?

Attached you can find the MEMEC "Xilinx Development Kit Price List"

I suggest the XESS XSA-100 and XESS XST-2:

**broken link removed**
**broken link removed**

The boards' main highlights are:

- they have their own discussion forum on Yahoo;
- the people at XESS actually answer you when you have a question;
- there are many examples and projects ready for use.

(notice that these have nothing to do with electronic specifications)

Out of my own experience, I have observed that the boards are quite
sturdy and simple to use, provided that you have the required software
(Xilinx ISE, etc.). You have to make sure that the onboard resources
are enough to satisfy your needs.

I am anxiously waiting for more details on their new board:

**broken link removed**


I think xilinx website provides all the information regarding the Development boards or kits which they support.It also mentions various vendors for it.
for more information visit the site




i can recommend the cesys boards. Have a look:

**broken link removed**



To answer mart242, I do have the software, and I can write some verilog code and do a synthesis, place&route, thats the theory, but to see some led's flashing on an actual chip and know it's realy working is what I want. I will look at all your suggestions and choose a board.

Digilent ( makes a line of very afforable development boards. I've used their D2E board which has a Xilinx XC2S200E on it for several months now and have been very happy with it. And the best part is that it is only $109.

I have the Digilab 2e and DIO2

I have baugh the digilab 2e and DIO2 I dont recommand you this board if you dont have a basic cours of vhdl. The problème is there is not cours or tutorial advalible. I think is you want to lern FPGA and vhdl or verilog and you dont have any experience with it xess stuff is better. Xess have cours turorial, but for the same price you will have a smalles FPGA. If is your first experience with FPGA it's will be better.

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