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which FPGA kit is best for beginners?

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Mr.Good

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fpga for beginners

Hi,

I'm planning to use an FPGA in a project I have currently. and I was wondering which FPGA kit is best for my application.

Basically I have lots of TTL compatible switches (around 50) to turn on and off in a certain pattern.
I'm thought that the best way is to use an FPGA kit with lots of digital I/O to control the switches based on a pattern that I will load into its memory.

I came across Altra's cyclone III kit which is around $200.
https://www.altera.com/products/devkits/altera/kit-cyc3-starter.html

Any one here knows other alternatives and can tell me about the pros and cons of different kits. This is my first FPGA application and I require no fancy processing or interfacing to other hardware, I might need to read a 16bit ADC in the future.

I took a course in VHDL 4 years ago, and I had no problem in programming, I just need to refresh my memory, and I was planning to use Altium Designer for programming.

I appreciate you help
 

Rob B

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fpga beginners

I started in FPGA project work recently and first used a NEXYS2 board from Digilent, if you want to use ISE it works well. It has quite a few I/O, many of which through the "FX2" connector (available from the same people for your own boards).

I recently started using the Spartan 3E Starter kit from the same people and I think (for EDK at least) it has better support. This has the high-speed FX2 connector also but less 2.54mm "header pin" type user I/O and four less slide switches.

I am a fan of 'Designer but did not take it as far as using the two Live Design evaluation kits I have from one of their suppliers (one for each of the major FPGA people). The software does have some nice-looking tools though. When I get the time I will use my evaluation licenses :).
 

xtcx

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help on fpga for beginner

Also you may try the SPARTAN 3E basic starter kit from NUHORIZON. Try this link--->**broken link removed**
I'm sure this one has got lots of peripherals to work with along with some more support....I ain't sure about the other services,since I've not got any from them....But soon I'm gonna get one for myself....But it's a bit more costly around 140$ than digilentic's NEXYS2....See for yourself and decide upon....
 

Mr.Good

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fpga programming for beginners

Thanks guys for the help

I read about this kits you suggested, However, I have a couple more questions

-I read in the data sheets that the I/O's on these kits are differential. Is it possible to use them as single ended? because as differential I/O's they are not enough for my application.

- Do you have an idea on the physical size of this board?
 

Rob B

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fpga beginner kit

The IO is configurable I believe, they don't need to work in that mode. The non-FX2 connector IO certainly work normally and I think the FX2 ones are configurable.

The Spartan 3E Starter Kit PCB measures 160mm x 185mm x 25mm approximately including connectors and the control knob which is vertically mounted.

The NEXYS2 measures 135mm x 120mm x 15mm approximately including connectors.
 

robinh

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celoxica rc10

Hi,

the Celoxica RC10 should be a good start point.
 

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