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Which Spartan 3 evaluation board distributor is better?

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vaf20

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spartan 3 eval board

hi all
i would like 2 work with spartan 3(xc3s400-4PQ208)and i can find 2 or 3 board from different distributer.
which one is better?did anyone try it?
Nu horizon :
**broken link removed**
Avnet :
**broken link removed**
or the other eval board?
which one i choose?
tnx ahead :eek:
 

Big Boy

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Re: spartan 3 eval board

Actually, I'm in the same boat...

I did compare the specs of those 2, and here are my conclusion

Nu-Horizons
Pros:
- Half the price of the Avnet board
- Integrated flash (not the config flash...), and more memory.
- ADC/DAC
- Built-in LCD
Cons:
- No high-speed port (Ethernet, USB, ...)
- Very limited in extra IO (FPGA is a 208 pins PQFP).

Avnet:
Pros:
- Video DAC
- Ethernet PHY (high speed :) )
- PCI edge connector (even higher speed :D ) (require PCI IP core)
- Lot of expansion IO (FPGA is a BGA 456 pins)
Cons
- Double the price of NuHorizons
- No flash (appart from config flash)
- A little less memory

Though, I think that Avnet board 'cons' are much less problematic than NuHorizons. For example, even though there's no integrated flash, and other goodies, those can easily be added using extras IO. No mather the board, you'll eventually want to add things. For NuHorizon, you don't have much IO so forget about those IO-hungry flash and SRAM.

The Avnet have less memory, but for a start, I thing that SRAM is much more easier to use than DRAM. Then again, if you really want to add extra memory, there's plenty extras IO.

Well, Avnet have a special offer too, board at 299$ (in special offer page).

The only problem may be contacting them. I did contact them, but sometime, it take some time. Better go by phone... Though they said that they had those boards in stock :) (Please don't take the last one, I want one too :D:D )

Big Boy
 

bulletproof_funk

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Re: spartan 3 eval board

I bought the Nu Horizons board a couple of weeks ago because it seemed to have the best features for DSP and some general FPGA work for the money. I'm thinking of adding either USB 2.0 or Ethernet to the board now, but the 20 available I/O seems somewhat limited (16 IO, 4 IO/clock). Also, it's a 4-layer board that doesn't have many vias from the FPGA pins, making it difficult to solder on your own connections.

If you want something more general that you can add onto, the $99 USD Xilinx Starter Kit has less features built-in but more IO if you don't mind a 200k gate device instead of 400k.
 

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