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ric96
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FPGA for beginner

Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:13 am

Can someone recommend an fpga dev board? I have some decent experience on arduino and Raspberry pi and would like to get some hand's on experience on fpga.
I'm mainly looking for a cheap but still not too basic fpga board. Somewhat like Mega 2560 is for Arduino.
Thnx.
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Heater
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Re: FPGA for biginer

Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:55 am

I have a DE0-Nano board. Like so: https://www.adafruit.com/product/451

It's really nice. Small, self-contained (no external programming hardware required). Lots of useful peripherals. Very nice board for starting out with FPGA.

Available twenty dollars cheaper here: http://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/ ... ish&No=593

Perhaps importantly it is a very commonly used board so support, documentation, etc, may be better.
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ric96
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Re: FPGA for biginer

Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:51 pm

Heater wrote:I have a DE0-Nano board. Like so: https://www.adafruit.com/product/451

It's really nice. Small, self-contained (no external programming hardware required). Lots of useful peripherals. Very nice board for starting out with FPGA.

Available twenty dollars cheaper here: http://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/ ... ish&No=593

Perhaps importantly it is a very commonly used board so support, documentation, etc, may be better.
aah.. yes. thanks.
I do remember seeing this board on the ben heck show. It is still a bit expensive for me right now, but maybe I'll be able to get one after a couple of months of saving... or maybe if rpf launches an fpga dev board :mrgreen:
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Re: FPGA for biginer

Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:11 pm

You might want to check this recent round up of cheap FPGA boards: https://joelw.id.au/FPGA/CheapFPGADevelopmentBoards

Problem is most of then are even less cheap!

Some of the cheap ones might be interesting if you are sure you won't need any/much support.

All in all the Nano still looks like a very good option for anyone new to FPGA.
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ric96
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Re: FPGA for biginer

Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:21 pm

Heater wrote:You might want to check this recent round up of cheap FPGA boards: https://joelw.id.au/FPGA/CheapFPGADevelopmentBoards

Problem is most of then are even less cheap!

Some of the cheap ones might be interesting if you are sure you won't need any/much support.

All in all the Nano still looks like a very good option for anyone new to FPGA.
Most of them are pretty much in the same price area, looks like i will be saving for the nano due to the community support and documentation which i would really need due to my lack of experience with fpga.
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Heater
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Re: FPGA for biginer

Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:39 pm

The big decision in the FPGA world is whether you want to learn Verilog or VHDL. Seems Verlilog is the favorite in the USA but VHDL in Europe. That may not be true among the Makers and tinkerers. I don't know.

Anyway, one can start experimenting with writing VHDL with the open source VHDL compiler, GHDL compiler/simulator http://ghdl.free.fr/

I have no idea if that is available for ARM based Linux though.

GHDL will compile the full VHDL language. Which means it allows you to write code that may not actually be synthesizable for a real FPGA. Just have to take care of what you use.

For Verilog there is Icarus Verilog http://iverilog.icarus.com/. I have never tried that.
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ric96
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Re: FPGA for biginer

Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:06 pm

Heater wrote:The big decision in the FPGA world is whether you want to learn Verilog or VHDL. Seems Verlilog is the favorite in the USA but VHDL in Europe. That may not be true among the Makers and tinkerers. I don't know.

Anyway, one can start experimenting with writing VHDL with the open source VHDL compiler, GHDL compiler/simulator http://ghdl.free.fr/

I have no idea if that is available for ARM based Linux though.

GHDL will compile the full VHDL language. Which means it allows you to write code that may not actually be synthesizable for a real FPGA. Just have to take care of what you use.

For Verilog there is Icarus Verilog http://iverilog.icarus.com/. I have never tried that.
So are these like development environments? And does that mean most dev boards will support both?
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Heater
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Re: FPGA for beginner

Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:38 pm

GHDL compiles VHDL into something that can run on a PC. Pretty much like a C compiler does. One can even link the VHDL code to C code into one executable. There is also a means of viewing signals, like a virtual logic analyser, when you run it. It's a long time since I toyed with GHDL last, I don't recall exactly how it all hangs together.

Point is, if you want to follow a VHDL tutorial for FGA then you can get started without an actual FPGA board. Just run the code under GHDL.

I don't have any experience of Icarus but I guess it allows one to do much the same for Verilog.
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Heater
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Re: FPGA for beginner

Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:48 pm

There is also Verilator : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verilator
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goran_mahovlic
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Re: FPGA for beginner

Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:27 pm

We are live with our campaign so you can check ULX3S: https://www.crowdsupply.com/radiona/ulx3s

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mikronauts
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Re: FPGA for beginner

Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:15 am

google icestick40 from lattice
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Advanced Robotics, I/O expansion and prototyping boards for the Raspberry Pi

denj
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Re: FPGA for beginner

Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:29 am

what about icoBoard? A very simple FPGA development board that plugs into a Raspberry Pi, so you have a "backup" hard-core CPU that can control networking, etc. Supports a huge range of pmod accessories.

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