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Re: [avr-gcc-list] [OT] Need For Speed (FPGA)

From: Russell Shaw
Subject: Re: [avr-gcc-list] [OT] Need For Speed (FPGA)
Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 17:29:25 +1000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20050105 Debian/1.7.5-1

Marvin Dickens wrote:
On Friday 27 May 2005 07:22 pm, Martin Bammer wrote:


I can recommend SpartanII and Spartan3. These chips are quite cheap and
powerful. A development system under Linux is available since a few months.
It's free. I recommend to set kate as an external editor, because it's so
much better to work with. At the moment I prefer SpartanII because they
only need 2 different supply voltages. Spartan3 needs 3, which leads to a
much more complex design. Because you are a beginner you should buy a
starter kit. If you plan to create complex designs you REALLY should learn
VHDL. VHDL programming is possible (and very comfortable) with the IDE from

I second Martins suggestion to learn VHDL. Regarding who's silicon to purchase, I mostly work with Altera. But, that's not to say Xilinx does not have good products - They do. FWIW, I seem to recall that a couple of AVR processors have been implimented in fpga's. I believe that I saw the projects at opencores.org. If my memory serves me correctly, at least one of them
claimed to have a 3X increase in speed as compared to the atmel offerings.
Even if this is not exactly accurate, I'd still bet you could massage out a lot of I/O pins using this route.

Hmm. This makes me want to load a chip and see how well it
plays with gcc. That would be a hoot :)

Having learnt and used vhdl on xilinx spartanII in depth using webpack, and used
vhdl on altera acex, i found vhdl an overly verbose, inflexible, poorly designed
and cumbersome language. It is a pascal/ada like language. They say verilog
is a C-like language. I'd rather learn that next time than touch vhdl with
a barge pole. Also useful to read news:comp.arch.fpga

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