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About this entry

This is very similar to the DS we covered earlier, but it has even steps between all frequencies. The DS requires a 5volt supply VR2.

What is an FPGA? – Design Support

We used a cheap 3. The 5volt supply VR2 can be excluded if you use a slower L 3. The latch inputs are held low with a 1Mohm resistor network RN1. The board is a quasi one-sided design. We made several compromises so we could prototype this highly experimental PCB ourselves. One power pin of the CPLD is missing a decoupling capacitor entirely; there was no way to put a capacitor in that area.

Using these through-hole parts eliminated a few jumper wires. The jumper wires on the back of the board are optimized for single-sided production, rather than good design practices.

Introduction to FPGA,CPLD,PLD

We faked a double-sided board by soldering the power bus on the back. A real double-sided board design should route the power bus to avoid crossing signal paths, and include the missing decoupling capacitors. We used an surface mount PLCC chip socket, but a through-hole version is definitely a better idea.

We though the SMD version would be easy to solder, but it turned out to be a nightmare.

We really wanted the CPLD to be on the front of the board for the coolest possible presentation. Click here for a full size placement diagram PNG. The firmware is included in the project archive at the end of the article. We wanted a super easy way to interact with the hardware on the board without endless compile-program-test cycles.

  1. Entitlement: The Paradoxes of Property?
  2. Introduction to CPLD and FPGA Design-Download-Jaapson blog and resource center.
  3. The Invention of Morel (New York Review Books Classics).
  4. Getting Started With FPGA?
  5. The Hostage?

Check out the Bus Pirate tutorial for background on the simple syntax used with the firmware. The original Bus Pirate firmware handles several protocols that share the same pins. For the CPLD version, we changed the pin assignments to fit the connections on the development board. We also removed unused modules and options. The schematics, pin placement files, and compiled designs XSVF are included in the project archive linked at the end of the article. A full explanation of ISE is beyond the scope of this article; we found the help files sufficiently useful to make these examples.

Intel® MAX® Series FPGAs and CPLDs - Intel® FPGA

We like Tera Term and Hercules on Windows. The default PC side setting for the development board terminal is bps, 8N1. HiZ 2. I2C 3. JTAG 4. In the terminal we enter the mode menu m , and choose JTAG 3. The chain report tells us that the chip is connected and responding.

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Read more about the JTAG interface. The first example just lights the LED on pin 8. If the LED lights, we can verify that programming was successful. At even the slowest clock rate the blinking will be too fast to see, but we should get a nice PWM dimming effect compared to the first example. We could look up the device address in the datasheet, but we save a few seconds by running the address search macro; the report tells us the chip answers to 0xb0 write and 0xb1 read. The DS is almost exactly like the DS we covered earlier , but has a DAC controlled oscillator for even steps between all frequencies.

We programmed the clock to the slowest frequency using the commands shown above. The LED is dimmed by the pulse-width modulation effect of the clock signal. Now we can see the cool part of CPLDs. The CPLD is like a programmable breadboard; we just popped out the 74LS32 and put in a 74F, without buying parts, reading datasheets, etching, wiring, etc. A microcontroller connected to a CPLD can reconfigure its own circuit board to fix errors, add features, or re-purpose it for entirely different applications.

We upload the new design as before, but now the clock is divided by and the LED toggles about once per second.

Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)

Download: bitclone. Using lots of flux makes the job quick and clean. The performance gained by implementing a task-specific datapath on a CPLD and using a processor as control is incredible. The tools have a steep learning curve, but are indeed very powerful. After learning how to use programmable logic properly, microcontrollers seem overused, and often unnecesary for many designs. Amazing article! This seems like it would be the ideal for people wanting to learn programmable logic hardware, but more hands on.

Guys, this is awesome. Please keep it up! TI still makes them, Lattice sells some, and Diodes Inc.


CPLDs are great at doing wide input functions, things like fast address decoders and counters, small state machines, picking up a few spare gates here and there, however, the registers inside them are relatively expensive because each one comes with a boatload of logic in front of it.

A Google search should turn them up. They have excellent tutorials and lists of the tips and tricks you need to know when working with each part how to configure outputs, master clear, global clocks and all that stuff.

Start off with something simple, like a state machine to control some LEDs and move on from there. I found the hardest thing to get my head around was writing code that looked like C, but had much different rules for how it executed — all at once! It helps to think of the code blocks you write not as code, but as physical blocks in a circuit, which is what they will become.

CVMagic, it is not a filter, it is just a font with all lower case. Kill it, and all the uppercase displays yes, uppercase is stored… just not displayed. Actually, once you get into it, using Verilog is much easier and quicker than sketching out schematics. You can see examples on opencores. I was all ready and able to learn about this stuff, but this bite was WAY too big. With the use of multiple interconnected layers, the routing can be achieved over the active cell areas; so that the routing channels can be removed as in Sea-of-Gates SOG chips. The neighboring transistors can be customized using a metal mask to form basic logic gates.

For inter cell routing, some of the uncommitted transistors must be sacrificed. This design style results in more flexibility for interconnections and usually in a higher density. GA chip utilization factor is measured by the used chip area divided by the total chip area.


It is higher than that of the FPGA and so is the chip speed. A standard cell based design requires development of a full custom mask set. The standard cell is also known as the polycell. In this approach, all of the commonly used logic cells are developed, characterized and stored in a standard cell library. Each gate type can be implemented in several versions to provide adequate driving capability for different fan-outs.

The inverter gate can have standard size, double size, and quadruple size so that the chip designer can select the proper size to obtain high circuit speed and layout density. For automated placement of the cells and routing, each cell layout is designed with a fixed height, so that a number of cells can be bounded side-by-side to form rows. The power and ground rails run parallel to the upper and lower boundaries of the cell. So that, neighboring cells share a common power bus and a common ground bus. The figure shown below is a floorplan for standard-cell based design.

In a full-custom design, the entire mask design is made new, without the use of any library. The development cost of this design style is rising. Thus, the concept of design reuse is becoming famous to reduce design cycle time and development cost. The hardest full custom design can be the design of a memory cell, be it static or dynamic. For logic chip design, a good negotiation can be obtained using a combination of different design styles on the same chip, i.