[Noisebridge-discuss] Interest check: HDL/FPGA for noobs class?

M. Elizabeth Scott beth at scanlime.org
Tue Apr 2 23:41:06 UTC 2013


That board may be a good start, but to design useful things you'll need a
clock source and probably a little I/O. If folks in the class are using
breadboards, the clock could be a "metal can" oscillator module.

If possible, I'd recommend getting a slightly more featureful board though,
especially for educational purposes. I like the KNJN.com boards. Their
"Saxo" board includes USB 2.0 (via a microcontroller you can choose to
program or not) and a clock source. It's a little more expensive at $60,
but still in the same ballpark:

http://www.knjn.com/ShopBoards_USB2.html

If you can find a cheap board with a VGA output (or build a cheap R-2R
ladder on a breadboard), I've found that video is a really fun way to learn
FPGA development. I'm a visual learner, and it helped a lot to be able to
build video signals in real-time :)

-m


On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Robert "Finny" Merrill <
rfmerrill at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> This is what I have:
> http://www.ebay.com/itm/251215580947?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
>
> I figure gate/LUT count isn't a big deal because even a small FPGA is
> fairly useful
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 8:23 AM, John Ellis <neurofog at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> +1
>>
>> Shouldn't we standardize on a cheapish FPGA board though. I'll do some
>> research to whats available for under $50
>> The mojo is $75 + shipping, kind of okay price for a Spartan 6 chip, but
>> low in LUT/Gate count.
>>
>> -John
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 8:07 AM, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:
>>
>>> +1
>>>
>>>
>>> On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 5:07 AM, Henner Zeller <h.zeller at acm.org> wrote:
>>>
>>>> +1
>>>> On Apr 1, 2013 10:43 PM, "Robert "Finny" Merrill" <
>>>> rfmerrill at berkeley.edu> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I've got a decent handle on this stuff and it seems like a lot of
>>>>> people at NB are interested but few are experienced.
>>>>>
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