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

Garrett Mace garrettmace at gmail.com
Tue Apr 2 23:47:44 UTC 2013


I'll also vouch for KNJN's boards, the designer knows what they're doing and has been around for quite a few years. Same person that runs http://www.fpga4fun.com/ which is an excellent intro to a variety of simple FPGA projects. VGA stuff is fun, and to begin that path you can do some very slow R-2R triangle waveforms that show up nicely on an oscilloscope.


On Apr 2, 2013, at 4:41 PM, "M. Elizabeth Scott" <beth at scanlime.org> wrote:

> 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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