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Suggestions/Recommendations with CPLD's and Software

Started by Henry November 7, 2005
I'm looking for some suggestions/recommendations with CPLD's and development 
software.



I'm new to CPLD's and a couple projects of mine will involve redesigning 
existing "though hole" hardware using a CPLD.  I've researching some Xilinx 
products, and believe the 9500 series will do everything I need, as my needs 
really aren't that great.  My only issue with the ISE software is I need to 
recreate all the TTL IC logic from scratch, which will prove to be very time 
consuming.  I was hoping to find a design package that would already have 
existing "groups" of TTL logic designed so I won't have to take as much time 
with the schematic design and layout.  For example in ISE it took me about 
15 minutes just to draw the logic to a 74LS245.  Only took me 3 minutes to 
"wire" it up.



Any recommendations on other companies, other software and your experiences 
with them would be appreciated.



Thanks for your time.





Henry

GSE-Reactive.com

My email is listed on the site if you wish to contact me directly.


Henry wrote:

> I'm looking for some suggestions/recommendations with CPLD's and > development software.
Henry, three things to consider 1. You should be able to use parts of the libraries shipped with the software 2. Lattice, Altera are some other very "famous" CPLD manufactors with a similar programming interface 3. you should think of learning VHDL. In my expierience the learning curve is very fast and once you're used to it, you will be much faster than drawing... Michael -- Remove the sport from my address to obtain email www.enertex.de - Innovative Systeml�sungen der Energie- und Elektrotechnik
I would recommend Altera.  They provide very nice development tools on
the web for free.  If you are looking at the 9500 series, from Brand X,
I would suggest looking at the Max7000 series.  Having used both, I
highly prefer the Altera.

"Henry" <apl2research@comcast.net> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:-YOdnUhO1K2JlO3eRVn-qw@comcast.com...
> I'm looking for some suggestions/recommendations with CPLD's and
development
> software. > > > > I'm new to CPLD's and a couple projects of mine will involve redesigning > existing "though hole" hardware using a CPLD. I've researching some
Xilinx
> products, and believe the 9500 series will do everything I need, as my
needs
> really aren't that great. My only issue with the ISE software is I need
to
> recreate all the TTL IC logic from scratch, which will prove to be very
time
> consuming. I was hoping to find a design package that would already have > existing "groups" of TTL logic designed so I won't have to take as much
time
> with the schematic design and layout. For example in ISE it took me about > 15 minutes just to draw the logic to a 74LS245. Only took me 3 minutes to > "wire" it up. > > > > Any recommendations on other companies, other software and your
experiences
> with them would be appreciated. > > > > Thanks for your time. > > > > > > Henry > > GSE-Reactive.com > > My email is listed on the site if you wish to contact me directly. > >
From a TTL designer's view, a library of TTL components is fine. However painting schematics is boring, and modifications are very time consuming. Designing logic with 74'245 and other tristate logic doesn't map 1:1 in modern programmable logic. So you have to modify the original schematics anyway. That's why you should learn VHDL. It's easy. And there are lots of excellent introductory courses online. -- www.oho-elektronik.de OHO-Elektronik Michael Randelzhofer FPGA und CPLD Mini Module Klein aber oho !
Noway2 wrote:
> I would recommend Altera. They provide very nice development tools on > the web for free. If you are looking at the 9500 series, from Brand X, > I would suggest looking at the Max7000 series. Having used both, I > highly prefer the Altera.
I'm familiar with the Xilinx 9500 series, but not with the Altera Max7000 series. Out of curiousity, why do you "highly prefer the Altera" ? -Dave Pollum
I would recommend that you stick with the Xilinx CPLD.  The 9500 family
is a nice family.  We have developed several products with this device.
 I would also highly recommend doing the project in VHDL.  You could
also consider outsourcing it to someonw who might be interested in a
little side job.  An experienced engineer would be able to put this out
in no time.


Henry wrote:

>I'm looking for some suggestions/recommendations with CPLD's and development >software. > > > >I'm new to CPLD's and a couple projects of mine will involve redesigning >existing "though hole" hardware using a CPLD. I've researching some Xilinx >products, and believe the 9500 series will do everything I need, as my needs >really aren't that great. My only issue with the ISE software is I need to >recreate all the TTL IC logic from scratch, which will prove to be very time >consuming. I was hoping to find a design package that would already have >existing "groups" of TTL logic designed so I won't have to take as much time >with the schematic design and layout. For example in ISE it took me about >15 minutes just to draw the logic to a 74LS245. Only took me 3 minutes to >"wire" it up. > > > >Any recommendations on other companies, other software and your experiences >with them would be appreciated. > >
Hmm, I'm pretty sure the version of ISE I am using has a library of "X74xxx" parts. It does not have all of them, just a representative selection. But, I have implemented a lot of simple control interface circuits using the 9500 series this way. Look through the libraries provided for X74 parts, they may be at the very end of a HUGE list. You may also have elected to not install those libraries when you installed the ISE package. I just checked, and the x74_245 is not in the list, but it is a pretty simple device, and can be replaced with a buft8 and a bufe8, I think, depending on how the enable pin is used. Many of the counters, decoders, encoders and other more complex functions ARE included in the TTL schematic library. This is in Ver 4.2i, one of the last to support the 5V parts. Jon
There are two major reasons, one is personal the other is technical.

As for the personal reason, I began using programmable logic about six
or seven years ago, back when HDL synthesis was a "big thing" and
everybody was charging major money for their synthesis engine.  At that
time, the company I was working for used Xilinx Spartan devices with
Foundation 3.1.  It appeared that everytime we turned around that
Xilinx  wanted more money for maintance and licensing on their tool
set.  I personally find this practice of constantly having to grease
palms that have already been overpaid distastefull.  One day, I met
with the rep from Altera, who was a direct employee not from a
marketing firm, and he suggested that I try their Maxplus2 out.  In the
next few months, I started on a project and tried the Altera toolst.
Not only did I find the tools far easier to use, I found getting tech
support to be much easier.  I was almost always able to get someone on
the phone immediatly or if that didn't solve it, in person..

As far as tehcnical reasons go, when I started with the company I am at
now, my first project was to develop an application around a set of
hardware designed by a sister division for a different product.  At the
heart of each of the PCBs in the product was an XC95xx.  Unfortunately,
the product line was almost done in by electrical noise issues that
effected the Xlinx device on one of the critical boards.  I redesigned
the board around an Altera device and the problems disappeared.  While
it is likely that there are factors to the redesign other than just
changing the device that influenced the noise immunity, according to
the Xilinx Rep, the Altera Max 7000 device that was used is a newer
technology process than the 9500 series and is inherently more noise
immune.

Since that time, I have developed a number of boards with Altera CPLDS
and FPGAs (Cyclone 1).  I have found them extremely easy to use and
they haven't given me a bit of trouble.   As far as development tools
go, I spent about $200 or so to by a USB byteblaster to program the
Cyclone devices.  I received my first programmer a Byteblaster MV from
the Altera Rep for free .  This is a far cry from the thousands that
were spent on Foundation.

I applaud Altera for their policy of providing decent quality tools,
that unless you are developing for their newest embedded cores, are
free.  Personally, I think that Maxplus2 was better than their Quartus
tools from a schematic editing standpoint.  While I know that schematic
editing is passe, I still usually design by having a top level
schematic of VHDL blocks.

I also started out with Foundation 3.1 and I agree with everything you
have saidk NoWay2.  Also, Xilinx tech support is getting worse.  Anyone
used to be able to call and get someone on the phone immediately.  Now
they have shipped a lot of it overseas, which isn't a big deal as long
as it's quality support.  I'm still undecided as to whether it is.  The
real kicker now is that in order to talk to someone over the phone you
need to purchase at least 1000 parts a year.  Otherwise, you're stuck
with a worthless exchange of emails with a day or two delay with
someone in China who is not able to call you even if the need should
arise.

To give Xilinx a little credit, their tools have come a long way from
Foundation 3.1.  That tool was a train wreck.  With the newer tools,
ISE7.1, there is no longer a need for licenses.  Their tools are free
unless you're developing on their newest FPGAs.  Xilinx also has an
incredible website with a huge amount of documentation.