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FPGA Development Boards: The Universal Prototyping Tool?

7/5/2013 07:00 AM EDT
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Daniel.Miller_#3
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PSOC
Daniel.Miller_#3   7/12/2013 12:59:16 PM
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A CYPRESS SEMICONDUCTOR PSOC 4 PIONEER 2 CORE ARM BASED SOIC PROGRAMMABLE BOARD IS AVAILABLE FOR ONLY 25 DOLLARS WITH FULL DOWNLOADABLE DEVELOPMENT SUITE, PSOC DEVELOPER! ALSO 100 DAYS WORTH OF ONE PROJECT PER DAY ONLINE TUTORIAL EXAMPLES WITH CODE. AND YOU CAN CONFIGURE ON CHIP AMPLIFIERS AND DA OR AD CONVERTERS COMPARITORS LOGIC  AND MULTIPLE OTHER GOODIES. GOOGLE CYPRESS PSOC 4 PIONEER AND LOOK FOR THE 100 DAYS PROJECTS OR GOOGLE FOR THE PROJECT LIST, NOT THE FORUM OR BLOG.

PROGRAMMING BY SCHEMATIC DRAGING AND DROPPING SUPPLIED OBJECTS AND CONFIGURING THE PINS,  OR BY PROGRAMMING IN C OR VERILOG. 

PROTOTYPE A 2 CHANNEL OSCILLOSCOPE OR A WIRELESS CAPACITOR TOUCH INPUT REMOTE CONTROL FOR A MICROWAVE. NO SWEAT. EASY W EXAMPLES. i'VE BEEN DOWNLOADING PROGRAMS TO ONE AND ORDERED 3 MORE BOARDSTO PLAY WITH. 

IT IS AMAZING WHAT IS AVAILABLE NOW FOR PROTOTYPING FROM THE VARIOUS VENDORS. 

 

PSOC 4 IN VOLUME NEXT YEAR CHIP PRICES ARE PREDICTED TO BE IN THE 1.45 DOLLAR RANGE ACCORDING TO CYPRESS CEO.  WITH FREE UNRESTRICTED DEVELOPMENT TOOLS, THESE ARE DEVICE CONTROLLER CONTEXT CHANGERS. 

Daniel.Miller_#3
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SOIC
Daniel.Miller_#3   7/12/2013 12:56:32 PM
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SOME OF THE SMALL SOIC CHIPS ARE EXPECTED TO BE IN THE $1.45  ARE IN VOLUME NEXT YEAR ACCORDING TO CYPRESS CEO. WITH UNRESTRICTED FREE DEVELOPMENT TOOLS, THESE ARE CONTEXT CHANGERS. 

Sheetal.Pandey
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Re: Parallel Development
Sheetal.Pandey   7/8/2013 7:38:51 AM
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Its great to use these boards for internal projects fro team development. Especially when there is not much of work load and your engineers have free time. People who are on bench can be trained ahead of th eprojects.

elctrnx_lyf
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Re: Parallel Development
elctrnx_lyf   7/8/2013 5:55:28 AM
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Definitely the boards with standard configuration will help the engineers to evaluate the software before building the actual boards. The FPGA suppliers have certainly become more aggressive and they strongly belive the ARM mixed FPGA's will find their place in more designs in future.

Sanjib.A
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Parallel Development
Sanjib.A   7/8/2013 2:37:35 AM
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I have experieneced that a FPGA development board always helps in carrying out the FPGA/firmware development activity much ahead in the schedule, not waiting for the actual prototype hardware. I could not use an FPGA development board as a prototype as the board design itself is a big part of the developments we do. Hence we always perform validation testing on the actual hardware proototype board. But the FPGA development/Firware work based on the FPGA development board always helps in faster proto board bring-up for the first time.

 

Kinnar
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Re: I remember...
Kinnar   7/7/2013 4:00:27 PM
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Yes Sir, that is quite ture but one problem with this boards is, they can not be directly used as a product, due the heavy costs of FPGAs, If low cost FPGA in the price range of controllers will be made avalialbe will change the complete perspective of the electronics industry.

DrFPGA
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Re: Not only FPGA but most prototype boards
DrFPGA   7/6/2013 7:54:37 PM
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@_HM

Differentiation is key and I couldn't agree with you more. That's one of the reasons I think FPGA development boards might be a good prototype choice. I believe FPGAs will allow for more 'exploration' of possible differentiators that a traditional MCU board where the features are less flexible.

You can spend more money on an MCU development board and get many more features than you need as a way to improve flexibility but even spending alot more money you ill still be limited. As standard 'plug-in' boards become more available for MCUs this might change, but FPGAs will be able to use them too! 

I'm probably too biased toward FPGAs to be objective so readers comments can be a big help in getting me to see things more clearly. Thanx!

_hm
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Not only FPGA but most prototype boards
_hm   7/6/2013 7:37:19 PM
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Yes FPGA development boards are good for first concept prototype build. But this is also true for most prototype boards - including sensor, signal conditioner, driver, wireless and others.

But in real life, one needs to be much more creative and further extend prototype concept board two few level higher. This differentiates one product from other.

 

Duane Benson
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I'll second that motion
Duane Benson   7/6/2013 5:52:52 PM
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As one of the MCU people that Warren referenced, I have to say that FPGAs bring some incredible new capabilities to the table. They'd had a pretty steep learning curve for me, but I'm very glad to have embarked on that journey.

The Xilinx Zynq - one of those big FPGAs with two hard silicon ARM A9 cores - could lead an entirely new revolution, as far as I'm concerned. It covers the best of both worlds.

A few smaller MCUs are starting to show up with small amounts of programmable / configurable logic integrated. I haven't used any of these in an actual applications, but I can very much see the utility.

Sheetal.Pandey
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Re: Yes! FPGA boards make quick work of prototypes and adapters.
Sheetal.Pandey   7/6/2013 3:19:04 PM
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Using FPGA boards reduces the development cycle. One can also train the engineers without getting into too much of investments.

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