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Matthieu Wipliez
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Making the iCE40 easy to use for all developers
Matthieu Wipliez   7/17/2014 12:07:23 PM
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Now if only you could program these brand new FPGAs as simply as you write code for MCUs, without the need to write Verilog or VHDL and other similar low-level cryptic languages/frameworks, then most developers (including software developers) could actually use them, rather than just hardware designers.

Wait but you can! With a modern programming language with a C-like syntax that is tailored for hardware design. It's probably the best choice for developers looking to replace their MCU by a FPGA. And it's free and open-source! Check it out on synflow.com and let us know what you think on our forum.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Making the iCE40 easy to use for all developers
Max The Magnificent   7/17/2014 12:17:23 PM
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@Matthieu: ...Wait but you can! With a modern programming language with a C-like syntax that is tailored for hardware design...

I just bounced over to the synflo site -- the C~ looks very interesting -- woudl you be interested in writing a short column on this for me to post on EE Times? Email me directly at max.maxfield@ubm.com to discuss.

elctrnx_lyf
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Re: Making the iCE40 easy to use for all developers
elctrnx_lyf   7/21/2014 5:31:29 AM
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Why do product developers choose this over the microcntollers which come with the actual application circuits or the close to real hardware the companies generally like to produce. Do the Lattice really have some proven example products where there will be benefit by using these IC's.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Making the iCE40 easy to use for all developers
Max The Magnificent   7/28/2014 6:05:39 PM
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@electrnx_lyf: Why do product developers choose this over the microcntollers which come with the actual application circuits or the close to real hardware the companies generally like to produce. Do the Lattice really have some proven example products where there will be benefit by using these IC's.

Microcontrollers are very versatile -- and it's great being able to modify your programs -- but these types of processors (MPUs, CPUs, DSPs) are really not very efficient power-wise because of the way they handle instructions one at a time -- by comparison, in th ecase of an FPGa you can b edoing lots of things simultaneously at a much lower clock speed (hence lower power).

The iCE40 devuces ahave been engineered for ultra-low-power (thsi is the old Silicon Blue technology) -- the Lattice having proven example products .. .I think they are selling more than a million of these devices a week (maybe a day -- I'll check with them) -- so I guess they do LOL



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