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'[OT] Altera or other FPGAs..'
1999\03\15@053305 by Janusz J. Mlodzianowski

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Sorry, this is Off Topic question..

After a long time experience with PALs/GALs I have decided that it is the time
to move to FPGA technology. From the hardware point of view Altera's MAX7000S
series seemed like a good starting point. I have bought a couple of ICs and made
myself a small prototyping system with ByteBlaster (JTAG) interface.
The problem is in the software. Altera offers a very limited licence for their
Max+PlusII software. I have downloaded BASELINE 9.21 package, applied for a
license and..  still cannot use the software. Compiler module does not support
MAX7000S ! The full Max+PlusII package (e.g.9.01) is oversized (I would need
to get a new PC Windows 95 or NT and HDD...) and too expensive for personal use.
Are you aware of any similar MAX7000S tools available (under GNU license) for
Linux?
If other FPGA manufacturer offers similar products I might consider
going their, and not Altera's way..

Thanks for comments and suggestions.
Janusz

1999\03\15@090748 by Harrison Cooper

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First....the 7000S is NOT a FPGA.  This is a CPLD.  The 'S' version stands
for ISP type, as you already know.  Since we use a full blown licensed
version of MAXPLUS software, I don't know if they provide a version of
software that only handles the S series.  Some time ago, they did have a
version that only did the 7032 device, but this was before the ISP versions
were available.  It seems strange that they don't offer this in the baseline
version (I'll download and check myself). Maybe I'll mention it to Altera
(they visit us rather often).  It might be that you chose a device that is
not supported in this entry level product as well.

I believe that maybe LATTICE might be a good choice....don't they offer free
software for their ISP devices?  I'm sure someone on the list knows, as I
don't use these devices.

1999\03\15@103313 by Stefan Sczekalla-Waldschmidt

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Hi,

I would suggest to get a XILINX Student kit. When I was studing we
decided to use Xilinx FPGA instead of ALTERA because of SRAM Tech used
by Xilinx. A Xilinx FPGA need in cas of design-change just a new
configuration
rom ( cheap ) whereas with Altera you can throw the whole FPGA away and
program a new one ( expensive ).

I would suggest xilinx. Student Kit is less than 200$ and (IIRC) the
whole
software inclusive documentation. ( but it4s limitetd to the low end and
midrange fpga-series )

I suggest to ask your local xilinx representative.

Kind regards

       Stefan

1999\03\15@103932 by Dwayne Reid

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>Sorry, this is Off Topic question..
>
>After a long time experience with PALs/GALs I have decided that it is >the
time to move to FPGA technology. From the hardware point of view >Altera's
MAX7000S series seemed like a good starting point. I have >bought a couple
of ICs and made myself a small prototyping system with >ByteBlaster (JTAG)
interface.

<big snip>

I still use version 8.21 om my win 3.11 system.  It ** IS ** still available
on their web site - send an email to 'spam_OUTsosTakeThisOuTspamaltera.com' and they will point
you in the right direction.

8.21 will operate under what they call their 'site licence' program - this
gives you access to the compiler and programmer as well as schematic capture
(the BEST one I've seen, so far) and other rudimentary utilities.  You need
to install the package, then go back to their web site to obtain the
authorization key to enable it.

Version 8.21 will program at least the 7032S and 7128S CPLDs (I know it will
do others, but these are the ones I use).

Another note: the download version may be version 8.20, not 8.21.  If this
is the case, there is a patch file also on their site to upgrade 8.20 to
8.21.  You need the 8.21 patch if you want to program 7032S parts.

I hope this helps.  Please email if you have other questions.

dwayne


Dwayne Reid   <.....dwaynerKILLspamspam@spam@planet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(403) 489-3199 voice          (403) 487-6397 fax

Celebrating 15 years of Engineering Innovation (1984 - 1999)

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email.

1999\03\15@121827 by kfisk

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> Hi,
>
> I would suggest to get a XILINX Student kit. When I was studing we
> decided to use Xilinx FPGA instead of ALTERA because of SRAM Tech used
> by Xilinx. A Xilinx FPGA need in cas of design-change just a new
> configuration
> rom ( cheap ) whereas with Altera you can throw the whole
> FPGA away and
> program a new one ( expensive ).

Which FPGA's? The ones I have looked at also have configuration memory which
can be easily changed. The largest difference I have seen between Xilinx and
Altera (besides the programming environment) is the internal structure. Come
to think of it, there are quite a few differences, however, they both allow
configuration memory.

Cheers,

Kevin

1999\03\15@130554 by Peter Tiang

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Try Cypress Semiconductor's Warp2ISR, VHDL Development Kit for
In-system-reprogrammable CPLDs.
"Relatively" cheaper too, at about US$175.

Regards,

Peter Tiang
email: petertiangspamKILLspampd.jaring.my
web: http://members.xoom.com/usb_gaming

1999\03\16@033922 by Tom Handley

picon face
  Lattice now offers the ispEXPERT system with a free 6 month license. It
supports their ipsLSI GAL22V10, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 5000 devices up to
500 macrocells. They bought the rights to Synario and this is an update
with better integration and a few more features. Earlier Synario designs
are fully compatible. The software allows schematic and ABEL-HDL entry in
a hierarchical design environment. Among other features, the package
includes a functional simulator and a timing analyzer. You can download
the package (or request a CD) from:

     http://www.latticesemi.com

  For plans on building a buffered ISP Download cable, see my web site at:

     http://www.teleport.com/~thandley/Wilbure.htm

  - Tom

At 07:05 AM 3/15/99 -0700, Harrison Cooper wrote:
[snip]
>
>I believe that maybe LATTICE might be a good choice....don't they offer free
>software for their ISP devices?  I'm sure someone on the list knows, as I
>don't use these devices.

1999\03\16@105129 by WF AUTOMACAO

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Peter Tiang wrote:
>
> Try Cypress Semiconductor's Warp2ISR, VHDL Development Kit for
> In-system-reprogrammable CPLDs.
> "Relatively" cheaper too, at about US$175.
>
> Regards,
>
> Peter Tiang
> email: .....petertiangKILLspamspam.....pd.jaring.my
> web: http://members.xoom.com/usb_gaming

Or Lattice too!

1999\03\17@194255 by Graeme Smith

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Sorry this response is so late...

I recently (Christmass) bought the Lattice isp starter kit which contains
the daisy chain cable, the daisy chain software, PDS downgraded to limit
its use to 1016 and 2032 type devices, as well as GDS type programmable
switches, three sample devices, and their Manuals including a manual on
their macro-library.

Needless to say, it wasn't free. However with this kit I can program
up to 8 similar devices, or up to 40 devices on a single daisy chain
serial connection using (Only) 5 control lines etc.

of course I haven't got around to writing the controller software for
incircuit programming from a PIC, but it looks like it might be possible.

                       GREY

GRAEME SMITH                         email: EraseMEgrysmithspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTfreenet.edmonton.ab.ca
YMCA Edmonton

Address has changed with little warning!
(I moved across the hall! :) )

Email will remain constant... at least for now.


On Mon, 15 Mar 1999, Harrison Cooper wrote:

> I believe that maybe LATTICE might be a good choice....don't they offer free
> software for their ISP devices?  I'm sure someone on the list knows, as I
> don't use these devices.
>

1999\03\18@082455 by Harrison Cooper

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Careful about putting too many devices on a chain...same thing applies to
TCK (ISP clock or JTAG ref clock), that it may require buffering and
distribution as you would with other clocks.

Oh...those considering Altera.  I just hit a bug for 7064S devices. It won't
take .pof files, but have to convert to JAM format for programming in a JTAG
loop.

1999\03\18@082844 by WF AUTOMACAO

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Graeme Smith wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I bought too! It's a excelent Starter KIT.

Months ago Lattice did put on WEB a 6 months use Software! You send your
Winchester ID - Volume, and they send the password for operate it!
Includes ABEL, Synary, etc!

Miguel

1999\03\18@113242 by Tom Handley

picon face
  Graeme, that's a very old package. For one thing, the 1016 and 2032
devices have been upgraded to "E" versions which cost less and are easier
to purchase. Lattice bought the rights to the Synario software and they
recently upgraded it to ispEXPERT which comes with a free 6 month license
and the ability to program most of their devices up to 500 macrocells
including the 1000, 2000, 3000, and 5000 devices as well as the the old
ispGAL22V10. You can also get the GDS and GDX software for free. Your
ISP Download cable will still work with the 5V devices. For more info see:

     http://www.latticesemi.com

  Note, Synario/EXPERT allows you to use schematic entry as well as
ABEL-HDL in an integrated environment which also includes a functional
simulator, timing analyzer, and the updated Daisy Chain Download software.

  - Tom

At 05:41 PM 3/17/99 -0700, Graeme Smith wrote:
{Quote hidden}

free
>> software for their ISP devices?  I'm sure someone on the list knows, as I
>> don't use these devices.
>>
>
>

1999\03\18@191335 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
At 10:26 AM 3/18/99 -0800, you wrote:
>Months ago Lattice did put on WEB a 6 months use Software! You send your
>Winchester ID - Volume, and they send the password for operate it!
>Includes ABEL, Synary, etc!

Wow,haven't seen "Winchester" used in a while!

>
>Miguel
>

Sean

|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
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Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
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1999\03\19@065019 by paulb

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Sean Breheny wrote:

> Wow, haven't seen "Winchester" used in a while!

 I understand it refers to a very large glass(?) bottle.

>> Months ago Lattice did put on WEB a 6 months use Software!  You send
>> your Winchester ID - Volume, and they send the password for operate
>> it!  Includes ABEL, Synary, etc!

 Totally useless arrangement for experimenters of course (and I would
think, many developers), may not even get around to using it within the
six months.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\03\19@160838 by John Payson

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|>> Months ago Lattice did put on WEB a 6 months use Software!  You send
|>> your Winchester ID - Volume, and they send the password for operate
|>> it!  Includes ABEL, Synary, etc!

|  Totally useless arrangement for experimenters of course (and I would
|think, many developers), may not even get around to using it within the
|six months.

>From what I've heard, there's no particular problem getting the
code renewed every six months as needed, though I'd certainly not
want to have anything important tied to something that relied on
another company's continuing good will.

On the other hand, I suspect that the real purpose of the 6-month
thingie is to keep an ongoing estimate of how many people are using
their software vs buying their chips.  If someone keeps mailing every
6 months to beg for a new passcode, odds are they're still using the
software. :-)

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