- on Education & Information
- Published in issue 12/2003 on page 0
FPGA Development Board
With a 300-Kgate Xilinx SpartanIIE device
In sharp contrast with plummeting prices of FPGA chips, suitable development systems for these interesting devices are costly and hard to find. However, that situation seems to have changed for the better with the arrival of a low-cost kit from Australia-based BurchEd.The FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is a programmable logic building block for use in complex digital circuits. Using either a hardware descriptive language or a graphics editor, users of FPGAs are able to design logic circuits that can be downloaded into an FPGA chip. The result (hopefully) is the FPGA acting as the desired logic configuration in all its complexity. As may be expected, FPGAs contain a massive amount of universal elements consisting of gates and/or flip-flops, depending on the FPGA chip you have selected for the job. These elements may be interconnected to form configurations, hence the ability of an FPGA to perform countless digital functions designed by you, the user.