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Because I have not tested all electronic circuits mentioned on this pages, I cannot attest to their accuracy; therefore, I do not provide a warranty of any kind and cannot be held responsible in any manner.

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FPGA: The first contact

Is there a cheap and powerful kit for an experiments with FPGAs? Yes, here it is!

Some time ago I've been looking for an evkit with some powerful FPGA - such as Spartan. But prices was a little bit higher than hobbyist want to pay. Finally I've found an interesting solution for about fifty bucks...

The Avnet Xilinx Spartan 3A evaluation kit contains the 400,000 gate 3S400A FPGA from Xilinx. With over 8,000 logic cells available, this FPGA is ideal for exploring general logic designs as well as DSP and MicroBlaze based embedded processing applications. Besides the FPGA, the board also includes a Cypress PSoC Mixed Signal Array which functions as a "companion chip" to the Spartan-3A. The PSoC device is pre-configured to enable direct programming of the FPGA, SPI Flash memory, and parallel Flash memory through a Windows-based programming application. Spansion SPI and parallel Flash memories are included for FPGA configuration storage, code storage and data file storage. The board's cost optimized power supply from Texas Instruments allows for powering from either a USB port or a 5 V AC/DC wall adapter. Other general purpose peripherals like switches, LEDs, user I/O, and clocks round out the board functions.

Kit features:
* Xilinx XC3S400A-4FTG256C Spartan-3A FPGA
* Four LEDs
* Four CapSense™ switches
* I2C temperature sensor
* Two 6-pin expansion headers
* 20 x 2, 0.1-inch user I/O header
* 32 Mb Spansion® MirrorBit® NOR GL Parallel Flash
* 128 Mb Spansion MirrorBit SPI FL Serial Flash
* USB-UART bridge
* I2C port
* SPI and BPI configuration
* Xilinx JTAG interface
* FPGA configuration via PSoC®

I've ordered it two weeks ago, and finally I've my own kit. I'm looking forward to the weekend to first play with my first big FPGA... Any ideas? :)

Link: Avnet Xilinx Spartan 3A evaluation kit

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