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General usage question
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

General usage question

by krouton on Thu May 01, 2014 10:38 pm

I found your site while looking for a way to do some at-home fpga-like projects. I am basically looking to write a program/state machine, download it to a chip and wire it up to run stand alone. I want to make sure I don't need any special proto board or anything like that to use the programmed chip. Can you point me to the basic products/parts that I would need to start with? Including any software tools needed to compile and download my programs. What are the options for programming languages?

Mike O.
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Re: General usage question

by franklin97355 on Fri May 02, 2014 12:04 am

looking for a way to do some at-home fpga-like projects.
Could you explain this in more detail? What do you mean by "fpga like"?

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Re: General usage question

by acosicdm on Fri May 02, 2014 10:56 am

Good day sir!

I have a mega2560, ITDB02 and a 3.2" touchscreen. I dont know what pins to be use and what library. I hope you can help me. Thanks in advance.


Sidiem.
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Re: General usage question

by krouton on Fri May 02, 2014 8:50 pm

Franklin, do you represent adafruit? If you don't know what an fpga is, then please disregard that part and give me some info on the rest. Thank you.
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Re: General usage question

by franklin97355 on Fri May 02, 2014 9:49 pm

Franklin, do you represent adafruit? If you don't know what an fpga is, then please disregard that part and give me some info on the rest. Thank you.

I do not represent Adafruit. I know what an fpga is just not what you mean by "fpga-like" The rest of your question is way to broad for me to answer, sorry. If you can narrow down what you want to do maybe I could help. Look at the Atmel chips to see if that might fit your criteria. http://www.atmel.com/products/microcontrollers/default.aspx

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Re: General usage question

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat May 03, 2014 6:44 am

Are you looking for an FPGA, or do you want to program the Mega in an FPGA-like manner?
We do have a couple of FPGA dev boards; The DEO and the MOJO:
https://www.adafruit.com/products/451
https://www.adafruit.com/products/1553

I am not familiar with the ITDB02 display controller. But there is a library here with Arduino support: https://code.google.com/p/itdb02/

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Re: General usage question

by krouton on Sun May 04, 2014 6:47 pm

adafruit_support_bill wrote:Are you looking for an FPGA, or do you want to program the Mega in an FPGA-like manner?
We do have a couple of FPGA dev boards; The DEO and the MOJO:
https://www.adafruit.com/products/451
https://www.adafruit.com/products/1553

I am not familiar with the ITDB02 display controller. But there is a library here with Arduino support: https://code.google.com/p/itdb02/


Bill, thank you for your reply. I want to be able to program a chip (be it FPGA or microcontroller) and use it on its own board. I do not want to be tethered or bound to a big development board. I am looking to be able to put it on a blank breadboard and go.
As for the choice between an FPGA or the MEGA?, I am not sure what MEGA is but my first project would be an ALU. I was looking to construct a gaming scoreboard for darts. I would need to implement a multiplier, adder, subtractor, registers and some 7 segment display controllers. I know an FPGA would be able to do this but it would probably be overkill. I would love to see some sort of compiler slash area estimator that would tell me what size/type of chip it would need to be able to hold the program. I am familiar with VHDL, verilog and C/C++ for programming and would like to use windows for my OS for any compiler/programmer.
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Re: General usage question

by franklin97355 on Sun May 04, 2014 8:14 pm

Take a look at the Arduino Uno. It is a development board that talks to the computer through a USB port and has a development IDE that runs on windows. The main chip can be removed from the board and used alone (with a crystal) or you can use the same chip without a bootloader and program it with Atmel Studio and a programmer device. It will probably do what you want for your dart board project. Or you can do some research on the dev boards Bill mentioned. Remember the chips on dev boards can be incorporated into a standalone project, the dev board is only there so you can develop a project easily in the early stages.

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Re: General usage question

by krouton on Mon May 05, 2014 4:22 pm

Franklin,
Thank you. Thats really the info I was looking for. Something non-volatile that I can program and remove from the dev board once the prototype testing is done. Next step will be to check how big a program can fit on these devices (and how big my program will be). I need to also check on the programming languages needed.
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Re: General usage question

by michaelmeissner on Thu May 15, 2014 12:55 am

Arduinos use C++ with some extra sugar coating so that newbies don't have to worry as much about things like forward references. In terms of Arduino like devices, there are various sizes, depending on your needs. At the small end, there is the Teensy/Gemma which are inexpensive, but have various restrictions that might/might not matter to you. The usual place people start with is the Arduino Uno R3. I tend to like the Teensy 3.x (I have 3.0, but 3.1 is now the current chip), as it has more pins and memory than the Unos. With the same environment, you can also program boards using programmers instead of having the USB support on the board.

I would suggest starting with the Uno, since that is the board most people are familiar with. Then after you get experience, you can decide if you need something different (smaller form factor, more memory or pins, etc.).

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.