FPGA VAX update

Michael Holley swtpc6800 at comcast.net
Sun Oct 23 00:32:30 CDT 2005

I reverse engineered some Altera PLDs (EP600 and EP900) around 1990 and that 
took a few weeks. I knew some folks at NeoCad that reverse engineered the 
Xilinx family and made better design tools than Xilinx. They got no help at 
all from Xilinx. After competing with NeoCad for a few years Xilinx bought 
them in 1995 and used the NeoCad tools.

The parts today are much larger than they were in 1995 and it took a large 
group to reverse engineer the parts then. Another problem is that Xilinx 
keeps developing new devices so you have a moving target.

Xilinx has a free version (ISE WebPACK) that supports the smaller FPGAs on 
Windows and Red Hat Linux. The scope of the problem and the availability of 
free software is going to make it difficult to get enough people to tackle 
the problem. It happened before but they sold out for the big bucks.

Michael Holley

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