Odds and Ends questions

Joachim Thiemann joachim.thiemann at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 13:44:08 CST 2009

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 13:20, Keith M <keithvz at verizon.net> wrote:
> Which one? I've got the Digilent Spartan 3E starter kit.  Nice because it
> has built-in programmer, ethernet, vga, lcd, etc etc.

I have the Spartan-3E Sample Pack.  Spartan indeed: it's a XC3E100E
chip, 8M of parallel flash (configuration and user storage) 7 LEDs and
one pushbutton.  A lot of the IO pins are brought out to header pins.
These were given away much like dealers giving away the first free hit
- it worked :-)

> I'm in a similar boat and trying to learn Verilog.

I'm still not sure which one is "better" (knowing full well that the
answer will depend on application, personal preference, employer
preference, etc, etc...) but I've decided to go with VHDL since a lot
of the "big" projects available on the net seem to use it.  I am
currently implementing a simple computer using the T65 core; without
any practical application goals other than running into problem and
fixing them :-)

Eventually I'm thinking I could make a small single-chip CP/M computer
using just a XC3S250 FPGA, the T80 soft core, and a SD card for
storage; serial I/O instead of adding video and kbd drivers. (T80
seems to be too complex for the 100k gate chip, and it only has 4kb of
BRAM anyways. The 250 comes with 24kb of ram, enough for CP/M.)

[...3.3 to 5V...]
> That's my (limited) understanding -- that you need a level shifter.

I do want to try hooking up some old DRAM to the S3E, I'll try it with
just resistors. If it works, I'll be very happy - if not it'll be a
learning experience :-)

Joachim Thiemann :: http://www.tsp.ece.mcgill.ca/~jthiem

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