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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
703 Views

New to FPGAs

Hello, 

 

I never had the opportunity to learn how to program FPGAs. I would like to purchase a development kit, but they all seem very expensive. However, the dk-start-3c25n kit seems reasonable around $200. 

 

1) Is there a student discount available? 

 

2) I'd like to make a software defined radio with it. There are DSP kits available but they're more than $1000. Is it very difficult to design your own daughter-board with ADC's? I have access to a hot air pencil and solder paste. 

 

3) What's the fastest sampling rate I can achieve with the Cyclone III? 

 

Thank you.
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3 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

I never had the opportunity to learn how to program FPGAs. I would like to purchase a development kit, but they all seem very expensive. However, the dk-start-3c25n kit seems reasonable around $200. 

 

1) Is there a student discount available? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

Terasic makes many of the Altera boards; all the boards for the university program. You can see from their web site that they offer student discounts. 

 

http://www.terasic.com.tw/en/ 

 

For example, the DE0-nano is $79. 

 

http://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?language=english&categoryno=56&no=364 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

2) I'd like to make a software defined radio with it. There are DSP kits available but they're more than $1000. Is it very difficult to design your own daughter-board with ADC's? I have access to a hot air pencil and solder paste. 

 

3) What's the fastest sampling rate I can achieve with the Cyclone III? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

Its not too difficult to build your own board. However, I would recommend starting with a known good working board. Terasic has a couple of ADC/DAC boards 

 

http://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?language=english&categoryno=67&no=278 

 

You could check out their specifications and see if they meet your requirements. 

 

Since you are just starting with FPGAs, and are interested in signal processing, you might find this tutorial interesting: 

 

http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/~dwh/correlator/pdf/esc-100paper_hawkins.pdf (http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/%7edwh/correlator/pdf/esc-100paper_hawkins.pdf

http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/~dwh/correlator/pdf/esc-100slides_hawkins.pdf (http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/%7edwh/correlator/pdf/esc-100slides_hawkins.pdf

http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/~dwh/correlator/pdf/esc2011_fpga_dsp_code.zip (http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/%7edwh/correlator/pdf/esc2011_fpga_dsp_code.zip

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

thanks for the links

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

I recommend also talking to your school (lab tech or whoever would be the coordinator in the Altera University program). It could be that your school is buying a batch and perhaps might have something for you to use. If you are doing ADC type stuff perhaps your best bet is a base board with an HSMC connector on it then connect an HSMC ADC card to it.