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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
758 Views

Which board to buy?

Hey guys, 

 

I just completed my first course in Digital Design. The course provided a brief introduction to FPGA's I am very interested in learning more and was thinking of buying a FPGA board to play around.  

 

I bought Circuit Design with VHDL(1st Edition) by Volnei A. Pedroni and I found it pretty easy to follow along.  

 

Could you guys suggest which board to buy?  

I know this is an Altera forum but I still want to ask this...Xilinx or Altera? 

 

What are the major differences between the two? As in advantages and disadvantages? 

What board would be the best to start with? 

 

Thanks alot
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4 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
24 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

Could you guys suggest which board to buy?  

I know this is an Altera forum but I still want to ask this...Xilinx or Altera? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Look on the Terasic web site for Altera boards. The DE0-nano is a nice low-cost, easy to interface board. The DE1, DE2, etc series have slightly more stuff on them for slightly more $. The Digilent web site has Xilinx boards, some of them look similar to the DE-series boards. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

What are the major differences between the two? As in advantages and disadvantages? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

The programming tools are different. However, once you get the hang of one of them, then the others are not too hard to get used to. I'd recommend starting with one vendor's tool and board and getting familiar with that first. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

What board would be the best to start with? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Buy a DE0-nano, learn to use it, and ask questions on this forum. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
24 Views

Thanks alot for you reply. That was one heck of a quick reply. 

 

I don't have a problem with the cost. I have enough to buy a DE1 and if I work a few extra hours I can buy the DE2. I want something that I can do a lot of stuff with. The next three months, all I ll be doing is playing with the boards.  

 

I went through Digilent and they had a lot of Xilinx stuff. Xilinx boards(Basys2, Nexys2 and Spartan3E) seem to have ALOT of tutorials and material out there. A lot of books that guide you step by step.  

 

I was unable to find much stuff on the Altera boards.  

 

For example: Will I be able to find information of assigning the input and output pins right or will I need to figure that out on my own? I don't want to buy a board and spend two to three weeks figuring out the input and outputs pin assignments. I ll be learning everything on my own. In school I had lab instructors who helped when I got stuck. 

 

 

I hope you see my point. I want to use the next three months to the fullest and learn as much as I can about FPGA's.  

 

Thank alot
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
24 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

I was unable to find much stuff on the Altera boards.  

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

That's where this forum comes in handy. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

For example: Will I be able to find information of assigning the input and output pins right or will I need to figure that out on my own? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

I can give you example designs for most of the Terasic boards. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

I ll be learning everything on my own. In school I had lab instructors who helped when I got stuck. 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Here, you will have the help of many forum members. Go and check if Xilinx has something similar. Then decide which vendor you want to go with. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
24 Views

DE0-Nano is a great board

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