Programmable Devices
CPLDs, FPGAs, SoC FPGAs, Configuration, and Transceivers
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Cyclone III FPGAs

Honored Contributor II

Hey Guys 

I have a project that build with ACEX1k and i am thinking to begin working with Cyclone III FPGAs. 

Is anyone have an idea how to begin this, and where I can found information about the deferent between the ACEX1k FPGA and Cyclone III FPGA and how can i make this step (i mean to begin working with Cyclone III insted of ACEX1k
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2 Replies
Honored Contributor II

The best place to get all the information you want is the Altera WEB page. 


Review the two different families internal resources (LUT / Logic - FlipFlop - Memory - clocking - I/O potential) too gain an understanding of the similarities and differences. 


The best way to make the step is to download the free WEB version fo the latest tool set (7.1). 


If your older designs are done in an HDL language, you are almost done. 

If done in schematic form, then there may be some items that will need to be updated. 

Start by printing out the older schematic in the older tool (assuming you still have access to it). 


Altera is just releasing the Cyclone III Starter Dev Kit, and although some have had challenges in getting the kit once they have placed an order for it, I understand that Altera is now almost (or fully) caught up on the back log of orders. As with most new items, interest in, and demand for, new items always causes shortages in the beginning. 


At the price point for the kit, it is a great bargin. 


I hope this helps, feel free to add more clarifying points if needed. 


Honored Contributor II

Note that, in general, Cyclone III is a superset of the Acex1K family. You're going to be able to do a lot more with it. DSP blocks, PLLs(I think), much more performance, many times the logic for the cost, etc. The only possible thing I can think of is that I think the Acex1K family allowed asynchronous reads and writes to memory, while CIII is all synchronous. If this was done, it's usually not a big deal as there are nearby registers that can be absorbed, although it may require some user tweaking. 


My guess is that more than 95% of designs created for the Acex1K family will compile directly into Cyclone III, so you should be fine. If you have a problem, it's most likely something easy to fix.