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Author Topic: Bit of Guidance :-)
Fish4Fun
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Post Bit of Guidance :-)
on: May 1, 2017, 09:22
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Hello Earth People!

(As a long-time Sci-Fi fan with a degree in Creative writing, it is difficult to express how exciting it is to use the above salutation!)

I am an absolute noob wrt (with respect to) FPGA/CPLD synthesis. I have played with the AVR family of 8-bit micro-controllers since the late 1990's, but my code to date has been limited to AVR-ASM. I have a fair amount of experience with developing windows applications using VB6. I am familiar with general circuit design, PCB layout/fabrication/population and trouble-shooting.... I have designed and built a wide range of prototype and one-off projects for personal use, and have taken one project from concept to consumer-level production. But I have almost zero experience with C and absolutely zero experience with any HDL.

I think I have a fairly firm grasp on the basic functionality of FPGA & CPLD capabilities, but absolutely NO IDEA how to "make the magic happen". I have installed Altera's Quartus ii software, and played around with it a bit....read/watched several tutorials. My next step is to use your DueProLogic in an attempt to make an LED blink....I am fairly certain (with some persistence) I can get that far on my own....but ultimately I want to go a bit beyond a blinking LED, and I am fairly certain I am going to need a bit of guidance.

If this is NOT an appropriate forum to seek guidance on development of an FPGA synthesis for a project, then I would truly appreciate some suggestions on forums that might be more appropriate; if this is an appropriate forum, then I would like to outline the project I have in mind and seek general suggestions on how to proceed in a manner that will allow me to learn about FPGA synthesis and the Quartus IDE by developing isolated blocks of my project.

My "Comfort Zone" is schematic capture rather than HDL text. I am certain there are limitations to schematic capture, and that to those familiar with FPGA synthesis via an HDL,that schematic capture must seem more like a gimmick than a tool; but I am an old dog familiar with discrete logic and schematics. My goal is not to synthesize some bleeding edge ALU or mission critical encryption/decryption engine, but rather eventually learn to augment the functionality of a simple 8-bit AVR for tasks that would otherwise require a far more robust processor. (For instance keeping track of multiple 5-bit incremental servo encoders in a multi-axis CNC system ..... creating multi-phase PWM signals based on logic-level feedback .... generating PWM signals in the 50Khz+ range ... etc, etc In general asynchronous tasks that would be too processor intensive for a stand-alone 16Mhz 8-bit micro-controller.) The projects I **think** an FPGA/CPLD might be useful for are projects I feel confident I could build from discreet logic ICs, but would require huge investments in time and effort to design/prototype/debug. I realize the FPGA/CPLD platform will require the same (or more) design time, but it is my **HOPE** that it will vastly reduce the prototype/debug time.

Again, I hope this is an appropriate forum to seek some guidance wrt help with FPGA synthesis, but if it is not, any suggestions to a more appropriate forum would be welcome!

Thanks!

Fish

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