What Are The Best FPGA Development Boards Currently Available

Would you like to purchase one of the latest FPGA development boards? You might be building a new computer system. Field programmable gate arrays are available from many different companies including Xilinx who originally developed these programmable logic devices. These are very different from microprocessors which are much more complex. These are designed to be configurable. Development boards for FPGAs are designed to help people understand how to manipulate them into circuitry that can be used for different purposes. Here is an overview of the best FPGA development boards that are currently available.

What Exactly Are FPGA Boards?

Developed in the 1980s, these originated from key research that developed out of programmable logic devices. They were made to help businesses that were into networking and telecommunications. Today, they are used for industrial applications, and are prominent in automotive industries. Consumer products, and many other devices, rely upon these to function. When you purchase a development board, this will help you understand how to program them for dedicated operations. Image processing systems use them, and both hobbyists and students learn on these boards as they become more adept at programming them. Before we begin, you need to know the primary difference between FPGAs and microprocessors as there is often some confusion as to how these development boards differ.

Why Are These So Different From Microprocessors?

The development boards for microprocessors will be similar in many ways to FPGA development boards, yet they are far more complex. You will need to have a minimal amount of support logic to use them. There will be very little hardware that will come with these boards as you are learning how they operate. You can add on the components, especially if your main goal is to build an entire computer system. That’s why you must begin with FPGA development boards. It provide you with a proper foundation for moving toward proficiency with building and even repairing computer systems. You need to begin somewhere, and there are many that are regarded as the best field programmable gate array development boards on the market.

What Are Some Of The Best Ones Available Today?

There are many businesses that make these. Some of them you will be familiar with, whereas others are not as well-known. Development boards with the names of Altera, SainSmart, SeeedStudio, and Parallella are among some of the most popular. They will come from different product lines such as Cyclone IV and Spartan, and will use EPROM and Onboard chips. Let’s look at a few of these that you may want to consider purchasing based upon their pricing, and also their overall capabilities.

RioRand EP2C5T144 Altera Cyclone II FPGA

This field programmable gate array is extremely popular because of its low price, as well as its size. It is considered to be a miniature development board, priced at right around $25. It comes with a manual that will show you what to do, and you can also participate within the online community. It uses both Onboard and EPROM chips, as well as a 50M active crystal.

Numato Lab Elbert V2 Spartan 3A FPGA

This particular FPGA is also very popular. It is priced at around $35. It is an Xilinx Spartan 3A FPGA that is perfect for experimenting and is geared more for advanced users. It features a 144 pin FPGA with 108 user IOs. You may want to use this once you have become more adept at using more basic field programmable gate arrays. Get it here http://www.directics.com/xilinix-fpga/.

Parallella-16 Desktop Computer

Although this comes with an FPGA, and is much more complex. Once you have use the other two, you will be ready to try this one out. This is one of the top microcontrollers, designed for students that are learning how to use more comprehensive systems. It comes with a dual core ARM, and uses an Epiphany coprocessor. This is completely programmable, and you can also learn how to connect it with ethernet, HDMI cables, and also USB interfaces. It is the perfect upgrade for those that have graduated from using basic FPGAs.

A Couple Other FPGA Development Boards You May Want To Use

The 6K Complete KIT STVD STVP is made by a company called STMicroelectronics. This comes in many different sizes and styles. Prices can range from $20, all the way up to $500, depending upon the complexity of the system. This business provides many different options that will all have the same quality. You are simply going to decide on which one will be best suited for what you are trying to learn. Additionally, the  FPGA development board EP4CE40 is one that you will want to learn if you are getting into image processing. This is an extremely popular industry. From the graphics that you will use on video games, to using professional equipment for design purposes, these types of boards will be integral to these industries. Finally, consider using the SainSmart FPGA product line. They have many different boards that are available. These will teach you how to incorporate LCDs into the development board, providing you with nearly 300,000 RAM bits.

These are just a few of the many FPGA development boards that you may want to start out with. By using them in the order that they were presented, you will gradually become more adept at programming field programmable gate arrays. By the time you get to the Parallella-16, you will be on your way to programming some of the more complex systems. This will allow you to start using something more diverse such as a Programmable Logic IC development tool. Additionally, since you are starting off with the least expensive ones, you will be able to afford the first two initially. After a month of learning how to use them, you will then move on to those that are more complex. These are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, which is how development boards are supposed to be designed. If you have been interested in learning how to program FPGAs, you now know which ones to use to become more adept at programming these computer related systems.