05-21-2010 04:29 PM
Where shoudl I start with Verilog and CPLDs?
I have good understanding on digital electronics fundamentals, other programming experience such as C++, and have a BSEE. I didn't get a chance to take an HDL course in school and I am very interested in learning as much on HDL (I'll start with Verilog as I;ve read is easier than VHDL) and designing CPLDs. My employer is in the embedded desgin business and it's designs are primarly based on PLDs.
I purchased the CoolRunner II kit and downloaded the Xilinx ISE software suite. Any suggestions on a good book or introductory material for Verilog? It's the CoolRunner a good starter kit for a beginner? Since it was cheap I didn't mind buying it. Also, if there's any documentation that has examples specifically for the CoolRunner II kit that would be better.
05-21-2010 06:29 PM
I just did a search on Amazon books for Verilog CPLD and no books really specific to CPLDs came up.
I am mainly a VHDL person but about a year ago I decided that I needed to learn Verilog to understand some existing code, and got 3 books on it. The one that helped me the most is "FPGA Prototyping by Verilog Examples" by Chu. It has lots of examples.
I have written code for both FPGAs and CPLDs, and this may sound simple-minded but once you target the device, a lot of your code development does not change between a FPGA and CPLD. The tool, like ISE, makes it mostly transparent to you. With a CPLD you just run out of space sooner !
Which gives rise to the question, if a Spartan XC3S50AN is only $8.94 (Digikey qty 1), has built-in flash and gives you 50K gates, why would you want to use a CPLD ?
05-24-2010 06:45 AM
I think this e-book is an excellent place to start -- http://www.xilinx.com/publications/products/cpld/logic_handbook.pdf
It is not an Intro to Verilog, but it's an excellent overview of the programmable design methodology. Also, it exposes you to the Languague Templates in ISE, which gives you a number of Verilog or VHDL examples that you can use directly in your code.
Hopefully your kit comes with some reference designs and tutorials that get you started, and then you can expand from there. If not, you might want to get an inexpensive FPGA kit, which will vastly open up your programmable opportunities. Here's an inexpensive option -- www.em.avnet.com/spartan3a-evl , and it does include a fairly extensive Introduction to FPGA Design tutorial if you click on the Support Files & Downloads link.
If I had to pick a book, I like "HDL Chip Design" by Douglas Smith, but I don't think it's in print anymore.