We're trying to build CPU's and systems so RAM and general purpose
I/O is important to us. That knowledge may help understanding the
Here are the links and notes which lead us to buy the B5-X300 Super Vlaue Pack
from Tony Burch
Semiconductor makes a board not with FPGA but with a dedicated Zilog
Z80-like processor. This is a nice board in that it has all the built
in pieces parts we'd want, but instead of giving us an FPGA, it has a
built in processor. Ideally, we'd find a version of the Rabbit board
with a built in FPGA. Maybe we'd make one by adding our own FPGA in
their proto-typing area.
- Some guy (?) has investigated this
board. He seems really happy with it. At US$442, the B5-X-Super-Value-Pack
comes with a 256KB of
SRAM, 32MB of
Compact Flash (slow, but very useful), and some I/O. This seems
like the most reasonable contendor I've seen yet.
- EasyFPGA has two boards.
One sports the
Xilinx Spartan-II FPGA (Xilinx has moved on to the Spartan 3, and
only the Spartan IIE is hi-lighted on their web site), the other board
hosts the Altera
- Altera has a list of
- Colorado Electronic Product
Design has a couple of boards. The CXS200 also uses the
Xilinx Spartan II . They also have the CAS10 Statrix board
whish uses the Altera
Stratix FPGA. Niether board has any SRAM.
- Parallax (remember the
Basic Stamp?) has
some FPGA based boards. These boards don't have SRAM built in,
- El Camino GmbH (of Germany) has some boards . The Digilab CC
board (EUR$700) comes with an Altera Cyclone FPGA and 1MB of memory
(256K x 36bit of SRAM).
- XESS.com makes a few boards
that are architecturally more interesting. They have more I/O, more
RAM controllers, everything is on the same board (no wires), etc.
It's a very clean system, but it's $900. There is one $150 board that has good
I would think that SRAM, or compact flash would be very useful. After
all, I'm trying to build a micro-processor. And, LaFarr is trying to
build a math-engine. Either way, RAM is really helpful. So, hmm. It
looks to me like the B5-X is still the best.