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'More on the GAL saga'
1997\06\09@221816 by Steve Hardy

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Since there has been a modicum of interest in GALs (and GUYs?) in
this listserver, I thought some of you might be interested in my
experience over the weekend.

I obtained one 'Synario' kit from Lattice Semi. Corp.  To my horror it
was all on a CD ROM so I had to make a mad rush around town to get the
appropriate hardware -- decided to go SCSI, which is a bit more
difficult to source than the old IDE standard.  Once this was out of
the way, in went the CD and away I went.  One of the first things to
come up was a recommendation that one should have at least 16M of RAM.
Well I only had 8, but I thought to myself that no self respecting
piece of software would actually use that much, so I ploughed on
blithely.

It installed nicely, and in no time I was into the text editor to enter
my first bit of ABEL-HDL (hardware description language).  Hit the
'make' button and off she went.  This is where I immediately regretted
my decision to omit the purchase of additional RAM, for the disk drive
did make an awful fuss (paging all those programs, PDF viewers etc.).
Nevertheless, the software eventually showed me a listing of what the
compiler and device fitter came up with, and it was a remarkable and
pleasing result.  It really does work.  It came up with a nice
implementation of a 4-bit synchronous counter, two 4-bit comparators
and several other bits and pieces.

Now I haven't actually got around to downloading the design into
silicon since my wife started to get highly upset at the amount of time
I was spending in front of the computer.  (This had taken about a day
and a half, compressed via the magic of email into an apparent few
minutes above).  However, I will attempt to do this in the near future,
ball-and-chain permitting.  This should be easy, since all one needs is
a spare parallel port, the cable (which comes in the kit), and an 8-pin
header on the target PC board.

The purpose of all this is to develop some PIC-friendly peripherals, in
particular I want a phase-controlled PWM.  The beauty of these
particular devices is that they are in-circuit reconfigurable, and
indeed the PIC (and a serial EEPROM or two) can be used to download a
new hardware 'personality'.  This is very useful for my intended
application -- a universal SMPS -- which requires a wide range of
output drive waveforms.

One possible bummer is that the Lattice devices come in PLCC (read:
small) or SOIC (read: smaller) packages.  Be prepared to sharpen up the
old soldering iron tip, get out your stereo microscope, and warm up the
arc lights.  Oh, and that 32M RAM upgrade...

Regards,
SJH
Canberra, Australia

1997\06\09@225545 by Bob Blick

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Time for my two cents' worth.

I use Warp at work, and it does work pretty well, and you are programming
in real VHDL, which is something worth learning(read: useful job skill).

Lately I've been writing VHDL with Cypress flash CPLDs as the target. The
CY7C370i series of CPLDs have large(up to 134 active pins) groups of
22v10-like macrocells with a programmable interconnect. They are fast
devices, don't use too much power, are relatively inexpensive, and are
In-Cicuit-Reprogrammable using the Cypress ISR cable.

Warp and the ISR cable are available together from Cypress for $195 right
now, and come with a few of the chips(not the biggest ones). I'm sure if
you look at http://www.cypress.com you'll be able to get details. They've been
real nice to me.

Warp will also compile for 22v10 and a couple other SPLDs, though the ISR
cable won't program them.

-Bob

http://www.bobblick.com/

1997\06\10@011810 by Bob Blick

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Sorry if it sounded like I was comparing ABEL-HDL and VHDL, it wasn't my
intent. I've never seen ABEL-HDL.

I was also wrong about the price for the Warp+ISR package. It's $175, comes
with Warp, ISR cable, two chips, and a book.

-Bob

http://www.bobblick.com/

1997\06\10@023356 by William Chops Westfield

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There was an article in EDN magazine several months ago listing availability
and mini-reviews of "free and inexpensive" PLD software.  Turns out that a
failry large number of the software packages given away to sell some vendor's
neat new high density chip will also still do "generic" devices like the
16V8, 22V10, and so on.  You might be able to find the article somewhere
on http://www.ednmag.com.

BillW

1997\06\10@024451 by Eric Martens

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Hello Steve

----------
| From: Steve Hardy <spam_OUThardyTakeThisOuTspamSWENG.STORTEK.COM>
| To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
| Subject: More on the GAL saga
| Date: dinsdag 10 juni 1997 19:17
|
| Since there has been a modicum of interest in GALs (and GUYs?) in
| this listserver, I thought some of you might be interested in my
| experience over the weekend.

We're always interested in the juicy stories of someone else !!!

| I obtained one 'Synario' kit from Lattice Semi. Corp.

What was the price of this kit ? do they still have it.

| To my horror it
| was all on a CD ROM so I had to make a mad rush around town to get the
| appropriate hardware -- decided to go SCSI, which is a bit more
| difficult to source than the old IDE standard.  Once this was out of
| the way, in went the CD and away I went.  One of the first things to
| come up was a recommendation that one should have at least 16M of RAM.
| Well I only had 8, but I thought to myself that no self respecting
| piece of software would actually use that much, so I ploughed on
| blithely.

You'd be supprised on how many programs use and need this much memory !!!

| It installed nicely, and in no time I was into the text editor to enter
| my first bit of ABEL-HDL (hardware description language).  Hit the
| 'make' button and off she went.  This is where I immediately regretted
| my decision to omit the purchase of additional RAM, for the disk drive
| did make an awful fuss (paging all those programs, PDF viewers etc.).
| Nevertheless, the software eventually showed me a listing of what the
| compiler and device fitter came up with, and it was a remarkable and
| pleasing result.  It really does work.  It came up with a nice
| implementation of a 4-bit synchronous counter, two 4-bit comparators
| and several other bits and pieces.
|
| Now I haven't actually got around to downloading the design into
| silicon since my wife started to get highly upset at the amount of time
| I was spending in front of the computer.  (This had taken about a day
| and a half, compressed via the magic of email into an apparent few
| minutes above).

I had the same problem with my girl friend. My solution to this "problem" I
moved my
computer into the living room. Our aparatment has a living room of 4 X 10
meters. I've
made a nice desk in the back corner and put the computer over there. The only
problem now
is that I have two problems instead of just one (an angry girlfriend) 1: my
computer
isn't in the same room as my electronics equipment (solved this problem recently
(an
extra computer)) 2: I have to keep my desk clean :-(

|  However, I will attempt to do this in the near future,
| ball-and-chain permitting.  This should be easy, since all one needs is
| a spare parallel port, the cable (which comes in the kit), and an 8-pin
| header on the target PC board.

Let me know if this works.

| The purpose of all this is to develop some PIC-friendly peripherals, in
| particular I want a phase-controlled PWM.  The beauty of these
| particular devices is that they are in-circuit reconfigurable, and
| indeed the PIC (and a serial EEPROM or two) can be used to download a
| new hardware 'personality'.  This is very useful for my intended
| application -- a universal SMPS -- which requires a wide range of
| output drive waveforms.

Looks like a nice project. Are you planning to use it for repair reasons or just
as a
general purpose SMPS

| One possible bummer is that the Lattice devices come in PLCC (read:
| small) or SOIC (read: smaller) packages.

Those packages are indeed very small, but i find it more difficult to design and
make a
good PCB for them. Almost every PCB design program has pads for those packages.
The main
problem is making the PCB itself. exposing the PCB recuires a very sharp film
(>300DPI).
Etching the PCB is problem on its own. You all will now these sympthoms:
floating
connections & irregular etching.

I'm thinking of buying a prototyping machine. This is a staionaire CNC milling
machine.
It's the size of a big old laserprinter. It uses ordinaire glass fiber board and
is
capable of making three !! wires between two IC connectors (2,54 millimeters).

The machine isn't cheap but in the long run beats the proffesional prototyping
costs.



| Be prepared to sharpen up the old soldering iron tip,

If you're using a Weller soldering iron you can get a special very sharp tip.
Believe me
they're sharp !!!

| get out your stereo microscope, and warm up the
| arc lights.  Oh, and that 32M RAM upgrade...

I wonder, what are the current prices for memory modules in australia ?
I recently stepped up to 48 MB of RAM and at the end of the month i'll go up to
64 MB.
This is the limit for my board (4x16 MB)



Greetings Eric Martens

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
+-----------------------------+
|                             |
|     Eric Martens            |
|   EMAR ELectronics        +-+
|   emarspamKILLspamknoware.nl         |
| Fax: +31-(0)492-522418    +-+
| Maxer: +31-(0)660137959     |
|                             |
+-----------------------------+
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

1997\06\10@192458 by Lester

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                       WANTED
Due to the recent mention of GAL's on list maybe some of you can help.

We are about to launch a new low cost GAL programmer to compliment our PIC
programmers and emulators.

It will program 16V8 16V8A 20V8 20V8A
via IBM pc  Printer port, windowz and Dos software
etc etc

we need someone to put it through its paces, before we offer them for
sale.

Is there any person / group in UK that would be interested in giving oit
the once over with different devices in every day working environment ?


Thanks in anticipation

----------------------------------------------------------------
.....SalesKILLspamspam.....bannold.demon.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------

Crownhill Associates Limited
The Old Bakery
Ely
CB7 4PW

Tel: 01353 666 709
Int Tel: +44 (0) 1353 66 67 09
Fax: 01353 666 710
Int Fax: +44 (0)1353 66 67 10
-----------------------------------------------------------------

1997\06\10@223035 by Leon Heller

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In message <EraseME9706100217.AA08072spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTkeeper.stortek.com>, Steve Hardy
<hardyspamspam_OUTSWENG.STORTEK.COM> writes
>Since there has been a modicum of interest in GALs (and GUYs?) in
>this listserver, I thought some of you might be interested in my
>experience over the weekend.
>
>I obtained one 'Synario' kit from Lattice Semi. Corp.  To my horror it
>was all on a CD ROM so I had to make a mad rush around town to get the
>appropriate hardware -- decided to go SCSI, which is a bit more
>difficult to source than the old IDE standard.  Once this was out of
>the way, in went the CD and away I went.  One of the first things to
>come up was a recommendation that one should have at least 16M of RAM.
>Well I only had 8, but I thought to myself that no self respecting
>piece of software would actually use that much, so I ploughed on
>blithely.

[deleted]

I got one of the Lattice isp Starter Kits a couple of years ago, and am
in agreement with Steve's comments. For #24 (UK) I got a seminar, a
development/evaluation PCB and the starter kit - the normal price is
about #65 for the kit on its own. As I got there early I even got a free
lunch thrown in - the speakers had some sandwiches left over. 8-)

The kit included PDS software for the smaller devices, comprehensive
documentation, a download cable and some sample devices (2032, 22V10 and
a digital switch). I subsequently got Lattice's free CD-ROM, which comes
with Synario for the smaller devices. I'm using a 2032 for an ISA I/F to
a Xilinx XC6216 reconfigurable computer FPGA.

Lattice devices are ideal for learning about programmable logic, because
of the free software, low-cost starter kit and easy programming.

Leon
--
Leon Heller
Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Email: @spam@leonKILLspamspamlfheller.demon.co.uk http://www.lfheller.demon.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 118 947 1424 (home) +44 (0) 1344 385556 (work)

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