May 10, 2022

FPGA - other (besides Xilinx) devices

I got started with Xilinx, and until I make some progress I will stay with them, but there are other games in town.

Xilinx and Altera dominate the FPGA market, with Xilinx taking over half the market.

Lattice makes some interesting hardware as well, and is perhaps more accessible to the hobbyist (there are open source toolchains).

Naturally there are Ford versus Chevy style arguments about whether Intel or Altera devices are superior. I have no idea or opinion myself. Fate has thrown Xilinx devices in my hands thus far, and my experience is exclusively with them.

Interestingly, Xilinx is owned by AMD, and Altera is owned by Intel. Intel definitely lets you know that Altera is theirs, but you would hardly know that AMD owns Xilinx.

More on Altera

I get tempted to buy a somewhat inexpensive development board, just to find out what the Altera software is like compared to Xilinx Vivado. So far I am busy enough with Xilinx thought.

I was curious if Altera had anything comparable to the Zynq device from Xilinx. Indeed they do, their "Cyclone V" devices have an ARM core or cores along with an FPGA. A company called "terasic" makes development boards with the Cyclone V. However the board I found runs $1800, which won't have me rushing out to buy one.

Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

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