System Level Design and FPGA Options

Reading a few things last night there seem to be new tools that work at a more abstract level than VHDL out there. Mentioned were System Verilog, SystemC and Handel-C. I’ll have to take a look sometime in the future. For the moment I suspect that VHDL will more than meet my immediate needs.

I’ve also been looking at FPGA choices a little bit. The Spartan-6 on the breakout board I’ve got looks about right for my initial sandbox work. I’d like to find smaller, larger and newer options for ongoing things…ideally something that is inexpensive enough to use as glue/support logic and can be worked with without needing a custom PCB. It is also clear that the Spartan line is getting old and that Xilinx is shifting FPGA focus towards newer designs such as the Artix

I’d like to look a bit at the CPLD end of the spectrum as these seem to promise smaller, cheaper glue options, perhaps even with less demanding packaging choices. Wondering if Altera has interesting options there…

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