Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼

Al Williams

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Altera Development Board

March 14, 2011

I recently started building a simple circuit with some logic gates and it occurred to me that even as simple as it was, it was just as easy to use a CPLD. I fired up some EDA software, wrote about 20 lines of Verilog and I was good to go.

I could have used an FPGA, of course, but they are logically bigger and more expensive. In most cases (although not all) they also require a configuration memory and a bit of time to load the configuration on start up. So the CPLD was perfect for this application: inexpensive and based on flash so when you turn it on, its ready to go.

Most of the major FPGA vendors also make CPLDs (certainly Xilinx and Altera do, among others). And there are inexpensive options for getting started. Altera, for example, has a US$75 demo board that has a MAX V CPLD, a flash memory (and room for a serial EEPROM), and a 10MHz oscillator. It also has a touch sensitive button, a few push buttons, and two LEDs.

The major vendors also make their free software available (Quartus II, for Altera). So with a very low cost you can stop wiring up glue logic for your embedded designs and move it all to a CPLD!

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.