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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 02:58 PM
Eli Hughes
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Default CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Is the coolrunner XPLA3 getting axed? I noticed that it is no longer a
link on the xilinx font page. The online store does not list them on
the front page(only Cool runner II and the XC9500 Series). Its also
slim pickens' when you do find the part you need on Avnet or Nuhorizons.
Digikey is horrible for Xilinx Now.

When I see this with other IC/MCU vendors I get scared. I really like
these chips. The Cool Runner II series is great but I really dont like
having the 1.8v Core Requirement (at least with lower speed logic).

I work at a University Research Lab where we typical build 10 or 20 of a
design before passing it off to a sponsor. It seems that lately I have
to *really* pick through to see what is avaialble online before I do a
design as the chips always seem to be out of stock.

Are all the other brands (Brand A, Brand L) like this as well? Or
should I just stop complaining. I do love the technology but it seems
that I spend more time finding parts than writing HDL.


Thanks
-Eli
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 03:22 PM
Falk Brunner
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Eli Hughes schrieb:

> Are all the other brands (Brand A, Brand L) like this as well? Or
> should I just stop complaining. I do love the technology but it seems
> that I spend more time finding parts than writing HDL.


So it may be a good idea to "waste" a few cents and minutes to add a
linear regulator for 1.8V instead of wasting hours to get not easy
availabe parts. This hold especially true for a handfull of boards. For
hundreds or thousands, this is another story.

Regards
Falk
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 03:39 PM
Eli Hughes
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Falk Brunner wrote:
> Eli Hughes schrieb:
>
>> Are all the other brands (Brand A, Brand L) like this as well? Or
>> should I just stop complaining. I do love the technology but it seems
>> that I spend more time finding parts than writing HDL.

>
>
> So it may be a good idea to "waste" a few cents and minutes to add a
> linear regulator for 1.8V instead of wasting hours to get not easy
> availabe parts. This hold especially true for a handfull of boards. For
> hundreds or thousands, this is another story.
>
> Regards
> Falk



I guess my frustration goes beyond the Cool Runnerm. Take the Spartan
3e. Its been advertised on the website as the greast thing since sliced
bread for *over* a year now. I am sure its a nice chip. I have been
wanting to use it. Click on the online store and select say the
XC3S100E. Its says special Qty. Lead Time Call...... Its obvious
that there is a diconnect between Marketing and Engineering/Development.
I dont mind delays, etc. Just be up front about.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 03:42 PM
dp
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

> So it may be a good idea to "waste" a few cents and minutes to add a
> linear regulator for 1.8V instead of wasting hours to get not easy
> availabe parts.


The thing is, how do you know which will be easily available tomorrow.
They discontinued the old coolrunner from Philips for purely political
reasons, how do you know what will suit them tomorrow. As long
as one firm - no matter which - has monopoly over a technology
things don't look good for us users...
(there is no competitive technology to the coolrunner on the market,
in case you did not know that) .
But then again, as long as there are reasonable people like Peter
and Austin at Xilinx - although I suspect they are a minority - there
is always hope one can eventually get a job done.

Dimiter

------------------------------------------------------
Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments

http://www.tgi-sci.com
------------------------------------------------------

Falk Brunner wrote:
> Eli Hughes schrieb:
>
> > Are all the other brands (Brand A, Brand L) like this as well? Or
> > should I just stop complaining. I do love the technology but it seems
> > that I spend more time finding parts than writing HDL.

>
> So it may be a good idea to "waste" a few cents and minutes to add a
> linear regulator for 1.8V instead of wasting hours to get not easy
> availabe parts. This hold especially true for a handfull of boards. For
> hundreds or thousands, this is another story.
>
> Regards
> Falk


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

>I guess my frustration goes beyond the Cool Runnerm. Take the Spartan
>3e. Its been advertised on the website as the greast thing since sliced
>bread for *over* a year now. I am sure its a nice chip. I have been
>wanting to use it. Click on the online store and select say the
>XC3S100E. Its says special Qty. Lead Time Call...... Its obvious
>that there is a diconnect between Marketing and Engineering/Development.
> I dont mind delays, etc. Just be up front about.


Check the store first, and then the specs?
Most engineers ought to know the substance of marketing by now =)

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 04:43 PM
Falk Brunner
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Eli Hughes schrieb:

> I guess my frustration goes beyond the Cool Runnerm. Take the Spartan
> 3e. Its been advertised on the website as the greast thing since sliced
> bread for *over* a year now. I am sure its a nice chip. I have been
> wanting to use it. Click on the online store and select say the


What can a Spartan 3E do what a Spartan 3 can't? Not much I guess. So
instead of wasting times with marketing battle, go for another
(available) IC. Don't forget. We are engineers. We make valuable things
out of AVAILABLE things. (At least, thats the myth ;-)

Regards
Falk
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 04:44 PM
Antti
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

looks like Xilinx is taking an exit from PLD(and non-volatile) -
market.

If there would be something new coming out we should have seen some
publicity on this by today.
( like mistake with the wrong posting about Virtex-5 )

Sure Both Altera and Lattice have their "new-PLD" families
(MAX2/machXO) out so Xilinx has the advantage todo the same even better
- machXO is better than MAX2 and CoolFPGA from xilinx could beat both
of them.

I would pretty much welcome Xilinx to have 'CoolFPGA' same as machXO,
but with 1 BRAM in smallest device and maybe more low power options.

Hm, lets see maybe there is something coming, sure one may wish Xilinx
to really get S3e and V4 production running first, guess it has higher
priority, possible to that extent that it doesnt any more make sense
for Xilinx even to attempt to compete with MAX2/machXO/XP

Antti

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 04:57 PM
Falk Brunner
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

dp schrieb:

> The thing is, how do you know which will be easily available tomorrow.
> They discontinued the old coolrunner from Philips for purely political
> reasons, how do you know what will suit them tomorrow. As long


Welcome to the real world. Besides, I don't think its thaaat bad. The
old coolrunners are still in production, "just" a quick acquisition for
new designs is not possible anymore. So what.

> as one firm - no matter which - has monopoly over a technology
> things don't look good for us users...


In general yes, but I would'nt overstate the problem. AFAIK Xilinx isn't
ripping off its customers (even if some, eahhh newsgroupers, blame them
for that.)

> (there is no competitive technology to the coolrunner on the market,
> in case you did not know that).


What about the MACH line from Lattice? The have also a zero power family
(Z?). And in the case the is truely no competitive technology, we have
to be glad to have the Xilinx parts at this low prices (uhhh, I could
work in marketing, right? ;-)

> But then again, as long as there are reasonable people like Peter
> and Austin at Xilinx - although I suspect they are a minority - there
> is always hope one can eventually get a job done.


You can almost allways get the job done, if you don't glue yourself to
ideal assumptions in a non-ideal world. If one IC is not available, try
to use another. If this take longer, more troublesome whatever, tell
your boss you are not McGyver.
And as someone else already stated, this lesson (about marketing blabla
and utopia release dates) is well know nowadays. If you didn't attend
this lesson before, you did now ;-)

Regards
Falk
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 05:21 PM
dp
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

> Welcome to the real world.

Oh, thanks for welcoming me. I was just wondering what this place was.

> Besides, I don't think its thaaat bad.


How many of your designed products have lived long enough
to see a discontinued component.

> You can almost allways get the job done ...


So far I have been able to avoid the "almost". Doing a job
means doing it within a time- and cost frame. When you have
a reasonable number of working designs in your library,
you will find out that unnecessary change of components
only extends the frame.

Dimiter

------------------------------------------------------
Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments

http://www.tgi-sci.com
------------------------------------------------------

Falk Brunner wrote:
> dp schrieb:
>
> > The thing is, how do you know which will be easily available tomorrow.
> > They discontinued the old coolrunner from Philips for purely political
> > reasons, how do you know what will suit them tomorrow. As long

>
> Welcome to the real world. Besides, I don't think its thaaat bad. The
> old coolrunners are still in production, "just" a quick acquisition for
> new designs is not possible anymore. So what.
>
> > as one firm - no matter which - has monopoly over a technology
> > things don't look good for us users...

>
> In general yes, but I would'nt overstate the problem. AFAIK Xilinx isn't
> ripping off its customers (even if some, eahhh newsgroupers, blame them
> for that.)
>
> > (there is no competitive technology to the coolrunner on the market,
> > in case you did not know that).

>
> What about the MACH line from Lattice? The have also a zero power family
> (Z?). And in the case the is truely no competitive technology, we have
> to be glad to have the Xilinx parts at this low prices (uhhh, I could
> work in marketing, right? ;-)
>
> > But then again, as long as there are reasonable people like Peter
> > and Austin at Xilinx - although I suspect they are a minority - there
> > is always hope one can eventually get a job done.

>
> You can almost allways get the job done, if you don't glue yourself to
> ideal assumptions in a non-ideal world. If one IC is not available, try
> to use another. If this take longer, more troublesome whatever, tell
> your boss you are not McGyver.
> And as someone else already stated, this lesson (about marketing blabla
> and utopia release dates) is well know nowadays. If you didn't attend
> this lesson before, you did now ;-)
>
> Regards
> Falk


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 05:38 PM
Falk Brunner
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

dp schrieb:

>>Besides, I don't think its thaaat bad.

>
>
> How many of your designed products have lived long enough
> to see a discontinued component.


Not so much, since Iam a bit too young to tell stories from the good ole
days ;-) But I have seen it. About 4 years ago, I did a minor redesign
because of discontinued parts. A half year ago, I did a major redesign
on the same unit (all functions that were done using ASICs and FPGAs are
now inside one little FPGA from brand A)

>>You can almost allways get the job done ...

>
> So far I have been able to avoid the "almost". Doing a job
> means doing it within a time- and cost frame. When you have
> a reasonable number of working designs in your library,
> you will find out that unnecessary change of components
> only extends the frame.


Right. But this was not the point. The point was that the OP was
complaining about delayed availibility of components that were announced
ages ago (ok, lots of month ;-)
So NO EXISTING design uses ANNOUNCED devices.

Regards
Falk
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 07:08 PM
Peter Alfke
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

There is ABSOLUTELY NO truth to this rumor. XPLA3 aka CoolRunner is
alive and kicking and finds increasing acceptance in the market.
Disappearance from our website and poor availability data from Avnet or
DigiKey have nothing to do with the health of the product line and its
long-time future.
Rumors like this can become self-fulfilling, that's why I jumped in
immediately.
Will publish additional convincing data soon.
Peter Alfke, Xilinx

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 07:31 PM
Eli Hughes
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Peter Alfke wrote:
> There is ABSOLUTELY NO truth to this rumor. XPLA3 aka CoolRunner is
> alive and kicking and finds increasing acceptance in the market.
> Disappearance from our website and poor availability data from Avnet or
> DigiKey have nothing to do with the health of the product line and its
> long-time future.
> Rumors like this can become self-fulfilling, that's why I jumped in
> immediately.
> Will publish additional convincing data soon.
> Peter Alfke, Xilinx
>



Thanks for the feedback Peter. I sincerely appreciate the feedback you
and Austin give on this forum. I really do like the 3.3v coolrunner parts!

-Eli
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 07:41 PM
bart
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

> When I see this with other IC/MCU vendors I get scared. I really like
> these chips. The Cool Runner II series is great but I really dont like
> having the 1.8v Core Requirement (at least with lower speed logic).


The Lattice ispMach 4000V device has a 3.3V Vcc. If you're interested,
here's the link to that product info, data sheets, etc.:
http://www.latticesemi.com/products/...ach4000bcv.cfm

Regards,
Bart Borosky, Lattice

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 08:02 PM
Austin Lesea
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Eli,

Thanks.

Further on CPLDs:

The lifetimes of the CPLD products are incredibly long.

If you notice we have 5V, 3.3V, and 2.5V CPLD products still advertisd
and supported on our website.

We also have the older Coolrunner (XPLA3), and newer Coolrunner II.

All of them are there, and are being produced and supplied.

http://www.xilinx.com/events/webcast...unner2cpld.htm

Just because the latest darling is the latest product does not mean that
there are not a ton of sockets out there that still need filling.

It took us awhile to really understand the CPLD market (and how it is so
different from the FPGA market), but now that we think we know what that
market is looking for (basically: #1-price, #2-price, #2-price,
#4-power...) Xilinx is the second largest CPLD supplier in the market,
and growing. It is an important part of our business, and we have a
division that is tasked with making a profit, and growing the market.

The FPGA business is also important (obviously), and there we split into
two groups: Virtex line, and Spartan line, each group with its own charter.

As we move from 90nm to 65nm, and beyond, one can expect more diversity
in the offerings for FPGAs, as the Spartan line has begun to attract new
customers from new markets that the Virtex line has never been able to
interest.

It is all a very complex business. And obsoleting a line is only done
when it is no longer making money (volumes have dwindled to such a small
number that we are at end of life for the line). A last time buy notice
is issued, follwed by a last time ship notice.

http://www.xilinx.com/bvdocs/notific...escription.pdf

Just search on 'last time buy CPLD' for the entire website and you will
see the notices, and the dates. For CPLDs, it is extremely rare to end
the line. Most notices are for transitions to less expensive fab
partners so that we can continue to match prices in this vicious market
(CPLDs).

It may be that for the older devices, there are no new sockets that we
are winning, and the volumes and contract are primarily being handled on
a routine basis, so the shelf stock for small quantities is being
discontinued by distribution. That is only fair. If they get no new
requests for the part, they are unlikely to pay much attention to
supporting small quantities. Peter and I both agree that a 'source for
the small guys' is critical*, and he and I are still fighting that battle.

Austin

*we also know the small guy might be doing the job for a big guy, or
might even be the big guy, too.



Eli Hughes wrote:

> Peter Alfke wrote:
>
>> There is ABSOLUTELY NO truth to this rumor. XPLA3 aka CoolRunner is
>> alive and kicking and finds increasing acceptance in the market.
>> Disappearance from our website and poor availability data from Avnet or
>> DigiKey have nothing to do with the health of the product line and its
>> long-time future.
>> Rumors like this can become self-fulfilling, that's why I jumped in
>> immediately.
>> Will publish additional convincing data soon.
>> Peter Alfke, Xilinx
>>

>
>
> Thanks for the feedback Peter. I sincerely appreciate the feedback you
> and Austin give on this forum. I really do like the 3.3v coolrunner parts!
>
> -Eli

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 08:07 PM
Eli Hughes
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

bart wrote:
>>When I see this with other IC/MCU vendors I get scared. I really like
>>these chips. The Cool Runner II series is great but I really dont like
>>having the 1.8v Core Requirement (at least with lower speed logic).

>
>
> The Lattice ispMach 4000V device has a 3.3V Vcc. If you're interested,
> here's the link to that product info, data sheets, etc.:
> http://www.latticesemi.com/products/...ach4000bcv.cfm
>
> Regards,
> Bart Borosky, Lattice
>



Thanks for the info. Is the ISPLever - Starter equivilent to the XIlinx
Webpack?

Also what tools do I need for In system Programming?

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 09:50 PM
Jim Granville
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Peter Alfke wrote:
> There is ABSOLUTELY NO truth to this rumor. XPLA3 aka CoolRunner is
> alive and kicking and finds increasing acceptance in the market.


That I believe.

> Disappearance from our website and poor availability data from Avnet or
> DigiKey have nothing to do with the health of the product line and its
> long-time future.


... but that is a strange statement indeed.

I would say that a product that has poor availability, and suffers
Disappearance, (as you admit) is not going to get new designs.
Once a product is tagged NFND, then it fades from everyones radar
quite quickly. ( not just designers, but FAE's and stockists.. )

Key Q: Do Xilinx not WANT new designs in this family ?


> Rumors like this can become self-fulfilling, that's why I jumped in
> immediately.
> Will publish additional convincing data soon.
> Peter Alfke, Xilinx
>


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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 09:53 PM
Jim Granville
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Austin Lesea wrote:

> The FPGA business is also important (obviously), and there we split into
> two groups: Virtex line, and Spartan line, each group with its own
> charter.
>
> As we move from 90nm to 65nm, and beyond, one can expect more diversity
> in the offerings for FPGAs, as the Spartan line has begun to attract new
> customers from new markets that the Virtex line has never been able to
> interest.


I notice NOT mentioned here are any NEW product plans for CPLDs ?
That speaks volumes in itself....

-jg

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 10:34 PM
Peter Alfke
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Jim, the website mention what is new, and it does not seem to be edited
with the intention of continuously expressing the health of each
individual product line.
It's kind of "no news is good news".
The non-availability for instant purchasing is a sore point, and has
definitely gotten my attention, and I have raised what can only be
described as a big stink about this. We are a large coumpany, and we
seem to take forever to remedy this [email protected]#$%@# situation.
So, it affects instant purchases only, but should not affect your
confidence in the product line. We are now in lots of consumer
applications that we never even dreamed of for a programmable device
(low priced and with very low power consumption).
The product line is healthy, it just seems to have trouble creating
attention on our website, and it has difficulties getting on the
shelves of the retailers. Darn-it!
Peter Alfke, Xilinx

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 11:43 PM
Jim Granville
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Peter Alfke wrote:
> Jim, the website mention what is new, and it does not seem to be edited
> with the intention of continuously expressing the health of each
> individual product line.
> It's kind of "no news is good news".
> The non-availability for instant purchasing is a sore point, and has
> definitely gotten my attention, and I have raised what can only be
> described as a big stink about this. We are a large coumpany, and we
> seem to take forever to remedy this [email protected]#$%@# situation.
> So, it affects instant purchases only, but should not affect your
> confidence in the product line. We are now in lots of consumer
> applications that we never even dreamed of for a programmable device
> (low priced and with very low power consumption).
> The product line is healthy, it just seems to have trouble creating
> attention on our website, and it has difficulties getting on the
> shelves of the retailers. Darn-it!


Perhaps Xilinx could learn from ST, TI et al, who tag their devices
'Preview' 'Active', and 'Mature' (etc) ?
That makes it clear what is bleeding edge, and what is trailing edge.

-jg

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2006, 10:51 AM
Mike Harrison
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

On 10 May 2006 10:08:54 -0700, "Peter Alfke" <[email protected]> wrote:

>There is ABSOLUTELY NO truth to this rumor. XPLA3 aka CoolRunner is
>alive and kicking and finds increasing acceptance in the market.
>Disappearance from our website and poor availability data from Avnet or
>DigiKey have nothing to do with the health of the product line and its
>long-time future.


Indirectly it does. If people have trouble getting a part, they will be less inclined to design it
in, so demand drops....


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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2006, 11:14 AM
Martin Thompson
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Falk Brunner <[email protected]> writes:

> Eli Hughes schrieb:
>
> > I guess my frustration goes beyond the Cool Runnerm. Take the
> > Spartan 3e. Its been advertised on the website as the greast thing
> > since sliced bread for *over* a year now. I am sure its a nice
> > chip. I have been wanting to use it. Click on the online store
> > and select say the

>
> What can a Spartan 3E do what a Spartan 3 can't?


Configure itself from parallel flash...

> Not much I guess. So
> instead of wasting times with marketing battle, go for another
> (available) IC. Don't forget. We are engineers. We make valuable
> things out of AVAILABLE things. (At least, thats the myth ;-)
>


As Jerry Avins on comp.dsp says:
"Engineering is the art of making stuff you want from stuff you can
get"

Cheers,
Martin

--
[email protected]
TRW Conekt - Consultancy in Engineering, Knowledge and Technology
http://www.trw.com/conekt

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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2006, 04:01 PM
nospam
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Martin Thompson <[email protected]> wrote:

>As Jerry Avins on comp.dsp says:
>"Engineering is the art of making stuff you want from stuff you can
>get"


And what is the art of knowing what stuff you can get when you need it?

The electronic component distribution system is so fsked up.

Yesterday I quoted 6 weeks delivery for a one off batch of a small
electronic module.

It needs a particular component which is part of the module specification
so even if I can find a suitable alternative I have to jump through hoops
getting customer approval of a revised specification.

None of the manufacturer main distributors have stock they quote me 12-15
weeks with a 5000 part MOQ.

Yesterday a catalogue supplier had the 600 parts I need in stock. No
guarantee they will have them in stock today or in 1 month or 2 months if
and when I get an order and actually need them.

I will probably buy those 600 parts today and take the risk of being out of
pocket if an order doesn't come through.

This is the problem distributors are supposed to solve but since the
bastards stopped holding stock they are just useless middle men taking a
cut.

Thankfully some semi suppliers are realising that they are in the best
position to hold stock and can supply it efficiently with their 'on-line'
shops. The Microchip online shops seems to have a wide range of parts
available in useful quantities at acceptable prices for example.

Sadly the Xilinx offering has a pitiful range and no commitment to holding
stock. Actually I just looked and it seems Xilinx "buy online" no longer
offers silicon instead directing you to Avnet. when I eventually got the
Avnet site to do something browsing around showed the typical distributor
crap lead times (frequently no-stock and call) and MOQs. I couldn't even
see prices without having an account.

If seems Xilinx is getting dumber not smarter.
--
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2006, 04:31 PM
Antti
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

see other postings in this newsgroup - xilinx online shop doesnt carry
any silicon devices any more.

Antti

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2006, 05:53 PM
Falk Brunner
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

Martin Thompson schrieb:

>>What can a Spartan 3E do what a Spartan 3 can't?

>
> Configure itself from parallel flash...


OK, nice feature. But not the killer.

> As Jerry Avins on comp.dsp says:
> "Engineering is the art of making stuff you want from stuff you can
> get"


Yeah, this sounds like the original phrase.

Regards
Falk
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2006, 06:41 PM
Antti
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Default Re: CoolRunner XPLA3 getting axed?

ispLever includes all you need.
the cable can be made out of wires similarly as xilinx cable III
or you may buy a ready made cable for 65 usd or as a better
deal machXO starterkit for 99 USD (includes the cable)

Antti

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