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Altera's DE0-NANO FPGA Development Board: A Review

Introduction 

0000330The DE0-Nano development and education board manufactured by Terasic is an entry level, FPGA System-on-Chip (SOC) development board, designed to showcase Altera's Cyclone IV range of FPGAs. Although this board is small in size, at TBD mm x TBD mm, it packs an almighty punch by hosting a EP4CE22F17C6N, Cyclone IV FPGA. That is, an FPGA with 22,320 Logic Elements (LE), although what having 22,320 LEs actually equates to, in terms of ASIC gates, is subject to debate.  It can be taken, for now, to mean lots of gates for most beginners and intermediate digital logic designers to experiment with. 

Practical examples using the DE0 Nano dev kit, including  DE0 Nano Serial Communication Debug Module, can be found in the tutorials section.

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DSO-2150 USB PC Oscilloscope : A Review

Introduction 

r0353Laboatory research is about verifying theoretical results by acquiring information through electrical measurements, typically by using data acquisition  instrumentation. The instruments used for this purpose usually fall under the general category of oscilloscopes. For a hobbyist design engineer this can be quite an expensive item, especially if you consider items at the top end of the market.

If like me you have been eyeing the USB PC-Oscilloscopes offered on Ebay and similar outlets at quite modest prices, then  as an electronic design hobbyist, every time you see one you must feel like a lion placed in a game reserve fenced off from a load of free running antelope. 

However, unlike the lion that can do nothing about his situation and who probably consoles himself by thinking the antelope wouldn't taste very nice anyway, I have been fortunate enough to get my hands on one of these prized hobbyist possessions: The ever versatile USB PC Oscilloscope! Yum!

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Altera's Cyclone III FPGA Starter Kit - An Introduction

Introduction

0000062Altera's Cyclone III FPGA Starter Kit contains an entry level Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) development board concentric about a Cyclone III FPGA. Although it could now be considered archaic, given that Altera have enhanced the Cyclone family of FPGAs with Cyclone IV and Cyclone V devices, it is still useful as a hardware development tool. Its credentials as a useful hardware prototyping platform are justified given that  it has most of the major hardware components encountered in entry-level hardware development.

This article reviews the architecture of the FPGA development board, contained in the starter kit, and investigates how it can be expanded into a robust hardware development system.

Read more: Altera's Cyclone III FPGA Starter Kit - An Introduction