Advice is needed on FPGA dev board choice for the project

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 24, 2022

I am about to start a new big project that incorporates reading the parallel output of high speed ADC (around 100 MSPS) and sending that data over ethernet. I have some experience with microcontroller programming at a low level and I have just a tiny bit of very basic VHDL knowledge (led blink, 7 segment counter etc...) I know that this project is going to take a lot of time and effort, but I have to start it anyway...

As far as I understand, for the ethernet part, I need that the FPGA have an embedded MCU (FPGA writes data to RAM, and MCU does the further ethernet part after reading that data.) The second big thing is the pure processing power of FPGA chip, since we are talking about real 100 MHz parallel GPIO operations. I did some research on the tech specs and settled on 2 possible dev boards for this project (if you have any better choices, please tell me):

Terasic DE1-SoC

Xilinx PYNQ-Z2

Both of these boards seem to have similar and, theoretically speaking, sufficient capabilities for my project. Xilinx is around 150 euros cheaper at my local supplier... However, former Altera FPGAs offer a more user-friendly programming environment (quartus) which works for all FPGA chips inspite of the chip model or windows version, Xilinx with its ISE NAVIGATOR, VIVADO and other software does not boast that. Overall, those were only very shallow ideas of mine in picking the FPGA dev board, I am still wondering which exact board to choose (reason for this topic). So I am waiting for everything from abstract observations to exact answers on this one. Thank you in advance.