# CPLD options

#### Axel_sr

Joined Feb 28, 2022
23
I have used Xilinx FPGAs in the past and ISE is familiar. So I started to browse Xilinx's CPLD devices for an easy start. (What a mistake...)
Based on specs a small XPLA3 is what I need . I only need a few IOs, a few counters, etc. and the logic is pretty simple. I was a bit confused not to find XPLA3 as a product on the Xilinx (AMD or what ever) web page. CoolRunner II and 9500 yes, but not XCR30xx devices. Some generic docs are there tho. So it must be a recognized product on some level.
But no worries, lets take another approach and update ISE the next and see how everything else will sort out. Well... the W10 installation package does not install and it seems to be some sort of VM package anyway. Older 14.x version looks to work somehow but there are issues. I am not going to download multiple 15GB packages to try if any of them happen to work enough for me.
I downloaded Vivado, but the lab version does not look give the same functionality as ISE. I have zero knowledge of Vivado, so maybe the licensed version is the one that includes the whole dev functionality.
Also I was a bit surprised not to find a single reference circuit, evaluation board or even a sample verilog/vhdl... And this is for XPLA3. For other Xilinx CPLD devices I found a few.

I took a look at Altera's options. What prices they have!

Sorry for the ranting. Is there a CPLD/small FPGA brand that "everyone" is using nowadays and I just have missed the memo?

A

#### AnalogKid

Joined Aug 1, 2013
10,113
I like my CPLD's fast and stupid. Back in the 90's I baby-duck imprinted on Lattice. I've used most of the other guys (grouchy customers!), but when it's my choice I go with Lattice. They make monster FPGA parts, but they also still make some CPLD's. Try this:

https://www.latticesemi.com/Products/FPGAandCPLD/ispMACH4000ZE

Digi-Key has some in stock.

ak

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#### Axel_sr

Joined Feb 28, 2022
23
The linked Lattice looks good option. I have zero experience on Lattice. Need to study.
Here are some answers to my questions in case someone else is at the same position as I am: So, ISE is EOL. But you can run it in 32-bit mode. It works pretty well. To get 64-bit version working on W10, two dll changes are needed. Both solutions work fine. No need to download and install VM version of the 14.7 version. I do not know what is the reason Xilinx has very little information about XPLA3, but required docs can be found elsewhere. This community is one of the sources by the way. Many of XPLA3 chips are EOL but not all. Still decent options available.
In the middle of chip shortage some of the fpgas have reached crazy prices! And I am not talking about few hundred $- I am talking >$1000 prices!

btw: I think that in the end it really does not matter who makes the "best" fpga/cpld chips. For these chips development SW/IDE has a huge role.

A

#### AnalogKid

Joined Aug 1, 2013
10,113
I think that in the end it really does not matter who makes the "best" fpga/cpld chips. For these chips development SW/IDE has a huge role.
Totally agree. You have to be way out on the bleeding edge not to have functionally equivalent parts from multiple vendors. In terms of TCO and schedule, the development software is everything.

For whatever reason, I had very little trouble adapting to the Lattice software. Plus, local support was way above average and the company tech support was outstanding. I do all of my designs with schematic entry, and I've never had a compiler error.

OK, I had tons of compiler errors, but they were mine. I never has a case where the compiler output (HEX file) was not a correct representation of the logic diagram.

ak

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