Looking for GAL/PAL?CPLD programmer

Thread Starter

eda8048

Joined May 16, 2021
5
I'm going to start playing with some GAL's I have an will be needing a programmer. I'd be looking for one with a USB interface that works with Windows 10, and supports a wide array of devices. While I'm starting with basic GALs, I'd expect I'd move on to more complicated devices.

Any advice on programmer models would be greatly appreciated !
 

andrewmm

Joined Feb 25, 2011
1,496
So GALs are OLD

great things, a specific companies version of PAL's

But being old, they are going to be hard to find a programmer for ,
by hard probably expensive,

PALs and such like now days are coded in an RTL language such as VHDL or Verilog,
They used to be programmed in long dead languages such as ABLE,
your going to have find finding tools that support the GAL and the RTL language,

Even if you d find a program, will it run on W10 ?


If you go for something like a small FPGA, then they have sw and tools, and are programmed via cheap JTAG programmers in board.

In conclusion,
GALs are a dead end to work with to learn, and not relevant to the real world.
 

Lo_volt

Joined Apr 3, 2014
189
GALs are a dead end to work with to learn, and not relevant to the real world.
Agreed!

Learning about GALs might be useful if you are looking to repair or modify old device that uses them. Otherwise move on to FPGA's. Altera and Xilinx are two large manufacturers of FPGAs. They both make development boards that designers can use to learn about their parts as well as their development platforms. Some of these development boards are very low cost and come in familiar footprints such as Arduino, etc.

CPLDs are programmable devices that are still in use and are another option. CPLDs generally aren't as dense as FPGAs but they have the advantage of not needing a separate ROM to hold the device configuration. On power up they are ready to go. An FPGA needs some time to load its configuration before it can operate.
 

Ian Rogers

Joined Dec 12, 2012
890
Straight into FPGA is a daunting task... I program small GAL's... Still available from Microchip 22v10 and 16v8

I use winCUPL to program and I use the good 'ol TL866II to burn them...
winCUPL is XP software but I still use it on win10 "couple o' bugs" but does the job.. Microchip have adopted the software..
 

Thread Starter

eda8048

Joined May 16, 2021
5
I have a lot of unused surplus PALs/GALs, and am unlikely to use any knowledge gained in my career. I'm looking for hobbyist friendly parts, DIPs or SOICs, or very small modules. In looking to build some projects I'd have to weigh the cost of a new part versus a part I have already - in DIP package.

I like the idea of In System Prrogrammability - but is that available in a DIP package or small module costing ~$3 ? I see PAL/GAL programmers on ebay for $100 ... but many do not mentions Windows 10.

I was just reading about the AFT750 Atmel/Microchip parts ... some in DIP package.

Thanks for the advice !
 

Thread Starter

eda8048

Joined May 16, 2021
5
I have a lot of unused surplus PALs/GALs, and am unlikely to use any knowledge gained in my career. I'm looking for hobbyist friendly parts, DIPs or SOICs, or very small modules. In looking to build some projects I'd have to weigh the cost of a new part versus a part I have already - in DIP package.

I like the idea of In System Prrogrammability - but is that available in a DIP package or small module costing ~$3 ? I see PAL/GAL programmers on ebay for $100 ... but many do not mentions Windows 10.

I was just reading about the AFT750 Atmel/Microchip parts ... some in DIP package.

Thanks for the advice !

I have nearly nearly 500 pieces of PALCE 22V10H-15 and PALCE29MA16H-25 in 24 pin DIP package. I'd like something to program them.
 

Lo_volt

Joined Apr 3, 2014
189
Have you tried selling them ?
especially if they are still in packaging.
There are board repair services that are looking for IC's like these. They are cute and might be fun to play with for a short while but the 29MA16 has 16 macrocells and the 22V10 only 10. That barely gets you a decent binary counter. Given that tools to program these are hard to find and seriously rudimentary, I don't see much value in them. As I said at the start there are people looking for these parts who can get far more value from them than you.

I'll say it again, the contemporary tools are far more advanced than those that came with those parts when they first came out. Vendors now allow VHDL or Verilog coding as well as design via schematic. The parts that I've experimented with allow you to create a microcontroller core and program it in c. There are so many more options available today that it doesn't make sense to bother with those ancient parts.

See the Cypress PSOC Pioneer kit (under $30) here:

https://www.cypress.com/documentation/development-kitsboards/cy8ckit-042-psoc-4-pioneer-kit

It allows direct connection to your PC via USB, an easy to learn development environment and tutorials that get you off the ground quickly. It also comes in the Arduino footprint so that you can use Arduino shields if you want. There are board in different form factors that are lower cost as well.
 

Lo_volt

Joined Apr 3, 2014
189
For an interesting history on programmable logic, this interview is a good read:

https://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/access/text/2013/05/102702200-05-01-acc.pdf

It's an interview with the designers of Signetics' first programmable parts, what they called Field Programmable Logic Arrays (FPLA). In this day and age, programmable logic is very much taken for granted, but these guys came up with the concept and brought it to fruition as a product. True innovation. I'm in awe of how far we've come.
 

Thread Starter

eda8048

Joined May 16, 2021
5
So GALs are OLD

great things, a specific companies version of PAL's

But being old, they are going to be hard to find a programmer for ,
by hard probably expensive,

PALs and such like now days are coded in an RTL language such as VHDL or Verilog,
They used to be programmed in long dead languages such as ABLE,
your going to have find finding tools that support the GAL and the RTL language,

Even if you d find a program, will it run on W10 ?


If you go for something like a small FPGA, then they have sw and tools, and are programmed via cheap JTAG programmers in board.

In conclusion,
GALs are a dead end to work with to learn, and not relevant to the real world.
GALs don’t require using a hardware synthesis language like VHDL or Verilog, or any other special design tools.

GAL equations are authored in a plain text file, using a format called EQN, and are then converted to a binary format called JEDCOM, or JED, which contains the fuse data.
 

andrewmm

Joined Feb 25, 2011
1,496
GALs don’t require using a hardware synthesis language like VHDL or Verilog, or any other special design tools.

GAL equations are authored in a plain text file, using a format called EQN, and are then converted to a binary format called JEDCOM, or JED, which contains the fuse data.
As I said,
very old technology

The later tools do allow you to program them in an RTL,
but as you say, the majority ( if not all ) of the PAL / GAL / CPLD / PLD /
are so simple they allow you to drop back to program in the basics of the structure,

Not that anyone would do .
 
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