This month I started working with FPGAs in my digital circuits lab. We’re using the Basys2 Spartan-3E FPGA board for class, which we got to buy for ourselves. I was so excited when I got it. However, actually programming it was a little more complicated than I would have initially thought. The Xilinx ISE is an ENORMOUS program that took me a few tutorials and a little bit of time to figure out. Then there’s the simulation and the actual programming of the board. Whew! My very first project was an OR gate. Yep, I used a very powerful FPGA board to implement a single OR gate. Well, we all have to start somewhere. I now have a couple slightly more complicated circuits under my belt and can’t wait to get to some really neat stuff. Thankfully the lab steps us through increasingly complicated projects and I hope to be able to make some of my own projects by the end. We’re using Verilog rather than VHDL, but I hope to eventually get both of them down for versatility. I’ll keep you guys updated on some of the more interesting problems!

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