Xilinx Spartan-3A Evaluation Kit

Avnet Electronics Marketing

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Face it, programming FPGAs is difficult. So when Avnet introduced their Xilinx Spartan-3A FPGA Evaluation Kit earlier this year, designers rushed to plunk down $39 and snap up a couple thousand of them. And why not? Here was a stand-alone platform to tinker with to their heartís content. Turns out that adding an external programmable microcontroller to the FPGA can save design time, FPGA gates, and power. So Avnet and Cypress teamed up, bolted on the Cypress CY3217 Programmable SoC, and magically added up to 100 peripheral functions outside the FPGA. The PSoC enables FPGA configuration and flash memory programming through a built-in USB interface instead of the typical cumbersome serial PROM. Cypressí MiniProg programmer and downloadable PSoC Designer software add not only the USB feature, but also CapSense touch sensing, clocks, and programmable analog functionality. You know: all those real-world HMI thingys without which a defense system is nothing more than a current sink. In short, this simple external device has greatly enhanced the FPGA eval kit, simplified tabletop designs, and freed up power and resources inside the Xilinx FPGA. Seems like a good trade-off to us.
Xilinx Spartan-3A Evaluation Kit
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FEATURES

  • A Xilinx Spartan-3A Evaluation Kit
  • Includes the Cypress CY3217 Programmable SoC
  • Provides 100 peripheral functions outside the FPGA
  • PSoC enables FPGA configuration and flash memory programming through a built-in USB interface instead ofserial PROM
  • Cypress' MiniProg programmer and downloadable PSoC Designer software add the USB feature and CapSense touch sensing, clocks, and programmable functionality
  • Frees up power and resources inside the Xilinx FPGA

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