[Beowulf] best sophomore-level FPGA reference?

Nathan Moore ntmoore at gmail.com
Sat Mar 6 11:27:01 EST 2010


Hi All,

I regularly teach a sophomore/junior level course on digital circuits.
 I've recently started paying attention to PLD/FPGA hardware,
particularly Actel's bargain-basement igloo-nano development board,
http://www.actel.com/products/hardware/devkits_boards/igloonano_starter.aspx,
which is offered at a price that my students could conceivably buy for
the course.

I'd like to spend some time talking about FPGA's but have run into two
small problems - asking you-all seems like the easiest solution:
  - What's your favorite text that serves as a technical introduction
to FPGA's?  (I'm thinking of something parallel to Essick's
"Introduction to LabVIEW")  My main text for the course is Floyd's
"Digital Fundametals" which I think is mediocre overall.
  - What's your favorite class project involving FPGA programming?
The obvios targets for a project right now seem like they should
feature VHDL (obviously), and tend towards the architectural
"sweet-spot" of FPGA computation, which to me seems like massively
parallel computation of something.  I've been thinking about a cartoon
of the features in a digital camera, eg zoom in on an image (bitmap),
rotate an image, etc.  If you have something built that you're willing
to share I'd be most grateful.

I hope this isn't too off-topic. I didn't think of FPGA's in the same
terms as beowulfs until I started reading the amazon reviews for
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471687839/ref=oss_product

Nathan Moore
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