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Programmable Logic Devices for Beginners

Programmable logic devices are a form of integrated circuit which can be told what to do using a programming language such as Verilog or VHDL. You may know of some programming languages, such as C or Java – VHDL And Verilog is similar but instead of being a programming language for a microcomputer, they are ‘hardware description languages’.

There are many people that make these devices

Atmel, Actel, Xilinx and Altera are some of the more well-known companies that you can buy progammable logic devices from. The devices are found in cameras, ultrasound machines, engineering equipment monitoring tools and more.

Programmable Logic Device

A programmable logic device is similar to, but not identical to, a FPGA. The main difference is that FPGAs tend to have lots of flip/flops, while a PLD does not. An  will usually have more I/O options, ddicated memory, and other features, while a PLD is a bit more primitive Рbut still very valuable for what it offers, as well as the low power consumption, size and price.

Deciding whether to use a PLD or an FPGA for a project can be tricky. If you’re a beginner, then it’s a good idea to look at PLDs first to learn about programming hardware and get used to the logic, as well as interpreting digital input. When you get more confident and have an understanding of the basics, there are plenty of FPGA learner boards that you can pick up, and the prices are low enough for the beginner boards that it would not be a waste of moeny to start with a PLD and then upgrade at a later date.

Indeed, most people end up picking up baords from more than one maker so that they can learn the characteristics and differences, and because different boards have different interface options built in. If you learn hardware description languags and logic, then you will find that you have a lot of employment options open to you, and that you will never be short of cool projects and challenges. One day you could be working on a gold mining wash plant, the next an ultrasound machine for a hospital. There are few other fields that are as exciting or rewarding, or where you are constantly learning and developing new skills because the technology Xilinx Fpga РDirectics is evolving at such an incredible rate, making new things possible every year.

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