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Showing posts from December, 2011

Who needs VRAM anyway? Or, calculating Mandelbrot on an FPGA

About a month ago Terasic had a 50% off on their DE2 board if you could prove that you're a student (check) and attended a course using FPGAs (check). Sadly I was involved in too many other things at the moment to actually use it. Fast forward to a week ago. I finally took the time to install Quartus and begin playing around with the hardware. All my previous encounters with FPGAs and CPLDs where with VHDL and cumbersome programs like WebPACK (slow) and HDL Designer (complex). Since my first to programs had been a disappointment I had almost given up on finding a good environment (what's wrong with a CLI compiler and Makefiles!?) but after spending a day or so in Quartus I can honestly say I enjoy it. During the course mentioned, one laboratory exercise was to create a functional VGA generator using only a VGA DAC located on the board. I had since then become very curious about Verilog, which seemed to fit my preference of C over Ada quite well. This made chosing my first