Real Analog: Circuits 1 "Real Analog" is a comprehensive collection of free educational materials that seamlessly blend hands-on design projects with theoretical concepts and circuit analysis techniques. Real Analog, the Analog Discovery and Analog Parts Kit form the core of a world-class engineering educational program that can be used by themselves or in support of existing curricular materials. Students with their own design kits learn more, learn faster, retain information longer, and have a more enjoyable experience - now every student can take charge of their education for less than the cost of a textbook! Note: To see the previous version of Circuits 1 for the Electronics Explorer, click here.
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Such actual implementation is useful to everyone. Why use up most of the valuable FPGA resources unless absolutely necessary? In industry you use the technique that requires the least amount of resources and adds to the company IP portfolio. You can implement a lot of functionality in a 6LX4 or in the Spartan 3E Starter Board even with the smallest device using standard digital techniques.
The larger issue is why promote a concept that is, in my considerable industry experience not used, as being necessary and the only flow possible? I have a theory on the probable answer Is that the proper thing to do to a student wanting to learn skills that employers want?
If your primary focus is the educational market why not provide the kind of information that helps students quickly gain the concepts of HDL and FPGA development? There is certainly the need, as my last few posts to another thread indicate. The student will be better served learning how to think, develop the basic HDL skills, and be introduced to the "hidden" issues of basic FPGA development.
Everyone has to learn the tool set interface. But this changes all the time. Selling boards with feature that require non-free IP, even if you can get a 30 day evaluation license, is not helpful to students or skilled engineers wanting to prototype an idea or learn how to design for a particular interface.
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Spartan-3E Reference Manual
Spartan-3 Board (RETIRED)