Sunday, 28 July 2013

3 Ghz counter and power detector build Part III Cpld

The counter not only has a Dsp that needs programming, there is also a Cpld.
Cplds (Complex Programmable Logical Devices ) are very interesting parts.
A Cpld gives you the possibility to create your own integrated circuit.
In a very simplified explanation I would say they are made of thousands of gate arrays and configurable wires which connect between the gates and the pins.
Programming a Cpld is more like routing a pcb than programming a microcontroller.
A common language to describe your circuit is VHDL (Verilog Hardware Definition Language).

Cplds and Fpga (Field Programmable Gate Array) are very powerfull devices.
They can process tasks massively parallel are very fast but also expensive and tricky to program.

Programming a Cpld is usually done via Jtag interface.
I downloaded the Altera programmer and used a 5$ Jtag programmer clone of the Altera Usb Blaster.

Everything worked immediately .
The last step of the counter build is to add the rest of the passive components.

Successful programming of the Cpld
3 Ghz counter and power detector build Part I
3 Ghz counter and power detector build Part II
Elektor project page
Altera Homepage

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