[time-nuts] Using CPLD/FPGA or similar for frequency divider

Attila Kinali attila at kinali.ch
Sat Jun 6 13:49:20 EDT 2015

On Sat, 6 Jun 2015 09:52:11 -0400
Bob Camp <kb8tq at n1k.org> wrote:

> > Was it a simple 
> > counter or was there enable/up/down/load type gating involved?
> > 
> > What would you have done if you needed to run a bit faster?
> Bought a faster FPGA or gone to an ASIC. 
> >  Could you buy a 
> > faster chip?  
> For enough money there’s always a faster chip :)

Even if it is OT, to give this a little economic perspective:
Today, an ASIC starts to be cheaper than an FPGA solution at production
volumes somewhere between 1000 and 10'000 pieces (in total).
If you have working (synchronous) VHDL code, going ASIC is pretty
straight forward and is mostly automatic. There are several fabs
in Europe and Asia that offer node sizes between 180nm and 35nm
for even very small runs and help you to convert your FPGA code
to proper ASIC designs.

A simple ASIC project is cheap enough, that some universities offer
courses where students (in a master course) design their own chips,
let them produce and measure their performance later, all cost covered
by the university. (If i remember correctly, the cost was around 10kUSD
per design and for 20 dies, half of them in QFP, half as nacked die)

			Attila Kinali

It is upon moral qualities that a society is ultimately founded. All 
the prosperity and technological sophistication in the world is of no 
use without that foundation.
                 -- Miss Matheson, The Diamond Age, Neil Stephenson

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