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Prototype peripheral board eases FPGA design

Posted: 08 Dec 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA prototype peripheral board? PCB?

NanoBoard 3000

Altium has released a new prototyping peripheral add-on board for its NanoBoard FPGA-based development boards. The board works with both the fixed-FPGA NanoBoard 3000 and the fully-configurable NanoBoard NB2.

The board does away with having to create special, custom PCBs for circuit prototyping. A single on-board connector plugs into the NanoBoard to give direct access to the I/O on the host NanoBoard FPGA and common NanoBoard resources, including power and JTAG lines.

Designers can then integrate custom circuitry with standard NanoBoard peripherals and services, using the wide range of land patterns and plated hole connections on the prototyping boards to quickly construct custom hardware.

The company's smart prototyping boards support a variety of surface mount packages in varying pitches, as well as thru-hole components on 0.1- or 0.05-inch grids. Pre-defined land patterns for surface mount devices (SMD) accommodate pitches of 0.5-, 0.65-, 0.8- and 1.27mm, and each SMD pad is connected to a 0.5mm hole to allow simple connections using prototyping wire.

Board identification is achieved using a 1-wire-compatible unique ID device. The Altium Designer software license that comes with each NanoBoard recognizes that a prototype board is plugged into the NanoBoard and provides plug-and-play access to the 50 I/O lines on the prototyping board from the design environment.

Designers can then incorporate the custom hardware on the prototyping board into their overall soft system design. The new prototyping board complements the instant deployment enclosures recently released by Altium for the NanoBoard 3000, which let designers take their FPGA-based designs from concept right through to deployment without the need to create a custom PCB or custom device enclosure.

The addition of the smart prototyping board means that systems developed on the NanoBoard 3000 can be deployed in the field complete with custom hardware functionality without having to go through any manufacturing process.

- Julien Happich
EE Times Europe

For application notes on FPGAs click here.

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