I’ve been playing with a BASYS2 FPGA development kit from digilentinc.com, and pondering the world of digital system design. I chose the BASYS2 because of its low price ($70) and because it included a reasonable number of LEDs, switches, a VGA interface and a connector for a PS/2 keyboard. Still, I’ve been looking for other small, reasonably priced FPGA kits, perhaps even ones which aren’t based on the Xilinx chips. Today I learned of a nice looking little $49 kit from Lattice:
While it doesn’t include the VGA or PS/2 interfaces, it does include a 1Mbit static ram on board, which perhaps makes it more interesting for experimenting with FPGA cpus. But here’s the thing: it includes a parallel port programming cable, and literally no computers I currently use have a parallel port anymore. They tel you that you need a special USB cable: the HW-USBN-2A which is not included. Oh well, think I, that can’t be too bad…
That cable costs $149.
Yes, the programming cable for this FPGA board is 3x the cost of the entire board.