FPGA Course

I’ve been quite busy lately and neglected the blog. I enrolled on Coursera for a very interesting FPGA course, in what seems to be a FPGA specialization from University of Colorado Boulder. I have always had somewhat a reserved attitude towards FPGAs mainly because I believed that these are hard to understand and need a level of expertise that is beyond my capabilities. However, I always contemplated with a certain envy the power and sophistication that can be implemented via software in hardware. FPGAs are extremely powerful and the Holy Grail for any serious experimenter that wants to break the barriers of own limitations.

So I took the paid enrollment that provides a certificate at the end. So far, so good. I am currently in week four, the last of this course and passed succesfully all grades so far. The course is awesome. Not only that it removed my prejudices, but I managed to create, synthesize and compile my own design in only one week. The course is focused on Altera hardware and Quartus Prime as preferred IDE, but Xilinx, Microsemi and Lattice product lineups were also extensively discussed. I got into a funny learning spree which reminds me of my school days. 🙂

Attached are some screens from my home assignments.

Highly recommended.

Schematic in Quartus Prime schematic editor
The compilation report in Quartus Prime.
The Fmax summary report (maximum allowed clock frequency for the given setup and timing with no slack violation) for the given design and parameters.
The interactive RTA window in Quartus Prime.
The MultiSim simulator window displaying the result of the simulation.


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