Forum: FPGA, VHDL & Verilog Request for help to select an appropriate FPGA IC?

Author: jeremy smith (Company: ITRC) (jeremy28)
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Hi all;

We need an FPGA to design and implement a security token that acts such 
a Smart Card or HSM or ...

We'd like to select an FPGA with high capabilities and low price off 

Since we should produce the tokens in a large number, it's better the 
FPGA IC's price to be low between 10$ to 15$.

Could you guide me to select an appropriate one?

And the other question:

What would be the minimum circuit to drive a complete and working FPGA 
based module?

I mean additional elements required for correct & exact operation of 
circuit, such as, adding a crystal to AVR microcontroller circuit?

Any experience based suggestion or schematic hint or useful internet 
link will be greatly appreciated.

(BTW, I've not worked by FPGA so far, so if possible, explain simpler 
and in more details please!)


Author: user (Guest)
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how about Lattice FPGAs, the XP2 are with internal flash-memory


Author: pek (Guest)
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Seems you'd like to outsource the whole system engineering and purchase 
department part... ;-)

Some thoughts to start with:

To have a starting point, you should sketch what functionality needs to 
go into the FPGA, i.e. do a detailed block diagram of datapath, buffer 
memories, controllers (possibly IP), interface (possibly IP). For IP's 
you usually get information about complexity and you can sum up the IP 
complexity with all the memories and arithmetic compleity you require. 
Now select an FPGA that suits well your defined needs (reading at least 
the "executive summary" of some of the most familiar FPGA can't be 
avoided), and make sure that the familiy has bigger and smaller FPGAs in 
teh familiy with identical footprint (for later exchange without need 
for redo the PCB).

With this rough selection, purchase a development kit of the required 
family to implement your first HW version on. Working with the 
development kit helps you:
- Find out wether the FPGA choice was fine and the design fits well > 
You may adapt to smaller or bigger one for your own PCB
- See what "minimal surrounding HW" you require and have a starting 

This should give a pretti well starting point for your FPGA.

However, one question remains: If you are price sensitive, you should 
check whether there is any cheap mass-product off-the-shelf 
microprocessor (available with many kind if possible I/F and other 
required functionality).



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