Since nobody answered until now, I will summarize my experiences with
VHDL, which I gained during the last weeks. In other words I am a newbie
I asked a similar question to this forum in German language and I
received the answer to try the free develoment environments from Xilinx
and Altera and decide which one I like more.
Altera comes with a nice interactive tutorial but I have chosen Xilinx,
because the CPLDs and FPGAs are easier to buy here in Germany. Yes, the
availibility of the components for private persons was my argument to go
ahead with Xilinx although I liked the IDE and the boards from Altera
So try both Xilinx Design Suite and Altera Quartus.
For your information: I bought a Xilinx Spartan 3AN board, a few CPLDS
and a Digilent JTAG cable. I soldered a CPLD on an adapter and used that
as a testing device. See the images shown in my question titled
"maximale Xilinx CPLD clock Frequenz". To be honest the Spartan 3AN was
not used until now. However this will happen soon, because VHDL is real
In other words I recommend:
1. Start with the IDEs and decide which one you like better
2. Check if you there are CPLDs and FPGAs available for private persons
for a reasonable price
3. Decide which vendor you like
4. Start with CPLDs, these do not loose the code after restart. You only
need a programmer for that, a CPLD and a bread board.
5. Go ahead with some development board
In addition: Please tell what you would like to do and describe your