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Gerry's Messy Electronics/Robotics

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CPLD's, FPGA's and MPLD's.

Shown below are some images of the various Programmable Logic Devices available from Altera. I also show the rare "MASK-PROGRAMMED" Logic device that Altera provides for Mass Production orders by its clients.



Altera began releasing various CPLD deivices in the mid 1980's. CPLD's are EPROM based devices and are concidered NON-Volatile. This allows the programmed logic design to be held in memory even after power is removed. The Altera MAX series of CPLD's remains to be a very popular logic device for Hobbyists and Students, even today.




Altera also has a Large variety of SRAM based FPGA's. These devices need to be programmed at every power up. Either loaded directly over the JTAG interace using a JTAG controller, or the devices can be configured using a Flash memory device.




Altera provides a Programming service for large MASS Production orders of its various CPLD and FPGA's. The main difference here is that the digital design is "MASK-PROGRAMMED" onto the device. This MASK programming process is performed at the Altera Facility before shipping the logic components to the Client. Notice the "M" Prefix on the Part number, which indicates a MASK Programmed device and not an EPROM based device.

The EPROM or CMOS features in the MPLD are replaced by a programming MASK, and this deems the device "HARD-WIRED". This is a Permanent programming of the logic design, and is embedded inside the Logic Device. Once the MASK is applied, the chip can never be re-programmed it is "HARD-WIRED". This is a much cheaper alternative for Mass Production assemblies, compared to using a Programmable EPROM or CMOS device like those used in CPLD's or FPGA's.

Notice the "M" Prefix on the Part number. This indicates a MASK Programmed device and not an EPROM or CMOS based device.

See the Datasheet for Altera's Masked-Programmed Logic Devices for more details. Link Below:




Altera provides various EEPROM or FLASH based configuration devices used to load designs onto SRAM based FPGA's. Depending on the model, certain devices can be programmed using a JTAG controller and others require a Universal Programmer or the Altera Master Programming system. Both OTP EPROM based devices or FLASH based devices are available from Altera.


If you're into the older Altera CPLD's you can Join my Altera Yahoo Group:


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