[rescue] Total corporate madness (

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Thu Aug 7 12:01:33 CDT 2003

On Thursday, August 7, 2003, at 11:46 AM, Joshua D. Boyd wrote:
>>   I really dig CPLDs so far.  I'm going to try some FPGA stuff soon (I
>> have an Xess board that I'm dicking with) to become more familiar with
>> the capabilities and tools, though I don't anticipate using any FPGAs
>> in my current "job" work, but I might do some bigger personal stuff
>> with them.  Some of which I might just want to draft you for, as a
>> matter of fact!
> FPGAs might have application for your current job.  If you were willing
> to switch CPUs, you could roll your CPU, and much of your support logic
> into one $25 FPGA.  Of course, maybe that still isn't practical for 
> you.

   Well, I've just replaced a bunch of 74HC-series jellybeans and some 
analog stuff with an XC9536 CPLD in one part of the system (the IR 
transceiver).  Actually I've just cut a test board and designed the 
CPLD guts; I haven't tested it yet.  I may get to that today.

   The big issue is power consumption.  The handheld part of the product 
pulls like 7mA when it's running...and that's with TWO processors, 
three serial flash chips, an RTC, and a bunch of support logic...all of 
which cost about $25 together.  I'd need to keep the power consumption 
down to that level and try to drop the cost below that if possible.

> BTW, have you looked at the Hitachi H8?  25mhz 16/32 bit risc, built in
> ram and flash, with the ability to address outside packages as well,
> able to run ECOS, etc, all for about $4 per/chip.  I like the look of
> that chip myself.  I kinda wish I could find a CPU with a built in
> ethernet controller though.  I think that would be ideal for what I
> personally want to do.  But, I haven't looked at all the various H8
> packages yet either.

   I have not.  What's a good way to get started with the H8?  
Compilers?  Dev board?


Dave McGuire                 "You don't have Vaseline in Canada?"
St. Petersburg, FL                     -Bill Bradford

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