[rescue] Bigger Iron at Home (was: SNMP, Baby!)

Joshua Boyd jdboyd at ohno.mrbill.net
Wed Nov 12 16:35:01 CST 2003

On Wed, Nov 12, 2003 at 02:15:42PM -0800, Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez wrote:

> it is more like a $100.00 part, still rather remarkable low price since
> the part is relatively dense. Not particularly fast (50 - 70Mhz). Also you
> need to take into account that is is a BGA part, not a socketed one, so
> building a design around it can be a PITA uless you know what you are
> doing. At least 6 layer board, plus it has a shitload of power ground
> pins. The problem is that with the new denser high speed parts, we are
> moving away from the wirewrap, and home etched boards of yore.... :(

All I know is what I'm told around here, which is that Spartan3s are
$15ish, and SpartanIIEs are $30ish.  We are, BTW, using a 6 layer
board.  I get the impression that affordable auto-routers can do this
level of complexity, but very badly.

That we are moving away from the wirewrap home-etched days of yore is
all the more reason why we need good free software tools.  We may not be
able to sit down and actually build it ourselves any more, but
considering the prices of some service bureaus, it doesn't seem out of
the question to design it one's self and have them assemble the hard

> Eeerrr about the clocking, I really doubt you may get faster than 50Mhz
> when synthesizing a complex processor in those FPGAs, I believe you need
> Virtex parts to get in the 100 to 200Mhz range for such complex parts, and
> that is with a very good placement and routing.

50mhz is a heck of a lot faster than early risc designs running a
10mhz.  I certainly wasn't suggesting 100-200mhz.  Not everyone needs to
move faster, some of us are just interested in moving better as a

I was kinda thinking (for the purposes being argued here) of a 20-40mhz
risc core, using part of the floor space for a graphics accelerator. 

However, for the in cupboard model, we already established doing it
oneself isn't practical.

Thankfully, my music player idea should be able to be easily done using
nothing worse than perhaps a TFP100 package, and at that, I still would
want to pay someone else to do it.

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