[chbot] FPGA AudioBox project - web site

Mark Atherton markaren1 at xtra.co.nz
Tue Aug 20 10:39:12 BST 2013

Thanks Paul.

I guess an SI approved order-of-magnitude symbol is required - that 
was all I was trying to convey with "(?)"

In any case, you comment is well taken.


At 09:14 p.m. 20/08/2013, you wrote:
>Hi Mark,
>I notice in your processing engine section you have this sentence:
>"This module has as it's heart an Altera Cyclone IV EP4CE22F17C6N
>device with about 22,500 Logic Elements (quarter of a million
>traditional gates (?)."
>I notice the question mark on the comparison to gates, this comparison
>is difficult to do for FPGAs because the way they work is
>fundamentally different from how you use discrete logic or build
>ASICs.  However first we have the question of what exactly a Logic
>Element (LE) is, this document helps clarify this term for Cyclone IV
>FPGAs: http://www.altera.com/literature/hb/cyclone-iv/cyiv-51002.pdf
>(comparing between FPGA brands and families can be difficult as well
>because the numbers are usually given for "slices" or "logic elements"
>without clear indication of what these are), now armed with the
>knowledge that an LE is a 4 input LUT (lookup table) and a single
>register (flip flop) we now know that each LE can implement an
>arbitrary 4 input combinational logic function and a 1 bit register.
>These can be combined to make larger registers.
>Now for the first important difference from an ASIC, in an FPGA all
>combinational logic is accomplished by using an SRAM lookup table to
>encode the boolean function of the inputs, this means that a single 4
>input LUT can be equivalent to several traditional gates depending on
>how it is used.
>Another important point is that just because you have 22,500 Logic
>elements, this does not mean you can ever use all of them, because the
>design must still be able to be routed in the interconnection fabric,
>the higher the utilisation of resources the harder it is to route all
>of the signals and keep delays within the required bounds.
>Hopefully this rambling has helped atleast a little bit to clarify the
>difference between an FPGA and discrete gates and the complexities in
>comparing them. I have not even gotten to the point of block RAM and
>DSP slices which are important for considering if a design can be
>implemented efficiently in an FPGA and which do not translate to gates
>very well because they do one function(more like a small selection of
>functions) and that function very well.
>On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM, Mark Atherton <markaren1 at xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > A couple of you asked how the documentation associated with the project was
> > going...
> >
> > 
> <http://www.idesignz.org/AudioBox/AudioBox.htm>http://www.idesignz.org/AudioBox/AudioBox.htm
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Mark
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