[Blabber] CPLD/SPLD/PLA/PAL/GAL (and 5V)

James Carpino jamescarpino at yahoo.com
Tue May 2 00:06:15 UTC 2017

I've been meaning to reply to everyone; thank you and I appreciate all the comments.  okay.  Well, myself, I want to avoid SMT and 3.3V.  This is a real retro project; I'm not describing it in detail because of the zaniness of it (and I'm not sure what I'll do in the end).  Yes, it would be better to have one big chip that 100+ signals run though.  (Mainly addressing Guan's comments.)  But I was planning something more discrete and I would rather make little daughterboard fixes that fit a CPLD in place of GAL22V10's when my plans don't work out.  Or discrete logic.  I'll probably design some daughterboards in advance.  I don't know if my glue will work first time around... and it's just for fun & learning, so I wouldn't say I can devote the resources to "make it work" if I chose the most technologically advanced path.  

Well for lack of a better plan, I ordered some GAL22V10's & ATF22V10's and I might order some CPLD's as well, maybe XC9536 which are 5V, but I'm hesitant to buy chips I am not ready to prototype with, since it's just for fun... and there seem to be too many package options for my poorly defined project.  I like Xilinx only because I've already used it.  There's clearly a serious rivalry between Xilinx & Altera, and I don't know where the other companies fit in to the whole dynamic.

Eben I'm interested in what you might have around, and Chris also, it sounds cool to program through an Arduino.  Please don't go too far out of your way either of you.  

Guan that's interesting, the little Nexperia programmable chips.  I can't tell you how often I want "A & ~B" or somesuch, and I'd have to put 2 (or 3) 14-DIPs using only one gate each.  I end up thinking up with new stuff to do with the extra gates.

Check out some pages (attached) from the era I'm talking about.  Aaron you said I'd just be writing VHDL or verilog anyway... but that's not necessarily true.  I might just take the dirty route and do things the old way.  There's some kind of history to the "languages" used for programmable logic and I want to get a bit into that history, because I never did...

Incidentally I happen to have this Definicon DSI-020 68020 ISA (16-bit PC) card that is described in Byte magazine pages like those I've attached.  (I have at least one of the actual issues.)  Back in the day, Byte magazine sometimes published nearly complete specs on a commercial product, enough that someone could build it from scratch.   So, is "open source hardware" really a new thing?  Heathkit, and even Sears tools, always had intricate drawings...  it's so weird to think about the void in between where nothing was ever documented.  It has been a dark time.


      From: Guan Yang <guan at yang.dk>
 To: Hack Manhattan! <blabber at list.hackmanhattan.com> 
 Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 9:00 AM
 Subject: Re: [Blabber] CPLD/SPLD/PLA/PAL/GAL (and 5V)

> On Apr 29, 2017, at 16:57, Eben Olson <eben.olson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think I've got some 5V PLCC CPLDs lying around, and probably the programmer for them as well - I'll see if I can dig them up.
> Agreed that old programmable logic is pretty neat - plenty of times I've needed to do a simple job where an FPGA or even a uC is massive overkill, but I'd rather not fiddle with a bunch of individual logic chips.

If you don’t have the DIP requirement and have very modest logic needs, there are also configurable gates in small surface mount packages from NXP.

Here’s an example, but they have many others:


This particular part has 3 inputs and one output, but can be configured as a variety of different 2-input gates such as AND, NAND, OR or NOR.

Here’s the full list:


These parts probably don’t save many individual chips, but provide more flexibility.
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