Friday, November 18, 2011

ALTERA EPM3032A CPLD Breakout Board

Recently I came across a large quantity of NetApp DS14 Filers that were being disposed of which are basically Fiber Channel shelves full of FC drives. While a few of these ended up in my basement 48U rack for FC attached storage, the rest I scavenged as many parts from as possible. These shelves have removable modules depending on the interfaces required. On these modules two parts caught my eye:

Two ALTERA CPLDs from the Max 3000 family. An EPM3256A and an EPM3032A. While I was excited about both devices, the EPM3032A I was initially more excited for as it is a more manageable package size.

After removing about 10 or so of these CPLDs from the boards I went ahead and designed a simple breakout board in Eagle. All 44 pins are broken out and I included an onboard 3.3V regulator along with a JTAG connector. Upon receiving the boards I threw one together, wrote a simple 4 bit counter in VHDL in Quartus II and downloaded to the CPLD via JTAG to see it worked perfectly.

The EPM3032A is not a large CPLD, with only 32 macrocells it's by no means a device for large scale logic implementations. The 4 bit counter ended up using 4 macrocells or 13% of the usable space in the CPLD, but it is perfect when you need a small custom logic device where many individual chips would be required. I'll be working on a breakout for the more powerful EPM3256A soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment