This is my first look into FPGA, but heavy background in software development. Would like to purchase a board to learn with, but would eventually like to be able to run an early 80's style Z80 based computer (think TRS80 model I say).
I've been looking at Spartan 3E and Spartan 6 boards, but not really sure on the performance/capacity differences.
What I'm thinking is something like this:
- Enough room for:
- simulated Z80 using the opencores T80 softcore.
- simulated onboard peripherals such as video controller, sound controller (simple 1 bit), floppy controller
- perhaps a couple of picoblaze controllers to use onboard buttons for selection of floppy images etc...
- VGA connector (16 color would suffice, 256 bonus)
- PS2 Keyboard connector
- Enough onboard flash to hold a number of virtual floppy disk images and system ROM (16Mb should be plenty)
- On board display, LCD would be nice, 4x7 segment LED would probably suffice.
- some sort of flash card socket would be nice, but not required.
- Power connect to run off mains, probably through a power pack.
These are the boards I'm currently considering:
- Nexys™3 Spartan-6 FPGA Board
- Spartan 3E Starter Board
- Spartan 3E-1600 Development Board
- Basys™2 Spartan-3E FPGA Board (500K) + 16M Flash pMod
- Basys™2 Spartan-3E FPGA Board (1200K) + 16M Flash pMod
EDIT: Just noticed the Basys doesn't have onboard RAM so I'd be limited to the FPGA RAM - not ideal.
The main thing I'm not sure on is how much room will be left after loading up the T80 softcore. Any advice greatly appreciated.