# Is there an inexpensive way to get started with GAL (Generic Array Logic) chips?

GAL chips seem expensive to get started with, since programmers cost hundreds of dollars and even ISP cables aren't cheap.

Is there a cheaper way?

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I've always heard it rendered as "Gate Array Logic". "Generic Array Logic" Is new to me. –  Connor Wolf Nov 5 '10 at 5:42
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_array_logic That's what they always called them in my EE classes. –  samoz Nov 5 '10 at 13:58

I'm not even sure GALs are still around today. CPLDs and FPGAs are preferred I believe, though I'm no expert. You can dig up development kits from digilentinc.com. There's a CPLD kit for $18 and the USB JTAG programming cable is$50. Those parts are Digilent C-Mod and JTAG-USB Cable. I believe the software (at least starter software) is free. Good luck!

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I just think it's a bit ridiculous that the programmers are more than twice as much as the kit itself. –  samoz Nov 5 '10 at 13:57
Chips are cheap. Well, cables ought to be cheap, but there is a bit of intelligence in the cable. And it's proprietary. So yeah, it is a little ridiculous. –  AngryEE Nov 5 '10 at 15:28
If chips are cheap, use a cpld to make a cpld programmer... posted as a joke, but that's actually what you will find inside a lot of them. Often the USB ones are an FT245 and the same CPLD previously used in the parallel version. –  Chris Stratton Mar 12 '11 at 7:15