Some of you may remember I posted a question in which it was suggested that I use CPLDs instead of a large number of multiplexers. Here is the question, for reference.
However, as I read and learn about CPLDs and FPGAs, I realized that FPGAs are also used for video capabilities. My project is going to need something like a 6" to 7" Color LCD in any case. Note, 24 bit color or such is not required. Even an 8-bit display is more than enough for this application. But I cannot help and wonder - would it not be better that I used an FPGA instead of CPLDs? This would mean less chips to work and it will get rid of a microcontroller, possibly.
With my limited knowledge, the reasons that FPGAs don't seem like a good solution are:
- Are likely more expensive than CPLDs.
- A mid-range FPGA might not be handle all the logic required for the application, along with video. This implies that I may need more than one chip. At this stage, a relatively powerful microcontroller and CPLDs become more attractive. The CPLDs can be configured for all the logic required and the controller can be the brains.
- FPGAs will require a programmer onboard as they cannot retain their programming. In comparison, CPLDs are instant-on.
Why do they seem like a good option:
- Can possibly replace several CPLDs and micro controller.
- More support available for FPGAs than CPLDs.
Note that I cannot use a powerful FPGA for two reasons. They are very costly and secondly, they most probably come in BGA packages. The local manufactures are able to handle BGAs but its not recommended (I asked).