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I am trying to start learning FPGA programming and want to start with XC3S2000 (Spartan III). In table 1 , I see 2M gate count which is much higher than more advanced Spartans and could not find its system clock speed. I doubt its gate numbers should be that high and think I am checking something wrongly.

Any helps appreciated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just looking at Digikey the XC3S2000 is about 3-4 times the cost of the XC6SLX9, so you're probably comparing the higher gate count end of one range to the low end of another. They'd be other advantages to the latter no doubt but it'd be worth including the XC6SLX9 in your question so someone can come along and provide a better explanation of the differences. \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Oct 27 '13 at 10:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ FPGA is not ASIC, you can't perform a "gate count" on an FPGA, the same way you do on an ASIC. FPGA is a sea of programmable blocks with limited routing between them. Depending on your implementation, you can use different parts of the FPGA resources. To understand the timings of the FPGA, you can look into the data sheet of the Spartan 3 FPGAs and get an idea of what maximum clock it supports. IF you manage to achieve that or not, depends on your implementation and how efficient you use the resources. \$\endgroup\$ – FarhadA Oct 27 '13 at 11:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ If speed is important look for a Spartan-6 rather than a Spartan-3. A design capable of running at 100MHz in Spartan-3 (reasonably achievable) could easily get 200MHz in Spartan-6. As for the device numbering, Xilinx changed the numbering system (very roughly) dropping a couple of zeroes, so the S3-2000 would (roughly) approximate to a S6-20 if there was one (there might be a S6-25) \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond Oct 27 '13 at 13:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also note that Webpack doesn't support Spartan-3 above XC3S1500. \$\endgroup\$ – mng Oct 27 '13 at 19:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ You don't really have a choice. You have to use the full version of the Xilinx tools. There is a 30-free trial but beyond that it costs quite a bit of money (assuming you want to stay legal, of course). \$\endgroup\$ – mng Oct 28 '13 at 0:53

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