[HARDWARE] Just Courious......

Robert Norton rjn at execpc.com
Wed Sep 15 22:13:27 EDT 1999


Martin Harvey wrote:

> Jesper Monsted wrote:
> >
> > I think you'd get a lot more performance/price with a special RISC chip or
> > with a small celeron. Anything 32-bit would do, though (i tried coding it
> > for an Atmel 8-bit microcontroller, but it was dreadfully slow).
>
> What about using an FPGA? Perhaps some sort of Xilinx thingy? They're
> fairly cheap :-)

I think one of the larger Altera or Xilinx devices should hold the algorithm just
fine, along with a "next code" generator and a detect flag comparitor, so you'd
just put in a block seed code, and finally get a go/no-go for the block out. I
think you could build it onto a small plastic USB box, it can get its power from
the cable.  The USB interface chips are only a buck, it would be much cheaper than
a PCI card with the PCI interface chips.  No NRE costs for FPGA's, if somebody
invested the time (considerable) making the circuit, you could replicate the
boards for under $100 even in small quantity, I think.  I thought about doing it,
but I'm not familiar with schematic capture for FPGA's, and I don't have any
tools.

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