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FPGAs: Instant Access 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
For an engineer, this is a condensed guide of what the boss needs to know about what you are doing. You may be hard pressed to find what you need in this condensed version of what is likely to be found in two or three books and in manufacturers data sheets, application notes, and by experience doing FPGA design. There is no chapter on FPGA language tutorials, so if you are looking for VHDL, Verilog, or other language tutorials, they are not here. You must get the full size tomes on the languages, and muddle through.
Managers, on the other hand, will gain an understanding very rapidly of what their engineering charges are up to. They also will be up to an understanding of why they are approving the multi 10's of thousands of dollars for FPGA development tools.
"Dear old dad" would be proud to have this volume, especially if he were a manager. If "dad" is an engineer, your needs will not be found here.
To this end, I found the book a good overview of the existing state of the FPGA field. Due to the tremendous increase in FPGA size and complexity, it is no longer feasible to use schematic capture and waveform verification as a design philosophy. Incorporating HDL's helped as the designs got bigger (10K to 50K gates!) but now that embedded processors can be incorporated, the simulation environment becomes a lot more complex. Higher level languages and philosophies, like System-C, are needed. The book introduces these concepts but one would need to read further to gain a deeper understanding before choosing a specific direction.
I also enjoyed the historical perspective that is interwoven through the book as it helped me identify where the field was ten years ago, and what has happened since then. This made it easier for me to relate to the new philosophies. I did not learn any practical skills from the book but it did help cement my understanding of the FPGA field in broad terms.
If you are a new graduate who has to deliver your first FPGA design, I don't think this book would help you to get the job done. It would help you choose the most appropriate technology for your project, but then this is not usually a decision left to the new entrant.Read more ›
Follow this book up with actually purchasing a FPGA and a book (such as Verilog by example) to move forward.
I knocked one star off because while I felt the book was extremely informative there were some seriously glaring edit issues with the book.
One other problem I found was that the author, being so entrenched in the field tends to mention something a while prior to describing it. If you're confused on a topic while reading, continue along, he'll eventually explain.
This is certainly NOT the case for any of the Instant Access series. So if your pondering exploring the world of FPGAs or thinking, "Hey, I'd sure like to learn more about FPGAs!" This is a great place to start. If your up for more even more detail I'd even upgrade to Clive Maxfields The Design Warriors Guide to FPGAs. The Design Warrior's Guide to FPGAs: Devices, Tools and Flows (Edn Series for Design Engineers)
This book will help clear the haze that is FPGA design, vendors and their lingo. It gives invaluable insight to what FPGAs are and aren't. Most importantly it will help you to actually start DOING. I believe with just this guide alone one could better define how they can use FPGAs and get the right tools and hardware to do so. Using FPGA tools is a challenge to those unfamiliar. Fortunately, for us we have Clive to help us out!
Personally, I think that Design Warriors Guide to FPGAs paired with some VHDL books is a better value, more bang for the buck from a Engineers perspective. Managers and those just curious about FPGAs can certainly stick with this series.
I hope to see more of the Instant Access series as it help me decide what technologies I'd like to further learn about and how that technology can help me stay ahead of the design trends curve.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have skimmed through the book a few times and have added it to my list of books to read.Published on December 17, 2013 by Mark1968
Max is the best on writting these kind of books, if you want to learn about FPGA just bought this book.Published on December 21, 2012 by nemos
Already knew much about FPGAs before getting this book. What makes "FPGAs Instant Access" valuable to me is Maxfield's background in both FPGAs and ASICs. Read morePublished on September 24, 2010 by jimbrake
If you are a long time designer of FPGAs and are intimately familiar with them then you already know the contents of this book but it can still be of value to you. Read morePublished on August 24, 2009 by Jay
I am a Programmer who really likes to work with Hardware (PIC, Atmel). I grabbed this book months ago when I was preparing to purchase an Igloo Icicle Kit. Read morePublished on July 16, 2009 by James R. Huddle
Clive MAxfield's "FPGAs - Instant Access" is a must-read for anyone contemplating entering the great world of FPGAs. Read morePublished on June 18, 2009 by WDK-STL