As you may know, YASEP16 will probably be used in my girlfriend's "pet projet" Ours Agile. This involves lots of real-time computations, countless sensors and more than 30 actuators... Sure, YASEP could handle that, probably. But the interfacing was giving me headaches, so many analog components (on top of high-speed memory) seems expensive and/or difficult.

Then I spotted a second-hand AFS600 evaluation kit from Actel, that I got for a fair price. It was a bit risky and I first thought it was broken. But since it's 2nd hand, somebody has probably played with it, and just uploaded a new configuration bitstream. With the help of a french rep., I found and uploaded the original demo bitstream and ... Magic happens !

Actel AFS600 eval board plugged

This FPGA family comes at "premium price" but it's a damn great opportunity for robotics projects :

  • 512KB of program space as Flash EEPROM (no need to download from external SPI !)
  • onchip 100MHz RC clock generator (exactly what I'm aiming at !)
  • RTC, temperature sensors, low power...
  • high-speed 30-channel ADC !
  • several integrated MOSFET gate drivers
  • 13K tiles vs 6K on the A3P250
  • 24 SRAM blocks vs 8 on the A3P250

This is definitely a great toy for robots...