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Programmable Logic



FLASH based CPLDs and AntiFuse FPGAs. The Actel DeskTOP software CD is free (with registration) until January 31, 2000 But the programmers are high cost.


Flash based. You can download ispExpert software with a free six month license and burn the chips in system with a cable they would like to sell you. The download cable uses a 74HC/LS367 and a few passives and connects to a PC parallel port. Plans for the cable are available at

The Lattice Semiconductor ispGAL22V10 was the first In System Programmable pin-for-pin replacement for the popular GAL22V10 chip (12 inputs and 10 outputs, 8 to 12 terms per output) . A PC parallel port programming cable design with free programming software for use with palASM was presented in Circuit Celler Ink #65 December 1995 "In-Circuit-Programmable GALs"

The inexpensive ispLSI 1016 gives you about 90 flipflops  64 terms and 36 io pins and works fine with tact rates above 50 Mhz.

Lattice aquired Vantis, makers of the MACH series CPLDs, PAL ispGALs and Design Direct software. EEPROM based and rated at only 100 reprogrammings. The base version of the software is free (6 months) and a very general schematic for the programming cable is available. They have an app-note on "JTAG In-System Configuration with an Embedded Processor". They claim to be working on a line of FPGAs.


RAM and FLASH based. The XP3020 is available from DigiKey Corp (comparison matrix) with 64 io pins for about $13.50 qty 1 to $11 each in gross quantitys. It is RAM based and can be programmed from an embedded controller on power up via 3 pins. The protocol is well documented but no sample code appears to be available. The least expensive software support appears to be the $99 student edition of the Foundation software. Xess Corp provides solutions. hcooperTakeThisOuT at works with Xilinx parts.


FLASH based.  The schematic is available for the "ByteBlaster" PC parallel port programming cable (a 74HC244 and some resistors) can be used to program most Altera devices. The JAM ISP programming language player development kit with C source code is available (must agree to license) and can be implemented in an embedded processor to program embedded devices.

Simon Nield [simon.nield at QUANTEL.COM] says:

we found some problems even with genuine byteblasters. We modified them as follows and now build our own when we need them; replace 74hc244 with FCT device, short out resistors on connector pins 1, 5 and 9

A PC parallel port programming cable (no buffer chip) and programming software was presented in Circuit Celler Ink #65 December 1995 article "Low Cost FPGA Development System" by ?? of Xess Corp used the Altera EPX780 CPLD  which was available from JDR Microdevices and DigiKey Corp but was replaced by a flash based EPX880 which was then discontinued.

Cypress Programmable Logic

EPROM and FLASH based. Inexpensive ($99) software and ($179) kit with ISP cable. Excellent parametric search.


See also:




file: /Techref/logic/ispgals.htm, 9KB, , updated: 2023/12/22 14:34, local time: 2024/7/24 11:58,

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