PALs, GALs, and PALASM 
Author Message
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

I am interested in building a PAL or GAL programmer, either a
standalone w/ RS-232 interface or an Amiga plug-in card.  Why
not buy one?  Because I don't have $1000+ for a piece of
equipment I will use maybe 10 times.

Anyway, AMD will not give out programming info for the GALs.
They claim they don't want "just anyone" building programmers.
If anyone out there has info that they can legally release,
I would like to hear about it.  I am *not* intending to
compete with the companies making programmers.

Also, if anyone has built a PAL programmer, I'd like to hear
from you.  Maybe you can suggest some ways to reduce chip
count!!  Right now, the design I have uses 74137 latched
decoders driving transistors (probably 754xx series) to
switch voltages.

Finally, did you hear that PALASM is no longer free?  AMD
now wants $70 for the software.  I suggest a letter-
writing campaign by any hobbyists interested in PALs!!

Thanks for any help!

--Paul



Wed, 21 Oct 1992 23:46:41 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

Quote:
>I am interested in building a PAL or GAL programmer, either a
>standalone w/ RS-232 interface or an Amiga plug-in card.  Why
>not buy one?  Because I don't have $1000+ for a piece of
>equipment I will use maybe 10 times.

>Anyway, AMD will not give out programming info for the GALs.
>They claim they don't want "just anyone" building programmers.
>If anyone out there has info that they can legally release,
>I would like to hear about it.  I am *not* intending to
>compete with the companies making programmers.

>Also, if anyone has built a PAL programmer, I'd like to hear
>from you.  Maybe you can suggest some ways to reduce chip
>count!!  Right now, the design I have uses 74137 latched
>decoders driving transistors (probably 754xx series) to
>switch voltages.

>Finally, did you hear that PALASM is no longer free?  AMD
>now wants $70 for the software.  I suggest a letter-
>writing campaign by any hobbyists interested in PALs!!

>Thanks for any help!

>--Paul

     I think Lattice Semiconductor, the original manufacturer of the GAL's
included programming information in their databook.  My copy is some 3000 miles
southeast of here so I can't look it up.  Other manufacturers of GAL's include
National Semiconductor and VLSI Technology.  Maybe they are a little looser.

     National was advertising free software called PLAN up to a few months ago.
I sent for a copy but am still waiting.  Texas Instruments and Signetics both
sent me theirs, PROPAL and AMAZE, respectively.  Unfortunately, neither makes
GAL's.  (Real GAL's, that is.  Sig sells a EPROM rather than EEPROM thing they
call a GAL but it's not quite bit map compatible).

     Personally, I think that PALASM has gotten so grotesquely complicated that
it's no longer worth the bother.  Another victim of creeping featurism.  Still,
I just this week mailed off ANOTHER request for the latest version, since it is
supposed to support the GAL's.

     Of all the PLD software I've seen, TI's PROPAL is the easiest to use.  It
does NOT include an integrated text editor and, wonder of wonders, simply reads
a text file with boolean equations!  It is actually produced by an outfit called
Inlab, Inc.  If I could find a version supporting GAL's or PEEL's I would be
perfectly happy.  Actually, I'm moderately happy already, since PROPAL supports
the 22V10 and AMD is now selling an EEPROM version of it.  EPROM versions have
been around quite a awhile already.

Philip Munts N7AHL
NRA Extremist, etc.
University of Alaska, Fairbanks



Thu, 22 Oct 1992 09:46:41 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

Quote:


> >I am interested in building a PAL or GAL programmer, either a
> >standalone w/ RS-232 interface or an Amiga plug-in card.  

While we are on the subject, does anyone have any good IBM clone interface/card
hacks for a PAL/GAL programmer?

Quote:
>      National was advertising free software called PLAN up to a few
> months ago.
> I sent for a copy but am still waiting.  Texas Instruments and Signetics both
> sent me theirs, PROPAL and AMAZE, respectively.  Unfortunately, neither makes
> GAL's.  (Real GAL's, that is.  Sig sells a EPROM rather than EEPROM thing they
> call a GAL but it's not quite bit map compatible).
>      Personally, I think that PALASM has gotten so grotesquely complicated
> that
> it's no longer worth the bother.  Another victim of creeping featurism.  
> Still,
> I just this week mailed off ANOTHER request for the latest version, since
> it is
> supposed to support the GAL's.

>      Of all the PLD software I've seen, TI's PROPAL is the easiest to use.  

So what product would you recommend to someone just getting started with
PAL's/GAL's?  Would I be PROPAL since it is the easiest to use or another that
has better features.  Could you supply some addresses or phone numbers to
contact the suppliers of the software?

What are some good books on PAL's/GAL's for beginners (if there are any 'good'
books).

Thanks,
Bernard

________________________________________________________________________________
 ____         ________                            


| D  \       | |/  |       | USmail:  Box 407 Pomfret, phone:  (501)575-2491
|____/ernard  \___/ ohnson | Univerity of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR  72701
________________________________________________________________________________



Thu, 22 Oct 1992 16:53:57 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

Quote:

>      I think Lattice Semiconductor, the original manufacturer of the GAL's
> included programming information in their databook.  My copy is some 3000 miles
> southeast of here so I can't look it up.  Other manufacturers of GAL's include
> National Semiconductor and VLSI Technology.  Maybe they are a little looser.

Ah!  I forgot Lattice originated GALs!  AMD/MMI was PALs...  I requested
a Lattice book a while ago and never got it.

Quote:
>      Personally, I think that PALASM has gotten so grotesquely complicated that
> it's no longer worth the bother.  Another victim of creeping featurism.  Still,
> I just this week mailed off ANOTHER request for the latest version, since it is
> supposed to support the GAL's.

Yes, it doesn't surprise me that PALASM is a mess.  The version I used a
while ago was in Fortran 4.  More freakin' goto's than you could shake
a stick at...

Quote:

>      Of all the PLD software I've seen, TI's PROPAL is the easiest to use.  It
> does NOT include an integrated text editor and, wonder of wonders, simply reads
> a text file with boolean equations!  It is actually produced by an outfit called
> Inlab, Inc.  If I could find a version supporting GAL's or PEEL's I would be
> perfectly happy.  Actually, I'm moderately happy already, since PROPAL supports
> the 22V10 and AMD is now selling an EEPROM version of it.  EPROM versions have
> been around quite a awhile already.

What machines do they offer PROPAL for?  Do you get source or just an
executable?  If I can get a VAX version, fine.  My only PC is an Amiga
(not that that is a bad thing!).

Thanks a lot for your help!

--Paul



Thu, 22 Oct 1992 21:38:57 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

Quote:

>What machines do they offer PROPAL for?  Do you get source or just an

                             ^^^^^^ it's really called proLogic (oops)

Quote:
>executable?  If I can get a VAX version, fine.  My only PC is an Amiga
>(not that that is a bad thing!).

>Thanks a lot for your help!

>--Paul

     The free version from Texas Instruments is executables only.  The
installation section in the manual lists only the IBM PC or compatibles.

     Inlab, who actually produced proLogic (Note that I had my products
confused!) can be contacted at 303-460-0103 about full feature multivendor
versions ($$$).  Texas Instruments, who supplies the free version for their
own product line can be contacted at the PLD hotline 214-997-5666.  I got mine
by merely filling in the coupon from one of their periodic product bulletins.

     I would recommend proLogic for starting out with PLD's; its only weakness
that I've noticed is a lack of compatibility with anything else, especially
PALASM.  This only matters if you have designs already done in PALASM.

Philip Munts N7AHL
NRA Extremist, etc.
University of Alaska, Fairbanks



Fri, 23 Oct 1992 06:46:56 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

        Greetings. I have 2 books that have a decent description of how
PALs work and how to program them. One of them even includes a simple
PAL programmer... only problem is... they use PALs in the desing (They
give the truth tables and formulas, however) The 2 books are no longer
in print, being 5-7 years old, but if you can get one... you'll learn a
lot (Definitely better introduction to PALs than my EE Digital Design
text :-)

        _the_ best is this one:

        PAL Handbook, 3rd edition (1983)
        Monolithic Memories Inc.

        Has TONS of applications, article reprints, and even a video
        system made from PALs... usefull..

        Thes second one is from the same guys, but much thinner,
        having all the better application notes shaved off...
        It's their 4th edition (1985). Oh, they have several new
        sections:
                o PAL/HAL dev. specs
                o Logic tutorial
                o PALASM2(r) software syntax
                o PLE(tm) (programmable logic element)

        Hang on... I just found more...

        This one has a programmer for PLD 20-pin series
        This is from Signetics. They have a _short_ section on AMAZE.

                It's their:

                Signetics
                Programmable Logic Data Manual
                1986

        Hope that helps, If you want a photocopy, e-mail...
        Take care.
--
_____________________________________________________________________________
"The FORCE will be with you. Always." It _IS_ with me and has been for 10 years
Filip Gieszczykiewicz "..of future fame...." "Ok! So I have a dream..."



Fri, 23 Oct 1992 15:17:57 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

|Anyway, AMD will not give out programming info for the GALs.
|They claim they don't want "just anyone" building programmers.

I don't speak for AMD but I believe the reason for the policy
is as follows. Programming PLDs is a complex job and it requires
significant effort to design and manufacture a good programmer.
Vendors who do not invest the time and money to make a reliable
programmer can make the PLD vendor look bad when low programming
yields are seen by a customer. Then the PLD vendor has to spend
time in resolving the problem even though it was not due to any
fault of theirs.

I think I've seen PAL programmers which plug into PCs for not
very much money. I know you have an Amiga, consider that part
of the cost of not buying a PC.

Another alternative is to get your vendor to program them for
you. The bigger distributors have such capabilities.

Are you sure you'll save that much money by building your own
programmer if the algorithms are available?

--

Government: organized crime with an attitude.



Sat, 24 Oct 1992 02:03:49 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

Quote:


> |Anyway, AMD will not give out programming info for the GALs.
> |They claim they don't want "just anyone" building programmers.

> I don't speak for AMD but I believe the reason for the policy
> is as follows. Programming PLDs is a complex job and it requires
> significant effort to design and manufacture a good programmer.
> Vendors who do not invest the time and money to make a reliable
> programmer can make the PLD vendor look bad when low programming
> yields are seen by a customer. Then the PLD vendor has to spend
> time in resolving the problem even though it was not due to any
> fault of theirs.

You are absolutely right.  This is entirely logical, it is what
they said to me, and I still don't agree with selling programmable
parts that a user can't program.

Quote:

> I think I've seen PAL programmers which plug into PCs for not
> very much money. I know you have an Amiga, consider that part
> of the cost of not buying a PC.

Well, JDR Microdevices sells the cheapest burner I've seen.  It
is $380 for the interface, programming module, and CUPL software.
*You* may consider that cheap.  I, being a college student, do
*NOT* consider that cheap.

A friend here designed a standalone unit to handle only PALs.
It uses a 6809 w/ RS-232 interface to a terminal.  I am
*sure* we could build it for < $50.  Probably << $50.  And,
considering the quality of his past projects, I am quite
certain it will work.  I will probably build this device--
I thought it might be interesting to put it on an Amiga
card.  Some other Amiga owners might think owning an IBM
compatible computer and paying $380 for a PAL programmer
is a pretty high cost.  They might want my (our) design.

DANGER!!  NIT-PICKING BELOW!!

--- And, incidentally, "PC" is not a trademark of IBM.  The ---
--- Amiga is a PC, too.  And, incidentally, I *could* use   ---
--- an IBM programmer.  Using a bridgeboard, the Amiga will ---
--- run IBM software and has IBM slots.  I choose not to own---
--- a bridgeboard.

Quote:

> Another alternative is to get your vendor to program them for
> you. The bigger distributors have such capabilities.

I would like the convenience of having my own programmer.  I
could send away for EPROMs too, but I don't.

Quote:

> Are you sure you'll save that much money by building your own
> programmer if the algorithms are available?

Again,  ($50 + my time) << $380

In closing, I made a big mistake.  I forgot that Lattice originated
GALs (not AMD--they were (sort of) PALs).  I therefore was complaining
about the wrong company.  According to several people, Lattice is more
open with programming info.  Also, supposedly, PALASM is still free.
It just requires some coaxing to get it.

Thanks to everyone for their advice on PALASM and alternatives to it.
Any Amiga users interested in further developments on Amiga-specific
PAL programs and programmers is welcome to e-mail me.

--Paul

CAUTION!  The opinions contained herein are those of an electronics
          *hobbyist*.  They may exhibit dangerous levels of frugality
          to those with money and real development facilities.



Sat, 24 Oct 1992 09:07:10 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

Quote:


> |Anyway, AMD will not give out programming info for the GALs.
> |They claim they don't want "just anyone" building programmers.

> I don't speak for AMD but I believe the reason for the policy
> is as follows. Programming PLDs is a complex job and it requires
> significant effort to design and manufacture a good programmer.
> Vendors who do not invest the time and money to make a reliable
> programmer can make the PLD vendor look bad when low programming
> yields are seen by a customer. Then the PLD vendor has to spend
> time in resolving the problem even though it was not due to any
> fault of theirs.

While this concern is understandable there are other ways of
handling it.  For instance a PLD vendor can `certify' PLD
programmers and ask their customers to use one of these before
spending any time on troubleshooting.  This doesn't prevent a
college student or a hobbyist from building a programmer and yet
people who want support will pay for it.  If accurate programming
information is freely available (and consequently cheaper
programmers), many more people will start using PLDs instead of
random logic.

Restricting programming information helps the PLD programmer
vendors but i don't see how it helps the PLD vendor or the end
users.  This is like selling a processor without any assembly
programming documentation and insisting that the user buy a C
compiler from a third party even if the user wants to program in
assembly.

-- Bakul Shah

   ..!{ames,att,decwrl,pyramid,sun,uunet}!amdcad!light!bvs



Sat, 24 Oct 1992 15:03:50 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

PEELS are supported by free software from their manufacturer!
(International CMOS Technology.) The program is called APEEL,
and it's pretty easy to use.

Since all my files at work had to be done in PALASM, I prototyped
with PEELS, using APEEL to translate a PAL JEDEC file to a PEEL
JEDEC file. Simple. Call your ICT rep!

MarkK
MarkJ (^new keyboard)



Sat, 24 Oct 1992 12:18:00 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM

|In closing, I made a big mistake.  I forgot that Lattice originated
|GALs (not AMD--they were (sort of) PALs).  I therefore was complaining

AMD does make GALs also. They just announced 10 ns 16V8 devices. They've
had 15 and 25 ns devices for a long time. I realize you won't be able
to use them without the programming information but perhaps some of
the other readers of this group can.

--

Are you a cloth diaper type?



Sun, 25 Oct 1992 01:28:17 GMT
 PALs, GALs, and PALASM
|While this concern is understandable there are other ways of
|handling it.

You could be right. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm not
in any position to change the policy and that the people who made
the policy probably hear these kind of arguments every day.
Right or wrong, is there anything you could say that they haven't
heard already?

(and I don't even know precisely who the person responsible is)

I must disagree with the microprocessor analogy. You can do anything
you want to the PAL with PALASM. You can not do anything you want
with a C compiler.

--

Are you a cloth diaper type?



Sun, 25 Oct 1992 01:37:22 GMT
 
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