I am an experienced embedded software engineer and part time digital design engineer. I was looking for a CPLD/FPGA book to help me with my first CPLD design. This was for a circuit that delivered highly accurate aircraft altitude to an autopilot system (very important stuff). I needed the following from a CPLD/FPGA book:
- An overview of CPLD/FPGA technology.
- How CPLDs and FPGAs have changed the way we must perform digital design (from the old days).
- Practical rules for creating proper synchronous design.
As the author (Bob Zeidman) points out, different sections of the book are intended for different audiences. For me, chapters 1 (history), 2 (CPLDS), and 5 (Design Techniques, Rules, and Guidelines) were the most important. I do not yet use FPGAs nor HDLs (though VHDL is in my near future). I never expect any book to answer all my questions; however, this one clearly answered the important questions I needed answered.
I used Altera's "MAX+PLUS II" tools to create, simulate (test) and program my circuit. Great tools, never crashed, excellent online help system and tutorials.
This book was critical in helping me design a reliable, testable, accurate circuit using synchronous design techniques. The circuit flies today in many business commuter aircraft.
By the way, there are some minor errors in the book (do you know of any books without errors?). I emailed Bob about it (the book gives you his URL and email address). Bob not only sent me errata information in like 2 hours, but provided an additional in depth explanation for an issue I was having with state machine design. Bob is also posting the errata info on his website - not THAT is customer service!