Though the compiling tools for Xilinx & Altera cost money, I must admit that
there is a ton of work involved within the development of these tools.  As an
example, Altera's Quartus takes my mess of gates, logic & VHDL numbering in the
million range, mushes them together, simplifies it down to the simplest gates & spits
out a chip with the pins exactly where I want them.

    A compiling tool which does all of this automatically must have a ridiculous
number of SW with an unknown amount of hours put in to it.  I think that Altera's
price of 2K$ per year, which includes all the latest versions AND full tech support,
is well worth it.

    On the other hand, something like a PIC assembler, which I already had my own SW
engineer make my own assembler compiler for my own CPU core which I developed within
an Altera Apex component, only took him 9 hours to develop, and 4 hours to debug.  If
Point Lab Research were to sell this 250 mip CPU core, I'm sure we would make the
compiler free.

____________
Brian Guralnick


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