29 Jun '14, 5pm

Counting Really, Really Fast With An FPGA

Counting Really, Really Fast With An FPGA

During one of [Michael]‘s many forum lurking sessions, he came across a discussion about frequency counting on a CPLD. He wondered if he could do the same on an FPGA, and how hard it would be to count high clock rates. As it turns out, it’s pretty hard with a naive solution. Being a bit more clever turns the task into a cakewalk, with a low-end FPGA being able to count clocks over 500 MHz. The simplest solution for counting a clock would be to count a clock for a second with a huge, 30-bit counter. This is a terrible idea: long counters have a lot of propagation delays. Also, any sampling would have to run at least twice as fast as the input signal – not a great idea if you’re counting really fast clocks. The solution is to have the input signal drive a very small counter – only five bits – and sample the counter using a slower clock on board the FPGA. [Michael] used a 5-b...

Full article: http://hackaday.com/2014/06/29/counting-really-really-fas...

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