Sydney-X1 FPGA Computer Challenges Commodore, Amiga and Apple


Tony Burch


BurchED announces the release of the Sydney-X1 FPGA Computer
for electronics hobbyists, educators and computer architecture researchers

SYDNEY, Australia, July 15, 2004 - BurchED, a provider of Field Programmable
Gate Array (FPGA) development board solutions, today announced the
availability of the new Sydney-X1 FPGA Computer. Integrating the high
performance B5-X300 FPGA motherboard, the Sydney-X1 addresses electronics
hobbyists' demand for a new and exciting platform for the design of small
system-on-chip computers, custom or standard architecture CPUs, and
arcade-style gaming machines.

The Sydney-X1 is a complete computer system based on FPGA technology, and is
supplied with everything needed for a working system out-of-the-box,
including keyboard, mouse, VGA extension cable, 5W speaker, 64MB compact
flash card, power supply and FPGA programming cable. Design for the system
is done using the free Xilinx WebPACKT design tools, and with VHDL or
Verilog hardware description language code. System-on-chip designs can be
created from mixes of code including cores available from the web, code from
BurchED demo applications and code designed from scratch. The FPGA can be
reprogrammed within a matter of seconds, so that different designs can be
developed and shared amongst users.

The Challenge
With the introduction of the Sydney-X1, BurchED claims to attempt to capture
some of the spirit and fun of earlier frontier computing machines such as
the Commodore 64, Amiga Color Personal Computer, and Apple IIe. The
Sydney-X1 provides the accessibility and hardware control that was
characteristic of those early machines, while providing an easy-to-use
platform for today's electronics hobbyists.

About FPGA Computers
FPGA computers are a new concept in electronics hobbyist computing. They
offer the ability to explore the design of new computers and other
system-on-chip hardware. The main difference between an FPGA computer and a
traditional computer is that there is no fixed-silicon CPU at the heart of
the machine. Instead, there is a programmable gate array device (the FPGA),
which can directly implement a CPU, or multiple CPUs, and peripheral
interfaces. CPUs may be custom designed or functionally identical to
popular vendors' CPUs, such as Microchip PIC, Atmel AVR, Zilog, or Intel

About BurchED
Burch Electronic Designs (BurchED), founded in 1997, is a provider of great
value Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) development boards, for use by
electronics hobbyists, design engineers and universities. Additional
information about BurchED is available at

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