My name is James Buchanan. I have been retired for a few years now, and I would like to share with you some of my experiences, working in Silicon Valley. The company I liked the best, was Atari games. I worked there for 20 years. Atari is gone now, but it was the best place to learn digital circuits. Single logic hardware parts were used years ago, but today, single logic circuits are imbedded deep, in custom hardware parts. For many years at Atari, I was the top circuit board trouble shooter. At Atari, if you did a job well, they would let you do it, even if you didn't have the educational degrees for it. During Atari's most prosperous years, there were about 100 technicians troubleshooting, arcade circuit boards. My job was to train and help those technicians troubleshoot. When a new circuit board design was assembled in manufacturing, and tested for the first time, I was the one that tested the board and I was the one that interfaced with engineering, when there was a problem. After Atari, I worked at Ikos and Mentor Graphics. Mentor Graphics bought Ikos. I was the lead technician for the Ikos FPGA simulator. The simulator had 8 large circuit boards with about 50 FPGA's on each board. Each FPGA, was soldered to a small board that had connectors. Unfortunately, when the small boards were mounted to the large boards, there were connection issues. It was a big problem for the company, but I came up with a troubleshooting method, to deal with those problems. I trained all the customer service technicians, with my method.
Computer science students are required to learn some hardware programming, on an FPGA trainer board, before they get their computer science degree. Beginners and computer science students have a lot trouble learning how to program hardware, because it is very different than computer programming. It is very important to understand how a digital circuit works, before you program it into an Fpga. Hardware programming is nothing like computer programming. Hardware programming can only duplicate a digital logic circuit in an Fpga, and wire it up to inputs and outputs. Because of that, you must understand how a digital circuit works, before you will be able to program the hardware code for it. The hardware codes make no sense, without this knowledge. My lessons start with easy digital circuits, and easy hardware programming code, that duplicates the circuits. Each lesson gets progressively harder. At the end of this course, you will understand how 16 different digital circuits work, and how to use the hardware programming code, to program those circuits into an Fpga. You will also see a video of me, testing the Fpga circuits. I hope you have an enjoyable time, learning about Fpga's.