|The Raspberry Pi is a "credit card" sized CPU system based on an ARM11, running at 700 MHz. The board has 512MB RAM (Model B),
2x USB, HDMI, Ethernet, audio interfaces as well as some GPIO pins and other interfaces, made available on pin connectors.
The OS is located on a micro SD card. A linux variant is an often used OS for this board.
This CPU system offers more capabilities than the average 'hobby' environments, such as Arduino, AVR CPU's, etc. The cost of the board is roughly 35 Euros.
|The raspberry Pi can be combined with the Logi Pi board from ValentFX. The combination of both boards is a low cost system, on which you can develop software as well as digital hardware.
For educational / testing purposes this system is more than sufficient, especially when combined with proper toolchains for HDL compilation and simulation. The FPGA is a Xilinx Spartan 6 (XC6SLX9-2TQG144), capacity is 11440 Flip-Flops. Timing critical items, such as real time actions can be handled by your created hardware in the FPGA.
This platform is a low cost platform to learn VHDL or Verilog. Price of the Logi Pi board is roughly 80 Euros.