Yes, there is a free version of the Quartus software if he wanted to have a play. I think anyone can download it from the website, although you probably have to register. Depending on the Uni he's at they may have full blown versions available too.
Also, listen to Grunk! I work on the internal software infrastructure, so only have a passing familiarity with the industry. Grunk quite clearly knows what he's talking about (Well, he uses the same words as our engineers do).
#6984729, By thrawn Anybody work in / know about chip design?
thrawn 896 posts
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