Cool Xmas Day project uses Papilio FPGA control
"For Christmas, [Hamster]‘s wife gave him a mini-oven. Later that day, he tore it apart and built this FPGA controlled reflow oven.
We’ve seen plenty of reflow oven builds in the past. Most of those projects use a microcontroller to do closed loop control, sensing the temperature and toggling the heating element to hit a set point. This build uses the Papilio One FPGA development board as a controller. It implements a state machine that meets the reflow profile of the solder paste, ensuring SMD components are soldered properly.
The oven uses a MAX31855 to read temperature from a thermocouple. This device provides amplification, cold junction compensation, and analog to digital conversion which spits out the temperature over SPI. To control the heater, a 40A solid state relay is used.
The VHDL code that drives this oven is linked in the writeup, and has some interesting bits for those looking to experiment with FPGAs. It includes an SPI interface, display driver, and the temperature state machine logic."