$359 Red Pitaya Board Combines an Oscilloscope, a Spectrum Analyser, a Waveform Generator and More

If you need to setup an electronics lab, the cost of equipment such as an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, can quickly add up and become expensive. There are already some attempts at low cost measurement devices such as the $35 ExpEyes Junior or pocket size digital storage oscilloscopes (~$200), but those are far from the performance achieved with regular measurement devices. Red Pitaya measurement board brings the performance level and flexibility a bit higher, and stays relatively low cost at $359, with a Linux-based solution based on Xilinx Zynq dual Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC.

Hardware Specifications:

  • SoC – Xilinx Zynq Z7010 dual core Cortex A9 CPU + FPGA
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • Storage – microSD card slot (For system and FPGA images, and data)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports (1 for power, 1 for console), and 1x USB 2.0 Host port
  • Signals:
    • 2x Analog inputs @ 125MS/s, 14 bits
    • 2x Analog outputs @ 125MS/s, 14 bits
    • Digital signals extension connector – 16 FPGA GPIOs
    • Analog signals extension connector
      • Low speed ADCs (4 channels @ 100kS/s, 12 bits)
      • Low speed DACs (4 channels @ 100kS/s, 12 bits)

Red Pitaya is based on GNU/Linux operating, and can be customized/programmed using HDL, C/C++, scripting languages, Matlab and HTML based web interfaces.

The HTML interface transforms any device with a web browser (iPhone, iPad, other smartphones and tablets or PCs) into an electronics lab, and the board comes pre-loaded with the following instruments:

  • OSCILLOSCOPE – 2 channels @ 125 MS/s 14 bit digital with external or signal based triggering capability
  • SPECTRUM ANALYZER – 2 channels with 60 MHz bandwidth signal with waterfall diagram capability
  • ARBITRARY WAVEFORM GENERATOR – 2 channels @ 125 MHz 14 bit arbitrary waveform generation with external triggering capability
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE ANALYZER – 2 channels with 60 MHz bandwidth
  • 2×2 MIMO PID programmable controller
Red Pitaya Spectrum Analyzer Web interface

The company also provides “Bazaar”, an App store where free of charge an open source applications can easily be downloaded and installed on the board, as well as Backyard, an organized repository containing the corresponding open source code and tools necessary for developing applications.

Red Pitaya is still a prototype stage, and the company has launched a Kickstarter campaign where pledges start at $359 (board only) to $399 with the addition of a 2GB micro SD card preloaded with the applications, 2 test probes, 2 BNC to SMA adapters, and a power supply. Prices include shipping, and delivery is expected in December 2013.

Thanks to embedded_geek for the tip.

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