$88 Papilio DUO Arduino Compatible Board with a Xilinx FPGA Let You to Draw your Own Circuits

In a concept similar to Arduissimo, Papilio DUO is an Arduino compatible board with a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA, but it adds a real Atmel AVR MCU, and instead of going the Indiegogo route, the project has launched on Kickstarter, and already reached its $30,000 funding target with 13 days to go. Instead of writing VHDL code, a drag and drop graphical tool called DesignLab will help you build your own circuits more easily.

Papilio DUO - FPGA  Side
Papilio DUO – FPGA Side (Click to Enlarge)

Let’s go through the hardware specifications first:

  • FPGA – Xilinx Spartan 6 LX9 FPGA
  • System Memory – 512KB or 2MB ISSI IS61WV5128 SRAM
  • Storage – 64Mbit Macronix MX25L6445 SPI Flash
  • MCU – Atmel AVR ATmega32U4 (Same as Arduino Leonardo)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port connected to the Atmel MCU, 1x mini USB port connect to the FPGA
  • I/Os
    • 54 I/O pins  available via Arduino Mega headers
    • 0-16 Digital Pins connected to FPGA and ATmega32U4
    • JTAG
  • Power – High efficiency LTC3419 Switching Voltage Regulator
Papilio DUO - Arduino Side
Papilio DUO – Arduino Side (Click to Enlarge)

But the real selling point of this project is the software. Papilio DesignLab is a modified version of the Arduino IDE running in Windows or Linux that allows you to integrate virtual instruments drawn using Xilinx ISE schematic editor and the Papilio Circuit Library. For example, Papilio DUO can easily become a low cost logic analyzer or a frequency generator just by taking the design from the library which seems pretty extensive according to the table below.


Papilio DUO is Open Source hardware hardware under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, and you download the Eagle design file in Gadget Factory‘s Papilio DUO gthub repo.

You can pledge $88 to get Papilio DUO with 512 KB RAM, or $125 to get the Deluxe version with 2MB SRAM. Two other perks, expansion boards, are also available as part of the campaign:

  • Classic Computing Shield ($34) providing hardware to emulate older computers such as ZX Spectrum, It includes a 4096 Color VGA, an audio Jack, two PS/2 Jacks, two Atari style joystick ports, a micro SD slot, and directional control buttons.
  • Wing Pack ($39.99) – 5 Wings (expansion boards) for your Papilio for Audio, Breadboard area, Buttons and LEDs, a MicroSD slot, and VGA support.

Shipping to the US is free, but people with addresses in the rest of the world need to add $10 for shipping.

Since the project is already fully funded, the developer, Jack Gasset, has added some stretch goals including a plastic enclosure ($50k goal), a stepper motor wing ($80k goal), and more.

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