miniSpartan3 is a $25 Xilinx Spartan 3A FPGA Board with HDMI Output

Last year, Scarab Hardware launched miniSpartan 6+, a low cost FPGA board featuring Xilinx Spartan6 LX9, on Kickstarter. Since the, they’ve made a third iteration of the board with either Spartan6 LX9 or LX25 and an extra HDMI port, and developed miniSpartan3, a smaller and cheaper FPGA board called miniSpartan3 powered by Xilinx Spartan 3A XC3A50 or XC3A200 FPGA.

miniSpartan3miniSpartan3 specifications:

  • FPGA – Xilinx Spartan 3A XC3A50 (50K logic gates) or XC3A200 (200K logic gates)
  • Storage – 4Mbit SPI Flash
  • Video / Audio Output – HDMI
  • USB – Micro USB OTG port
  • Debugging – On-board USB JTAG programmer; on-board USB to Serial Interface
  • I/Os via breadboard friendly through holes
    • 4-channel ADC running at 200 KSPS with 8 bit resolution.
    • 41 Digital I/O pins.
  • Misc – 3 LEDs for debugging; 2 DIP switches.
  • Dimensions –  6.35 x 4.06 cm

They have not provided much details about development tools, but it’s quite likely these will be the same as for miniSpartan6+, namely Xilinx ISE Tool, or the company’s own Scarab IDE for Linux or Windows. There’s also a github account with the tools, and they’ll probably upload miniSpartan3 hardware files once the board ships.

miniSpartan3 can be pre-ordered for $25 to $35 respectively for the XC3A50 and XC3A200 version, with delivery scheduled for May 15 and beyond. You may find a few more details on miniSpartan3 product page.

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3 Replies to “miniSpartan3 is a $25 Xilinx Spartan 3A FPGA Board with HDMI Output”

  1. from
    Last Updated October 2013
    As of October 2013, ISE Design Suite has moved into the sustaining phase of its product life. For information on the devices supported in ISE Design Suite, please visit the ISE Documentation and Support Page.

    Been using ise since version 1.5

    Interesting days with Intel getting back into fpgas
    with their purchase(still in talks with Altera) and Intel captiol funded two other fpga companies – Tabula and Achronix a few years ago.

    Intel sold their original digital logic arm in the 80’s about the same time they sold off their microcontroller divison.

    Will be interesting to see if after Intel buys Altera if they integrate fpga or programmable blocks into the quark line.

    Xilinx for years has had a lot cheaper intro developer boards (via digilentinc) than Altera

    THe free zynqbook is quite good

  2. Well, this is definitely worthy news in the otherwise long row of similar, and thus uninteresting projects we see lately. FPGA with HDMI and Raspberry Pi price – that’s something. Unfortunately, these lack SDRAM, so no chance to play with Linux-capable CPU, but still interesting. International shipping is $10, not too bad either. Tempted.

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