Last year, Olimex launched their first FPGA board with iCE40HX1K-EVB. The board is very cheap at 22 Euros, but what you can do with it is limited since it only comes with 1280 logic cells. The company has now introduced an upgraded model called iCE40HX8K-EVB with 7680 logic cells, and more I/O headers.
Olimex iCE40HX8K-EVB specifications:
- FPGA – Lattice Semi iCE40HX8K-CT256 FPGA with 7680 logic gates, 960 Logic Array Blocks, and 128 Kbit memory
- System Memory – 256Kx16 SRAM (512KB SRAM)
- Storage – 2MB serial flash
- 34-pin connector to access FPGA I/Os
- 4x 40 pin connectors for GPIOs
- Debugging / Programming – 10-pin “PGM” connector
- Misc – 2x user buttons, reset button, 2x user LEDs, power & programming status LEDs
- Power Supply – 5V via power jack
- Dimensions – 67×65 cm
The board is open source hardware with the KiCAD schematics and PCB layout, BoM, and Gerber files available on Github. Lattice IceCube2 or Project IceStorm can be used to program the board. So that means we have an open source FPGA board designed with an open source CAD software (KiCAD), and programmable in Verilog with an open source tool (Project IceStorm).
You can use the 34-pin connector to connect add-on boards such as:
- iCE40-ADC with 100Mhz ADC
- iCE40-DAC with 100Mhz DAC
- iCE40-IO with VGA, PS2 and IrDA transceiver
- MOD-DIO with logic analyzer level shifter with programmable 1.5-5.5V threshold.
The modules can be daisy chained with up to 4x DAC and 4x ADC modules.
Olimex iCE40HX8K-EVB can be purchased for 39.95 Euros on Olimex store, where you’ll also find the aforementioned add-on boards for 9.95 to 15.95 Euros.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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