GOWIN GW1NRF FPGA Comes with Bluetooth 5.0 LE Radio & 32-bit ARC MCU

I first heard about GOWIN Semiconductor last month when I found out about Sipeed Tang Nano FPGA board going for $5 and featuring GOWIN GW1N FPGA.

The company has now announced what it claims is the first Bluetooth FPGA on the market with GW1NRF FPGA integrating a Bluetooth 5.0 LE radio and a 32-bit ARC microcontroller beside FPGA fabric.

GW1NRF Bluetooth FPGA
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GOWIN GW1NRF-LV4N uSoC FPGA key features and specifications:

  • FPGA Fabric – 4.6K LUTs, 180 Kb block SRAM, and 16 multipliers
  • MCU – 32-bit ARC microcontroller with
    • 48KB IRAM, 48KB DRAM
    • 136KB block ROM, 128KB block OTG
    • Security – AES-128, RNG, Key GEN
    • Power Management – Wake-up timer, pin monitoring
  • Wireless – Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) 5.0 Transceiver with PHY & MAC
  • Power Supply  – 3V or 1.5 V with battery support via on-chip LDO regulator and step-up/step-down DCDC regular
  • Power Consumption – 5nA power disable mode
  • Package – 6x6mm QFN48 package

If you wonder what kind of application may benefit from a low-end FPGA with built-in Bluetooth 5.0 LE, the company provides a few, for example, capture a frame from a camera processing the image and transmitting it over Bluetooth.

GW1NRF Bluetooth Camera

A microphone array could also be connected to the FPGA which would capture and mux audio, the MCU handling some audio processing and the results transmitted over Bluetooth. Similar applications can be done for LED arrays and motor control, except this time, the phone would send commands over Bluetooth.

Bluetooth FPGA Motor Control
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I could not find many details about software tools, but I’d expect the FPGA the be programmed using GOWIN IDE available for Windows and Linux.  More details can be found on the product page including a datasheet and a whitepaper, and you may consider registering to “RF FPGA: An Introduction to GOWIN Semiconductor’s New Bluetooth FPGA” upcoming one-hour webinar scheduled to take place on December 12 and 13.

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Kevin odgp Recent comment authors
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It’s also worth noting they have a soft RISC-V core/system building thing as well. They also have a Cortex M3 part with FPGA fabric.. alas I contacted them and I couldn’t get a straight answer on how to actually buy any of their parts.

Kevin o
Kevin o

The current is 5nA, not 5mA, from their PR