A few months ago I wrote about FireAnt low-cost FPGA development board powered by Efinix Trion T8 FPGA, and it was the first time I personally heard about the company.
Trion FPGA family range from the T4 with 3,888 logic elements up to the Trion T200 with 192,000 LE’s. A board more powerful than FireAnt, but not quite high-end, recently showed up on Digikey with Trion T20 BGA256 development kit going for $150.
Trion T20 BGA256 Development Kit specifications:
- FPGA – Efinix Trion T20 FPGA with 19,728 LE’s, 1,044 Kbit embedded RAM, 36 18×18 multipliers, 7 PPL’s, up to 220 GPIO’s; 256-ball FBGA (13×13 mm)
- System Memory – 256 Mbit SDR SDRAM
- Storage – NOR flash
- USB – 1x Micro-USB port for programming
- Debug / Configuration – SPI and JTAG headers to facilitate configuration
- 3x I/O headers to connect to external devices
- LVDS TX header, LVDS RX & clock header
- Misc – 8x user LED’s, 3x user push-buttons, 3x user DIP switches, 50 and 74.25 MHz oscillators
- Power Supply – 5VDC via power barrel jack
- Dimensions – N/A
The Trion T20 BGA256 development kit includes a Trion T20 BGA256 development board, a USB cable, four standoffs, and four screws. Applications include prototyping for I/O expansion, control plane, processing/coprocessing, IoT, industrial, medical computing, and acceleration and deep learning in edge devices among others.
The company explains their Trion development kit uses the Efinix Efinity software which provides a complete tool flow from RTL design to bitstream generation, including synthesis, place-and-route, and timing analysis. It comes with a GUI, but there’s also support for the command line, and the software supports both Verilog HDL and VHDL languages.
But while looking for information about the board on the net, I discovered “PulseRain Reindeer for Efinix Trion T20 BGA256 Development Kit” on Github. PulseRain Reindeer is a soft CPU of Von Neumann architecture leveraging RISC-V RV32I[M] instruction set, and featuring a 2 x 2 pipeline. Configuration tested on Trion T20:
- RV32I processor core, Von Neumann Architecture
- 48KB Block RAM for code and data
- 1x UART TX
- 32-bit GPIO
To make development easier, an Arduino board support package has also been provided on GitHub so that developers can write code for RISC-V directly in the Arduino IDE.
More details about the development kit and Trion T20 FPGA can be found on the product page.