Last summer, we wrote about Radiona ULX3S education board combining a Lattice Semi ECP5 FPGA with an Espressif Systems ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth WiSoC.
Designed for a digital logic course at the University of Zagreb, the board is open-source hardware with KiCAD hardware design files released on GitHub, and programmable with the Arduino IDE (FPGArduino) and ProjectTrellis open-source toolchain.
At the time, there was only a version based on Lattice ECP5 85F with 84K LUT, but they’ve now made versions with cheaper variants of ECP5 FPGA and launched the board on Crowd Supply.
Radiona ULX3S specifications:
- FPGA (one of the other)
- Lattice ECP5 LFE5U-85F-6BG381C with 84K LUT
- Lattice ECP5 LFE5U-45F-6BG381C with 44K LUT
- Lattice ECP5 LFE5U-12F-6BG381C with 12K LUT
- System Memory – 32MB SDRAM @ 166 MHz
- Storage – 4–16MB Quad-SPI Flash for FPGA config and user data storage; MicroSD slot
- Audio – 3.5 mm jack with 4 contacts (analog stereo + digital audio or composite video)
- Video – Digital video (GPDI General-Purpose Differential Interface) with 3.3V to 5V I2C bidirectional level shifter
- Display – Placeholder for 0.96″ SPI color OLED display (SSD1331 driver)
- Wireless Connectivity
- ESP32-WROOM-32 module with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.1 LE (Standalone JTAG web interface over WiFi)
- Antennas – 27, 88–108, 144, 433 MHz FM/ASK onboard
- USB – 2x micro USB ports, one connected to FTDI FT231XS and the other to the FPGA
- 56 GPIOs (28 differential pairs), PMOD-friendly with 3.3V/1A 2.5V/1.5A power output
- 8-channel ADC, 12 bit, 1 MSa/s via MAX11125
- Misc – 11x LEDs 11 (8x user, 2x USB, 1x WiFi); 7x buttons (4x direction, 2x fire, 1x power); 25 MHz crystal onboard, external differential clock input; MCP7940N RTC with CR1225 battery backup
- Power Supply
- 5V input via USB port
- 3x Switching voltage regulators: 1.1V, 2.5V, 3.3V
- 5V output
- Low power sleep – 5uA/5V standby
- Dimensions – 94 × 51 mm
A comparison table for various Lattice Semi ECP5 development has been published as well. Note that it does not include the tiny, Feather board compliant, OrangeCrab that has just launched for $99 with ECP5 25F FPGA on GroupGets.
Radiona ULX3S is available in three versions with the following pricing:
- Lattice ECP5 12F (12K) – Early bird: $99; $115
- Lattice ECP5 45F (44K LUT) – $135
- Lattice ECP5 85F (84K LUT) – $155
If you feel up to it, you could also buy the bare board for $10, but you’d need to source and solder the components yourself. The crowdfunding campaign has just launched, and it’s going well so far for over $20,000 raised surpassing the $15,000 funding target. Shipping is free to the US, and $12 to the rest of the world with rewards expected to start shipping on June 16, 2020.
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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