Arrow Chameleon96 Arm + Cyclone V FPGA Board Sold for $32 (Promo)

First introduced in 2017, Arrow Chameleon96 96Boards SBC comes with an Intel / Altera Cyclone V SE SoC featuring a dual-core Arm Cortex A9 processor clocked at up to 800 MHz and FPGA fabric with 110K Logic Elements.

It used to sell for $129, but Arrow & appears to have a promotion now where the Novtech board sells for just $31.34 with free shipping[Update: all available boards are gone, and the product is now out of stock]. It looks like a good opportunity for people interested in playing around with an Arm Linux FPGA platform.

Here’s a reminder of Chameleon96 board specifications which the company shamelessly copied from CNX Software:

  • SoC – Intel PSG / Altera Cyclone V SE 5CSEBA6U19I7N with a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ up to 800 MHz and FPGA fabric with 110K Logic Elements
  • Chips, Ports, and Features connected to FPGA:
    • Integrated USB-Blaster II JTAG cable
    • Configuration sources: SD Card, JTAG
    • HDMI display output
    • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.1 module interface
  • Chips, Ports & Features connected to ARM system (HPS)
    • 512MB DDR3 SDRAM (16-bit data bus)
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
    • Micro SD card interface
    • Serial UART
    • User LEDs
    • Warm reset button
  • Expansion Connectors
    • 2x 20-pin Low-speed expansion connector with UART, SPI, I2C, I2S, GPIO connectivity
    • 2x 30 High-speed expansion connector with USB 2.0 Host, SPI, I2C, GPIO, and MIPI CSI-2 connectivity
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART connector
  • Misc – User LEDs, power button, reset button
  • Power Supply – 12V DC (8~18V supports as per 96Boards CE specifications)
  • Dimensions – 85 x 54 mm

You’ll find information to get started and resources like the Linux image on 96boards website. All documentation that I could find is dated 2017, so don’t expect to have a recent U-boot and/or Linux kernel with the board. But if all you plan to do is to learn a bit more about FPGA development it should not matter that much.

There are still 173 pieces for sale at the time of writing. It could well be Arrow getting rid of old stock, and the board may not be available after that.

Thanks to Fran for the tip.

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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19 Comments
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ssssz
ssssz
19 days ago

Nah, they are cheaters. Their “free shipping” is $43.99.

Frank Earl
18 days ago

Still cheaper to do that than the original price which would be what you’d shell out for a Cyclone V FPGA eval board anyhow…

j tremblant
j tremblant
18 days ago

I was ordering one when I realized It’s currently showing an insane price of $184.71 for one(1) single board with a free shipping. It’s not probably even worth to pay $31.34 for it.
I can buy a Lattepanda Delta 432 SBC board for $188
Good luck selling the remaining 275 boards at $184.71

kprasadvnsi
kprasadvnsi
18 days ago

That $184 part is a CHAMELEON96 Kit. The $31 one has only board.

Frank Earl
18 days ago

The drawback to the LattePanda is that it’s not got an FPGA fabric. If you’re needing the one, the lack of it…well…

Marek
Marek
18 days ago

Shipping to Poland is free (and DDP), even for one board.

udif
udif
18 days ago

It *is* free.
You need to join “Arrow Perks” (free), then make sure you order $50+.
So if I needed to pay ~$80 for one item, I ended up paying ~$63 for *two* items.

Jjmz
Jjmz
18 days ago

Ordered 2 for around $76 (includesVAT), delivered to France. Thanks for tip.

Bharat Gohil
Bharat Gohil
18 days ago

But shipping is too much about 45$ for India.

André Curvello
18 days ago

Hi.
Do you know if this promotion is still valid?
The page starts with 39 units available, then nothing…

John S.
John S.
18 days ago

Looks like it’s sold out now. I’m not very familiar with the CycloneV SE, does anyone know if I/O can be remapped between the HPS and the Programmable Logic, or whatever it calls the ARM and the FPGA? Because if not, the block diagram in the product brochure (https://www.novtech.com/assets/docs/chameleon96-product-brief_v3.pdf) looks like the PL doesn’t have any access to the outside world broken out except for 2x MIPI-CSI lanes on one of the connectors (it looks like this board was also sold as the Chameleon96-Vision board with a camera), lines to an HDMI buffer (TX-only), and an SDIO connection to the… Read more »

Lor@an
17 days ago

I was able to get one board at promoted price. And, of course, before actually digging for some technical info on it. Compulsive buying…? Yes ! Indeed, after a first look at the schematic of the board, all of the accessible I/O are connected to the HPS (the ARM SOC) beside the few ones you were citing in your message. And no, according to my quick reading of the Cyclone V HW docs, no possible remapping of I/O between the HPS and the FPGA parts. I find it a bit odd for an FPGA board not to make the FPGA… Read more »

jasbir
jasbir
17 days ago

For a cheap fpga board you buy old Ebit E9+ miner controller board (EBAZ4205) which host a ZYNQ xc7z010 and there is a decent amount of I/O available. Schematics and doc can be found by googling for EBAZ4205. Board can be found on aliexpress for $20 https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001308030569.html

John S.
John S.
16 days ago

On Ebay there’s a ton of ‘Antminer S9 Control Board’ offerings, which are around $15 in the US (but maybe the price is rising — last week there was a $12 shipped option and several $15s, now I only see one $15 option). I just received one a couple of days ago, and it also has a ZYNQ XC7Z010, paired with 1GB (8Gb) of DDR3 ram (but I’ve seen references to smaller sizes, so maybe it’s a bit of a luck-of-the-draw) and a ton of 2×9 2mm headers (not all populated, and I think there might only be a few… Read more »

John S.
John S.
16 days ago

Also the s9 board is supported by name in mainline u-boot (not that it adds too much beyond a generic zynq board): https://gitlab.denx.de/u-boot/u-boot/-/tree/master/board/bitmain/antminer_s9

gomados
gomados
16 days ago

Cyclone V for just 30usd??????OMG

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