LILYGO T-FPGA devkit combines ESP32-S3 WiSoC with Gowin GW1NSR-4C FPGA

LILYGO T-FPGA development kit is comprised of an M.2 module with an ESP32-S3 WiFi and Bluetooth wireless microcontroller and a Gowin GW1NSR-4C FPGA with 4,608 LUTs, and a carrier board that gives easy access to I/Os and comes with a 18650 battery holder.

The module comes with a USB -C OTG port connected to the ESP32-S3, and a USB-C FPGA port for the FPGA. The “T-FPGA shield” carrier board includes four Pmod interfaces and a STEMMA Qt/Qwiic connector for expansion, plus several pins for 3.3 and GND, and another 20-pin I/O header.

ESP32-S3 Gowin FPGA devkit

LILYGO T-FPGA specifications:

  • Wireless MCU – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3R8 dual-core Tensilica LX7 @ up to 240 MHz with vector instructions for AI acceleration, 512KB RAM, 8MB PSRAM, wireless connectivity
  • Storage – 16MB flash
  • FPGA – Gowin Semiconductors GW1NSR-LV4CQN48PC6/I5 with 4,608 LUT4, 256Kb flash, 64Mb PSRAM, 64Mb Hyperflash, 32Mb NOR flash
  • Connectivity via ESP32-S3
    • 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 with 40 MHz bandwidth support
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 connectivity with long-range support, up to 2Mbps data rate.
    • Cemaric antenna and external u.FL antenna support
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C OTG port, 1x USB Type-C “JTAG FPGA” port
  • Host interface – M.2 Key-B edge connector
  • Expansion – External connector with SPI, JTAG, 3.3V, GND
  • Misc
    • Boot, Reset, and Power buttons (ESP32-S3)
    • User button (FPGA)
    • Power LED, 2x user LEDs (one connected to ESP32-S3, the other to the FPGA)
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB-C port or M.2 edge connector
    • AXP2101 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 60 x 42 mm

LILYGO T-FPGA M2 Key-B moduleThe M.2 module is meant to be inserted into the T-FPGA shield with the following specifications:

  • 4x Pmod interfaces
  • 4-pin STEMMA Qt/Qwicc connector for I2C modules
  • 20-pin header with I/Os, VBUS, VLDO, GND.
  • Power
    • 18650 battery holder
    • 6-pin exposing 3.3V
    • 6-pin exposing GND
  • Dimensions – 120 x 32 x 22 mm

T-FPGA Shield pinoutLILYGO provides some samples for the ESP32-S3 (Arduino) and the Gowin FPGA (Verilog) to blink the FPGA’s LED from the ESP32-S3 over I2C or SPI, and there’s also a simple Verilog sample to blink the LED directly from the FPGA. You’ll find those on GitHub along with the schematics, and some basic instructions to get started with the Arduino IDE and Gowin EDA. Some Gowin boards are already supported by the open-source Yosys toolchain through the Apicula project, so the T-FPGA might eventually be as well.

FPGA <-> MCU wiring
Gowin FPGA and ESP32-S3 connection: 6x I/Os are wired between the FPGA and the MCU (See MCU_XX pins)

LILYGO typically provides minimal documentation, so if you’re new to Gowin FPGAs, it’s probably to start with something like the Sipeed Tang Nano 20K, 9K, or 4K. If an FPGA board with a WiFi and Bluetooth MCU looks like something useful, the full T-FPGA development kit with the ESP32-S3+Gowin FPGA module, carrier board, and several headers can be purchased on Aliexpress for$28.98 including shipping.

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4 Replies to “LILYGO T-FPGA devkit combines ESP32-S3 WiSoC with Gowin GW1NSR-4C FPGA”

  1. What is the environment like for the FPGA (i.e. synthesize, manage constraints, place & route, simulate, program)?

  2. “Undocumented 20-pin header”

    Like all the other carrier board pin header groups, it’s documented via the on-board silkscreen, seen adjacent in the 20-field box.

      1. Feel free to delete any editorial feedback I provide… I feel like it’s just a distraction for the readers. If you want to encourage community feedback I guess you could replace the thread with a post from yourself saying thanks for the tip. And BTW thanks for your endless work with all these articles 😉

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