Pico-Ice board combines Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU with Lattice ICE40 UltraPlus 5K FPGA

tinyVision.ai Pico-Ice is a development board with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU and a Lattice ICE40 UltraPlus 5K FPGA connected through an 8-bit bus. The Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller provides the clock for the FPGA and can program the FPGA directly or the dedicated FPGA flash using a drag-drop of a UF2 file.

Just a few days ago we wrote about the LILYGO T-FPGA board that combines an ESP32-S3 wireless MCU with a Gowin FPGA connected through a 6-bit bus, and the Pico-Ice board provides a similar option with different chips and without wireless connectivity.

Pico Ice Raspberry Pi RP2040 Lattice FPGA board

Pico-Ice specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264KB SRAM with all pins exposed
  • FPGA – Lattice UltraPlus iCE40UP5K FPGA with 5.3K LUTs, 1Mbit SPRAM, 120Kbit DPRAM, 8x multipliers with all pins brought out
  • Memory & storage chips
    • MCU – 4MB QSPI flash
    • FPGA – 4MB QSPI Flash, 8MB low power QSPI SRAM
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C Host/Device port for power and RP2040 programming
  • Expansion – 2.54mm pitch headers with RP2040 and 32x FPGA IOs
    • 2x dual PMOD connectors for the FPGA
    • 1x dual PMOD connector shared between the RP2040 and FPGA
    • 1x dedicated dual PMOD for the RP2040 MCU
  • Misc
    • RGB LED shared between the RP2040 and FPGA
    • 2x push buttons: 1x dedicated and 1x primarily for processor reset during development but can be repurposed for user applications when not used for reset
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB-C port
    • Onboard 3.3V and 1.2V Regulators to supply 3.3V to your project
  • Dimensions – TBD (4-layer PCB)
  • OSHWA certifications – US002140
Pico-Ice Block Diagram
Pico-Ice Block Diagram

Pico Ice pinout diagram

Firmware and software support for the Pico-Ice board can be found in the “SDK” repository, while the KiCad hardware design files are available in another GitHub repository, and the documentation shows how to get started with programming the Raspberry Pi RP2040 and ICE40 FPGA, and provides a list of various resources for FPGA development.

tinyVision.ai is selling the Pico-Ice board on Tindie for $35 and Lectronz. If you’d rather have WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, the ICE-V Wireless FPGA board features the same Lattice UltraPlus iCE40UP5K FPGA, but it is connected to an ESP32-C3 wireless MCU instead of the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller. It does have fewer I/Os however.

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