RISC-V based PolarFire SoC FPGA and Devkit Coming in Q3 2020

Microsemi unveiled PolarFire FPGA + RISC-V SoC about one year ago, but at the time, development was done on a $3,000 platform with SiFive U54 powered HiFive Unleashed board combined with an FPGA add-on board from Microsemi. I’ve now been informed that Microchip has announced its Linux-capable PolarFire FPGA+RISC-V SoC would start shipping in Q3 2020 at the RISC-V summit and that a development kit will be sold for a few hundred dollars. PolarFire SoC FPGA   PolarFire SoC FPGA key features and specifications: Mid-Range FPGA optimized for Low Power High-speed serial connectivity with built-in multi-gigabit/multi-protocol transceivers from 250 Mbps to 12.7 Gbps Up to 461k logic elements consisting of a 4-input Look-Up Table (LUT) with a fracture-able D-type flip-flop Up to 31.6 Mb of RAM Power optimized transceivers Up to 1420 18 × 18 multiply-accumulate blocks with hardened pre-adders Integrated dual PCIe for up to ×4 Gen 2 Endpoint (EP) and Root Port (RP) designs High-Speed I/O (HSIO) supporting …

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Pitaya Go is an IoT development board with multi-protocol wireless connectivity

One of the challenges in starting a new IoT project is the question of what connectivity to use. Depending on the nature of a project, there are several wired and wireless connectivity options that can be used to power a project and ensure it’s a success. We have WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Zwave, LoRa, ZigFox, Thread, NB-IoT, 3G/4G, and others. You can use from anyone, but which one to use is another thing because most development board only support 1 or 2 of those. Well, with the introduction of the Pitaya Go, you don’t have to worry so much about that decision. The Pitaya Go is an IoT development platform with multiprotocol wireless connectivity built-in. The Pitaya Go is based on the Nordic’s high-end multiprotocol SoC nRF52840 and the Microchip’s extremely low power Wi-Fi network controller ATWINC1500B. The nRF52840 SoC is the most advanced member of the nRF52 Series SoC family, and it is fully multiprotocol capable with full protocol concurrency. It has …

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ARIES M100PF PolarFire FPGA System-on-Module Targets Industrial Applications, RISC-V Development

ARIES M100PF RISC-V FPGA SoM

MicroSemi unveiled PolarFire RISC-V FPGA SoC at the end of last year, bringing an alternative to Xilinx Zynq (Arm Cortex-A9 + FPGA) and UltraScale+ (Cortex A53 + FPGA) SoCs. The system-on-chip is expected to be mass produced later in 2019, so development is done on HiFive Unleashed RISC-V board and its FPGA expansion board. In the meantime, MicroSemi PolarFire FPGAs (without RISC-V hard core) are available now, and ARIES Embedded planning to showcase what they claim is the first PolarFire FPGA system-on-module at Embedded World 2019 with their M100PF SoM targeting industrial applications. ARIES Embedded M100PF key features and specifications: A choice of 3 PolarFire FPGAs MPF100T – 109KLE, 336 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) MPF200T – 192KLE, 588 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) MPF300T – 300KLE, 924 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) System Memory – 512 MiB / 1 GiB / 2 GiB DDR3 RAM Storage – 256 MiB configuration device, 4 GiB eMMC flash by default (Option up to 64GB) 2x Samtec QSH-090-01-F-D-A 180-pin …

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MicroSemi Introduces PolarFire FPGA & RISC-V SoC

Polaris FPGA + RISC-V SoC

In the past we’ve covered SoCs comprised of Arm cores and FPGA fabric via Xilinx Zynq-7000 series SoCs and Zynq UltraScale+ series MPSoCs, respectively featuring up to two Arm Cortex A9 cores, and up to four Cortex A53 cores. MicroSemi has now announced an alternative, not based on Arm cores, but instead based on SiFive U54-MC RISC-V cores combined with PolarFire FPGA fabric. PolarFire FPGA RISC-V SoC key features & specifications: FPGA – Microsemi PolarFire FPGA Processor Cores – Up to 4x SiFive U54-MC RISC-V cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz (performance similar to Cortex-A35 cores); 28nm process Deterministic Coherent Multi-core CPU Cluster Deterministic L2 Memory Subsystem System Memory I/F –  Integrated DDR4/LPDDR4 Controller and PHY Storage – Secure Boot, 128K Boot Flash Debug capability Rich I/Os Low Power – Low static power; power optimized transceivers, up to 50% lower power compared to SRAM based FPGAs So we don’t have the full picture just yet, and we’ll have to wait …

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Particle Unveils Mesh SoMs and IoT Developer Tools

Earlier this year, Particle unveiled three IoT development boards based on nRF52840 Bluetooth 5/802.15.4 WiSoC and supporting Particle Mesh, which interestingly is not based on Bluetooth Mesh or even Bluetooth, and instead relies on Thread specification/OpenThread implementation, and the 802.15.4 radio of the chip with Bluetooth only used for the initial setup stage. Particle announced the shipping date (October 2018 or… this month) for their Mesh boards pre-ordered in February, as well as three new products in a recent blog post. One of the products is a family of system-on-modules compatible with Particle Mesh, while the other two are related IoT developer tools. Particle Mesh SOMs The Particle Mesh SOMs will have similar names and features as corresponding Particle mesh developers kits such as Boron (NB-IoT / eMTC + BLE + Mesh) and Argon (ESP32 WiFi, BLE + Mesh), but with an edge connector and designed as enterprise-grade, production-scale version of the dev boards. The modules are still in development, …

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HiFive Unleashed RISC-V Linux Development Board Gets a $2000 FPGA Expansion Board

If you’re a RISC-V architecture’s enthusiast or represent a company working on products with the new ISA, you may have spent $999 or more on Hifive Unleashed RISC-V Linux development board a few months ago. You now have the opportunity to spend an extra $1,999 for HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board powered by a MicroSemi PolarFire FPGA programmed with a PCIe root port bridge, and allowing you to test all sorts of peripherals such as HDD’s & SSD’s,  HDMI output, and audio cards, network adapters, graphics cards, and so on. Expansion board specifications: FPGA – Microsemi Low Power PolarFire FPGA with 300K Logic Element 4 Gbit DDR4 x16 SPI Flash for remote FPGA updates, QSPI Flash connected to GPIO 24 lane PCIe Switch x1 PCI Express card connector x16 PCI Express card connector with 4 lanes of PCIe gen2 connected SSD M.2 connector SATA connector HDMI connector eMMC Nand Flash uSD Card Slot USB to UART bridges 2 CAN transceivers FMC …

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Banana Pi BPI-AI-Voice is a $169 Speech Recognition Development Kit based on MicroSemi ZL38063

BPI-AI-Voice

SinoVoIP has just launched BPI-AI-Voice development platform for speech recognition on Aliexpress for $169, and excluding the different PCB color, it is a clone of the official $299 Microsemi AcuEdge Development Kit for Amazon AVS, which is based on MicroSemi ZL38063 audio processor and comes with two microphones. BPI-AI-Voice key features: Audio Processor – MicroSemi ZL38063 Storage – U2 SPI flash to store ZL38063 firmware Audio 4x on-board digital microphones (AKU441) supporting a 2 microphone configuration for 180° and 360° audio pick-up. 2x low cost class D audio amplifier (NCP2820) Expansion Headers JMMA1 audio header for digital microphone, analog out, and 3 GPIOs JM1-4 digital microphone headers for off-board microphones 40-pin P2 header to connected to Raspberry Pi 3  (I2S, SPI and 8x GPIO used) Debugging – JAIB2/2 auto tuning headers, micro USB port. Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – 70 mm × 66 mm Temperature Range – −40° C to 85° C The original kit …

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A First Look at ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Audio Mic HDK with Baidu DuerOS Assistant

Earlier this year, Espressif Systems had unveiled their ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Audio MiC HDK (Hardware Development Kit) which features an ESP32-WROOM module, a 4-mic array DSP, 3 microphones, an audio jack, and various I/Os. I received the board a couple of weeks ago, and while there’s no public information released yet, the company provided me with ESP32-LyraTD-MSC User Guide in English. Eventually, I’d expect Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to be supported, but in the meantime I had to leverage my (lowly) Chinese language skills to get started since the kit is pre-loaded with firmware connecting to Baidu DuerOS voice assistant. ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Unboxing The kit came in a bland Espressif Systems carton box. Inside the package, I could only find one kit comprised of two boards. The bottom board read ESP32_MicrosemiDSP_Mainboard-V1, and does not show much apart from marking for connectors, headers and the power switch. While the top comes with eight buttons (Vol +, Vol -, Mode, Boot, RST, Rec, Play, …

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