Pixblasters MS1 Video LED Controller Outputs HDMI Input to 16K+ LED Video Walls (Crowdfunding)

Pixblaster Video LED Controller Pixblasters, a company focused on LED signage and video display, have started a Crowd Supply campaign for their MS1 Video Controller. The Pixblaster MS1 controller can be attached to any laptop or computer with HDMI output (think Raspberry Pi SBC) and control 16,384 LEDs without any programming, physical modifications or soldering. Extreme Scalability The market the MS1 video controller is aimed at is small business and makers, who hadn’t before had a controller with this much scalability.  The company is saying that the MS1 can be daisy-chained together to control hundreds of thousands of LEDs and act as a full video monitor across hundreds of meters of LED strips. Programming The unit can easily and with little technical knowledge connect WS212B-Based addressable LED strips together for a complex output of digital displays, even mirroring a video display in some instances. Target Users The ability to use large platform digital signage has been difficult for many small …

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Spartan Edge Accelerator Arduino Compatible Board Combines ESP32 & Spartan-7 FPGA

Spartan Edge Accelerator

Xilinx Spartan FPGAs have been around for a while, and a few years ago we covered Spartan-6 FPGA boards such as Spartixed and miniSpartan6+.  Seeed Studio has now launched another Xilinx Spartan board with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Spartan Edge Accelerator Board follows Arduino UNO form factor and combines a more recent Xilinx Spartan-7 FPGA with Espressif Systems ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth chip. Spartan Edge Accelerator specifications:  FPGA – Xilinx Spartan-7 XC7S15 FPGA with 12.8K Logic Cells and 360Kb block RAM WiSoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 SoC with 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1  BLE Storage – SPI flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output – Mini HDMI Video Input – CSI Camera Interface with support for OV5640 sensor USB – USB type-C port Expansion Arduino UNO headers (5V) FPGA I/O header DAC output and ADC input header (via 8-bit ADC1173 chip) 2x Grove connectors (I2C and digital I/O) Debugging / Programming – Arduino ICSP header, FPGA  JTAG interface Sensors …

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PhyWhisperer-USB Python Controlled USB 2.0 Sniffer Enables USB Security Testing (Crowdfunding)

PhyWhisperer-USB is a hardware USB sniffer & triggering platform that allows users to test the security of USB devices using side-channel power analysis and fault injection using a Python 3 interface, beside simply capturing packets. This has become especially important now as some USB devices include Bitcoin Wallets, FIDO2 keys, and encrypted drives with valuable data. PhyWhisperer-USB hardware specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Spartan 7S15 with 12,800 logic cells USB USB 2.0 Low/Full/High Speed mode PC connection – Micro-USB 2.0 HS port Host connection – Micro-USB port Target connection – USB-A female connector Trigger pattern – 1 – 64 bytes with mask Trigger delay – 0 – 1048576‬ cycles of 240 MHz internal clock derived from USB clock USB sniffer FIFO – 8192 bytes (FPGA block RAM, adjustable depending on FPGA utilization) Expansion – Spare digital I/O: 8 data pins, 1 clock pin routed to FPGA (on front panel) Clock output – 60 MHz Target Power Source – Selectable: Host USB …

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Melon S3 FPGA Arduino & Raspberry Pi Compatible Board is Programmable over WiFi using ESP8266 WiSoC

Q-Wave Systems, an embedded systems company based in Thailand, has designed Melon S3 FPGA board powered by a Xilinx Spartan 3E FPGA with WiFi connectivity added through a ESP8266 module programmable with the Arduino IDE , and featuring two Raspberry Pi compatible headers. The FPGA bitstream can be updated over  WiFi, and does not require a JTAG debugger. Melon S3 FPGA specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Spartan XC3S500E FPGA with 500K gates, 73Kb Distributed RAM, 4 Digital Clock Manager (DCM), 20 Multipliers (18×18), 360 Kb Block RAM WiFi module – WROOM-2 with Espressif ESP8266 32-bit MCU @ 80 MHz supporting 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. Storage – 4MB SPI flash in total with 1MB for ESP8266, 3 MB for FPGA Expansion – 2x 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible headers; 3.3V tolerant Debugging – Onboard USB-UART Silicon Labs CP2104 for configuration, debugging and power; 6-pin JTAG port for debugging/programming Misc – 8x Users LEDs, 4x DIP switch user button, 1x reset button,  on-board 50 MHz …

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ZX Spectrum Next Retro Keyboard PC Relies on Xilinx FPGA, Raspberry Pi Zero “Accelerator” Board (Crowdfunding)

ZX Spectrum keyboard computer was launched in April 1982 in the United Kingdom, and 35 years later, a team of developers has now been working on ZX Spectrum Next somewhat resuscitating ZX Spectrum by emulating Z80 processor in a Xilinx FPGA, using an optional Raspberry Pi Zero board as an accelerator, and adding some modern features like HDMI output and WiFi. While the case is only a 3D rendering for now, they have a working board prototype with the following specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Spartan-6 FGPA emulating Z80 processor in 3.5Mhz and 7Mhz modes System Memory – 512KB RAM (expandable to 1.5MB internally and 2.5MB externally) Storage – SD Card slot, with DivMMC compatible protocol used in the original ZX Spectrum Video Hardware sprites, 256 colours mode, Timex 8×1 mode etc. Output: RGB, VGA, HDMI Audio – 3x AY-3-8912 audio chips with stereo output + FM sound Networking – Optional WiFi module Joystick – DB9 compatible with Cursor, Kempston and …

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Turtle Board is a Raspberry Pi 2 Like FPGA Board for J-Core J2 Open Source SuperH SH2 SoC

J-core J2 is an open source processor and SoC design implemented in VHDL, and using  SH2 instruction set found in some Renesas (previously Hitachi) micro-controllers. The code available royalty free under a BSD license, and it’s also patent-free since all SH2 related patents expired expired in October 2014. The developers used to run the code on Xilinx Spartan 6 based Numato Mimas v2 board since it was cheap ($50) and mostly did the job. “Mostly”, because it still lacked Ethernet, capability for SMP and the serial port was slow, so they decided to design their own Turtle Board to address those issues. Turtle Board preliminary specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Spartan 6 LS25 or LS45 FPGA MCU – 8-bit Atmel MCU for load/update flash at power on. Storage – micro SD slot, 8MB SPI flash System memory – 256 MB RAM Video & Audio Output – HDMI and AV jack Connectivity – Ethernet USB – 4x USB 2.0 ports Expansion – …

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NovaVGA Shield Adds VGA Output to Arduino Boards

Arduino boards are convenient to control I/Os, link LEDs, and display info on small LCD displays, but if you want to output data to a larger monitor, it’s a bit more complex. NovaVGA shield for Arduino simplify the task of outputting data to a VGA monitor over SPI. NovaVGA shield hardware specifications: CPLD – Xilinx XC9572XL CPLD, user programmable via JTAG interface. SRAM Framebuffer – 160×120 pixels @ 6-bit color (2^6 = 64 possible colors) VGA Output – 640×480 @ 60Hz physical resolution (25.175MHz pixel clock) Interface with MCU – SPI mode 1 interface (consumes only three Arduino pins) Header pins not included MicroNova provides an Arduino library with various examples such as color palette, Mandelbrot, Tetris and text console, as well as a user’s guide and PDF schematics that can all be downloaded directly on the product page. NovaVGA shield sells for $29 on Tindie or directly on MicroNova store. Note that it’s not the first board of this …

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FOSDEM 2016 Schedule – Open Source Hardware and Software Event in Europe

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) is a 2-day event that usually takes place on the first week-end of February in Brussels, but this year it will be on January 30-31. The event brings thousands of developers, hackers, and other person interested in open source technology who present their projects and share ideas. FOSDEM 2016 schedule is now available, and There will be 557 speakers, 612 events, and 50 tracks this year including 7 main tracks: Distros, Enterprise, Hardware, Communications, Miscellaneous, Office, Systems Administration, and Virtualization. So I’ve had a look at some of the talks, especially out of  “Embedded, Mobile and Automotive” and “IoT” devrooms, and prepared my own virtual schedule although I won’t be able to attend. Saturday 10:30 – 10:55 – MIPS, the other side of the embedded by Alexjan Carraturo For many years MIPS processors have been involved in the embedded market, particularly in areas related to networks and storage. With the success …

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