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 …

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 …

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 – …

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 …

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 …

Spartixed is a $34 FPGA Board Based on Xilinx Spartan 6 (Crowdfunding)

Spartixed is another low cost FPGA board launched on Kickstarter, powered by Xilinx Spartan 6 LX4 FPGA, with a 7-segment display, some headers and buttons, and targeting people who want to learn VHDL/Verilog on the cheap. Spartixed board specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Spartan 6 LX4 FPGA (exact part not disclosed) Storage – 16 Mbit flash for program, I2C or SPI EEPROM Display – 3 digit 7- Segment Display USB – 1x micro USB port for power and debugging Expansion – 26-pin unpopulated header, optional SPI Bus A/D Converter Debugging – 14-pin JTAG connector, UARt port via USB connector Misc – 3x push button switches, 8 slide switches for input, 2x user LEDs, 1x power LED, 1x config. ready LED. Power – 5V via Micro USB Connector or 5 to 12 V via external power supply. Dimensions – N/A You can follow the project via its blog, and already access some tutorials on referencedesigner.com, including some YouTube videos. An early bird …

Numato Opsis is an Open Source Hardware FPGA Board with 6 Video Inputs and Outputs (Crowdfunding)

Numato Lab is a Bangalore based company specializing in MCU and FPGA boards such as the low cost Mimas V2 Spartan 6 board, and their latest board is also based on a Spartan 6 FPGA, but a more powerful part with LX45T FPGA, and targets video applications with two HDMI inputs, two HDMI outputs, one DisplayPort output, and one DisplayPort input, among other interfaces. Instead of simply listing specifications of Numato Opsis, I’ll reproduce a table – drawn by Numato – showing Opsis features and specifications against some other FPGA video platforms. Opsis miniSpartan6+ Mixxeo Atlys Nexys Anvyl CVK 2.0 AVDB Make Numato ScarabHardware M‑Labs Digilent Digilent Digilent TED OmniTek License Open Open Open Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Cost USD $349 USD $105 no stock USD $419 USD $499 USD $539 USD $2,995 USD $999 FPGA Fab Xilinx Xilinx Xilinx Xilinx Xilinx Xilinx Xilinx Altera Family Spartan‑6 Spartan‑6 Spartan‑6 Spartan‑6 Artix‑7 Spartan‑6 Spartan‑6 Cyclone V Part LX45T LX25 LX45 LX45 XC7A200T LX45 LX150T GT Memory Type DDR3‑1600 …

$50 Mimas V2 Spartan 6 FPGA Development Board Comes with a VGA Port, 64MB RAM

Just last week, I wrote about miniSpartan3, an FPGA board powered by Xilinx Spartan 3A. It costs as low as $25, features an HDMI output port, but lacks RAM. Numato Lab’s Mimas V2 is another low cost FPGA board with a more powerful Spartan 6 FPGA, 512 Mb LPDDR memory, and instead of HDMI output, a VGA port has been included on the board. The board can be used for prototype development, signal processing, learning digital electronics and as an educational tool for schools and universities. Technical specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Spartan XC6SLX9 in CSG324 package System Memory – 512Mb LPDDR @ 166 MHz (MT46H32M16LF/W949D6CBHX6E) Storage – 16 Mb SPI flash memory (M25P16) + micro SD card slot Video Output – VGA connector Audio – Stereo jack USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 port for on-board flash programming Expansion Headers – Four 6×2 header with access to 32 I/O pins, and compatible wtih Numato Lab’s add-on boards. Debugging / Programming …