The OSFPGA Foundation aims to promote open-source FPGA tools and IP blocks


There are been some initiatives to work on open-source tools for FPGA. Major FPGA vendors have made limited efforts, with for example Xilinx recently releasing the source code for HLS FPGA tool’s front-end, but most of the work is done by the community with projects like Symbiflow dubbed the GCC of FPGAs, or Project IceStorm for Lattice Semi FPGAs. Industry veterans and academics have decided to launch the Open-Source FPGA (OSFPGA) Foundation that aims to bring together companies, universities, and individuals to advance open-source FPGA capabilities, establish cooperation channels, promote outreach and education, and coordinate joint efforts around an open-source FPGA ecosystem. The OSFPGA Foundation goals go beyond just providing open-source tools, as the vision statement also mentions “open-source FPGA & eFPGA fabrics”, the Github page also includes IP blocks with the FuseSoC package manager for IP cores, the Skywater Open-source FPGAs, and LiteDRAM lightweight, configurable DRAM core. Current board members include: Dr. Naveed Sherwani, chairman of Silicon Federation. He […]

Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3 Arm eFPGA board launched in Crowd Supply

Sparkfun Thing Plus Quicklogic EOS S3

SparkFun Electronics is a well-known electronics retailer that usually sells its in-house developed or third-party boards through its own online store. But this time around, the company decided to launch “Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3” through Crowd Supply crowdfunding platform. The board is based on QuickFeather board designed with the same Quicklogic EOS S3 Arm Cortex-M4 plus embedded FPGA SoC, but follows Sparkfun’s Thing Plus form factor with a Qwiic connector and a different mix of sensors. Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3 (QTPLUS-1.0) board specifications: SoC – QuickLogic EOS S3 MCU + eFPGA SoC with Arm Cortex-M4F Microcontroller up to 80 MHz, up to 512 Kb SRAM, and an embedded FPGA (eFPGA) with 2400 effective logic cells, 64 Kb RAM Storage – 16 Mbit SPI NOR flash (GigaDevice GD25Q16CEIGR) Sensors STMicro LIS2DH12TR accelerometer Digital pulse density modulation (PDM) microphone with Wake-on-Sound (WoS) feature: Vesper VM3011-U1 Expansion 20x Feather-designed GPIO, plus 14x extra GPIO, all with 2.54mm […]

Xilinx open sources Vitis HLS FPGA tool (Front-end only)

Vitis HLS software architecture

While there are some open-source programs for FPGA development such as Symbiflow or Yosys, FPGA vendors usually only provide closed-source programs for developers wanting to work on their chips. But Xilinx has recently made a move to fulfill its “commitment to supporting open-source initiatives for developers and researchers” with the release of the source code of Vitis HLS Front-End. What is Vitis HLS exactly? Before we look at the source code release, we may want to know what Vitis HLS does exactly. The company describes it as a high-level synthesis (HLS) tool that allows C, C++, and OpenCL functions to become hardwired onto the device logic fabric and RAM/DSP blocks. It implements hardware kernels in the Vitis application acceleration development flow, and to use C/C++ code for developing RTL IP for FPGA designs in the company’s Vivado Design Suite. Vitis HLS design flow goes as follows: Compile, simulate, and debug the C/C++ algorithm. View reports to analyze and optimize the […]

CN0549 CBM development kit monitors assets through vibration analysis

CN0549 CBM Development Kit interfaced with SMA Connector

Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) has become quite popular in the manufacturing sector due to its advantages. It is a type of pre-analysis monitoring that includes the use of sensors to evaluate the status of an asset over time while it is in operation. Hence, the data collected is used to establish trends, predict failure, and measure the life of an asset. Analog Devices has launched CN0549, a condition-based monitoring development kit. The monitoring functionality signifies the consideration for hardware applications involving vibration. The applications include industrial as well as IoT devices. Hence, the CN0549 CBM development board combines the resources for a dynamic domain of users. Discussing further, condition-based monitoring (CBM) through vibration sensing requires the capturing of full-bandwidth data to ensure that all harmonics, aliasing, and other mechanical interactions are taken care of in both, the time and frequency domain. The data collection by using the sensors and data acquisition (DAQ) system offers high fidelity and real-time data analysis.  […]

Qomu Cortex-M4F & FPGA USB board is programmable with Symbiflow open-source toolchain (Crowdfunding)

qomu board

We’ve seen several tiny “omu” USB boards that are the size of a USB connector in the past, starting with Tomu based on Silabs EFM32 Arm-Cortex-M0+ MCU, then Fomu enabling Python programming and RISC-V softcore on a Lattice ICE40 FPGA, and finally Somu FIDO2 security key. There’s now the new Qomu board based on Quicklogic EOS S3 Cortex-M4F MCU with embedded FPGA. Just like its predecessor, the board almost completely fits in a USB connector except for the touch pads, and also happens to be programmable with Symbiflow that dubs itself as the “GCC of FPGAs”, as well as other open-source tools. Qomu specifications: SoC – QuickLogic EOS S3 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU @ up to 80 MHz with 512 KB memory, embedded FPGA with 2,400 effective logic cells and 64 Kbits of embedded RAM Storage – 16 Mbit flash Misc – Four capacitive touch pads, 1x RGB LED Power – 5V via USB port Qomu board will ship with an […]

Arrow DECA Max 10 FPGA development board offered for $37 (Promo)

Arrow DECA Max 10 FPGA Board

Arrow DECA evaluation board, featuring Altera’s MAX 10 FPGA and Enpirion power solutions, was launched in March 2015 and sold for around $169 at the time. Time has passed with Intel purchasing Altera FPGA business later that year, and the price of the board dropped to $65 as listed on Intel website. But now Arrow is offered the DECA FPGA for just $37, and you can also get fast free shipping if you’re a member of ArrowPerks loyalty program. Arrow DECA development board specifications: FPGA – Intel MAX 10 (10M50DAF484C6G) device with 50K logic elements, 1,638 Kbit block memory, 5,888 Kbits user flash memory, 4x PLLs System memory – 512MB DDR3 SDRAM (16-bit data bus) Storage – 64MB QSPI Flash, MicroSD card socket Video Output – HDMI v1.4 including 3D video support Audio – 24-bit audio CODEC with line-in, line-out jacks Camera – MIPI connect for camera module Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45) USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 port […]

USB2IO high-speed interface explorer tool combines Intel Cyclone 10 FPGA and STM32H7 MCU

USB2IO interface explorer

In the second part of 2020, we’ve seen a fair amount of USB debugging tools for electronics designers and hardware hackers including the Glasgow Interface explorer with an ICE40 FPGA. But if you need even more flexibility or higher I/O speeds (up to 300 MHz), DAB Embedded USB2IO interface explorer should help thanks to the combination of an STMicro STM32H7 MCU and an Intel Cyclone 10 FPGA. USB2IO interface explorer hardware specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32H743 Arm Cortex-M7 @ 480MHz CPU clock An external 64MB QSPI flash for extra FPGA code storage; FPGA  – Intel Cyclone 10LP (10CL040) with 40k logic elements, 1,134 Mbit embedded memory, 126 DSP blocks External memory – 32MB SDRAM for MCU and FPGA (64MB in total) Storage – 64MB QSPI for connected to MCU for FPGA code storage I/Os via 20-pin external header/connector 16 x GPIO mode (single-ended), 8x LVDS pair mode or a mix of 2 modes depending on firmware configuration Supported logic levels […]

Glasgow Interface Explorer is an iCE40 FPGA based hardware debugging tool (crowdfunding)

Glasgow Interface Explorer

We’ve seen some pretty interesting boards for hardware hackers and reverse engineers in recent months with the likes of Ollie and Tigard USB debug boards that allow interfacing various hardware interfaces and/or flashing firmware to different types of target boards. Here’s another one: Glasgow Interface Explorer. Based on Lattice Semi iCE40 FPGA, the board is described as being “designed for hardware designers, reverse engineers, digital archivists, electronics hobbyists, and anyone else who wants to communicate with a wide selection of digital devices with minimum hassle”. Glasgow Interface Explorer specifications: FPGA – Lattice Semiconductor iCE40HX8K FPGA USB – 1x USB-C port connected to FX2 high-speed USB interface capable of 480 Mbps throughput I/O headers 2x 8-channel I/O banks with 16 highly flexible I/O Each I/O bank comes with A dedicated programmable linear voltage regulator, configurable from 1.8 V to 5 V and providing up to 150 mA of power A dedicated sense ADC capable of monitoring the I/O bank voltage and […]