Open Hardware FPGA development board

  • 20 Jan, 2020
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I started working with FPGAs in 2015 for a Technology Strategy Board project with Arcola Energy.

Since then I have moved to using the open source FPGA tooling exclusively. The main family of FPGAs supported are the Lattice iCE40 series.

In 2018 gatecat released information about the ECP5 bitstream format, a more powerful Lattice FPGA that has since been fully integrated into the open source flow.

As part of another acoustic emmisions project I started doing realtime frequency analysis on incoming signals which benefitted from the DSP blocks available in the ECP5. I decided to build a development board that fulfilled the following spec:

  • Keep it super simple and cheap
  • Configured by on-board FLASH or direct with a Raspberry Pi
  • 6 PMODs, 2 buttons, 2 LEDs, FLASH for configuration bitstreams.

ECP5 board

The project repository is here:

And it’s a certified open hardware project:

Thanks to OSHPark for sponsoring the boards.