CPLDs and FPGAs
I recently saw another low cost FPGA board that you might want to add to your fleet. It has an open source FPGA toolchain and an STM32 clone microcontroller on board.
I haven't tried it -- it looks like it isn't even shipping yet -- but it looks promising. (I have no commercial interest in it, etc. Just a technical interest.)
RE: CPLDs and FPGAs - Added by jcw 5 months ago
Yep - very nice one, it's still work-in-progress. The Lattice iCE40 FPGA has as benefit that it can be programmed through a fully open-source toolchain.
RE: CPLDs and FPGAs - Added by monsonite 5 months ago
I am one quarter of the "myStorm" development team, along with Alan Wood on hardware, Mark Sabido on firmware and Toby Yu in Shenzhen, handling our pcb production.
In the last 14 weeks - since May 19th, we have designed, prototyped and manufactured a new open source FPGA and ARM platform, which can be programmed using a Raspberry Pi or other Linux platform using an entirely open source tool chain.
The good news is that on Saturday we built up the first batch of 48 boards in Shenzhen - and these will be back in the UK at the end of this week.
There will be an announcement concerning our website and mailing/discussion list which hopefully goes live at the end of this week.
The board is designed as a low cost platform combining a fairly powerful ARM processor with a low cost FPGA, and allowing them to be programmed with a fully open source tool chain - Clifford Wolf's Project ICE Storm.
The myStorm uses the "4K" ICE40HX4K. However this is actually an 8K die that has been knobbled by Lattice's proprietary programming software.
But when proogrammed with Clifford's open source ICEStorm tools - this miraculously becomes a very attractive 8K device!
Jean Claude has created a whole lot of interest in FPGAs and Forth on this site - so it is fitting that JC and Matthias Koch (Mecrisp Forth) will be amongst some of the first developers to receive hardware and be invited to contribute to the myStorm Project.
Some of the Pilot Production batch of myStorm pcbs will feature at the forthcoming workshop to be held at the Open Source Hardware Users Group OSHCamp - over the weekend of 3/4 September in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, UK.
A few boards will be available to purchase following that workshop - and this will be announced when our website goes live.
Our intention is to get these 48 early boards into the hands of developers who can immediately make use of them, assist with building up firmware and resources, prior to a full production run of 1000+ boards in late October/November.
Project myStorm has so far been privately funded (by me) and is not a Kickstarter campaign. Its mission is to deliver well designed, open hardware and firmware platforms at the lowest possible cost to the widest possible community.
The team has from the outset opted for a very lean and mean approach to product development - and we have got this far (50 professionally built boards delivered) on less than $2000 total budget, relying on friends and associates in the open community to help make this project happen.
As the project grows, we will encourage the community to submit their own designs - either firmware, hardware or FPGA designs in verilog to the wider community.
Hardware can be in the form of pmod designs - and using Toby's rapid manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen we will convert submitted pmods to professionally made pcb designs for sale to the myStorm Community. The contributing designer will take a royalty from each sucessfully submitted, manufactured and sold design. Thus a library of compatible hardware will be quickly established and made available.
I am particularly keen that this platform finds it's way into colleges, schools, universities and hackerspaces. It's very easy to knock up a quick pmod on stripboard or perfboard - at low cost and low risk. Jean Claude has already shown how easy this is for simple interface circuits. Students should be encouraged to try quick designs and share them with their classmates.
myStorm also has female "Arduino Shield" headers. Most of these connect to the STM32 ARM and provide 12 bit ADC channels and 5V tolerant GPIO, I2C, UART, Timer and SPI interfaces.
I hope to keep the JeeLabs forum updated with our progress - but you can follow us on Twitter either with #myStorm or @monsonite @folknology or @TobyYu3
For the moment we have been contributing the project highlights to Alan's Blog: https://folknologylabs.wordpress.com/
Ken Boak (@monsonite)
RE: CPLDs and FPGAs - Added by jcw 5 months ago
Wow - fantastic progress, Ken. Many thanks for the update!
Great to hear that everything is coming together and good luck with the UK workshop.
PS. As admin, I've taken the liberty of adding some lines to your message to make your pictures appear inline.
RE: CPLDs and FPGAs - Added by tankslappa 5 months ago
I didn't realise we had one of the MyStorm guys in here, JC and I were chatting about your board the other week! Small world (JC, did you know?).
It's certainly a fascinating project. The Arm/FPGA combo should give huge flexibility.
I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with, and the day I manage to get my highly procedural mind round these crazy FPGA thingamabobs!
(I finally bought one the other week after months of reading JC's posts of the weird and wonderful nature of these chips).
Best of luck to you.