Cheaptest FPGA board for Computer Architecture

Started by Othman Ahmad August 15, 2018
http://mymicroprocessor.blogspot.com/2018/08/cheapest-fpga-board-rm250-similar-to.html

The A-CE4E6

Intel Cyclone IV FPGA ic.
On Wed, 15 Aug 2018 16:54:16 -0700 (PDT)
Othman Ahmad <othmana@gmail.com> wrote:

> http://mymicroprocessor.blogspot.com/2018/08/cheapest-fpga-board-rm250-si=
milar-to.html
>=20 > The A-CE4E6 >=20 > Intel Cyclone IV FPGA ic.
I like this one better, almost everything for a very low power processor on one chip [1], and open-source development tool chain available [2]. It also has 15% more LUTs, ten times more RAM, and an SPI flash for code storage. But only 60% of multipliers, and 16b wide memories. The iCE40 UP5K also has on chip 10kHz and 48MHz oscillators, and hardware support for 2 x SPI and 2 x I2C interfaces.=20 Jan Coombs --=20 [1] Gnarly Grey UPDuino v1.0 Board $9.99 delivered 5.3K LUTs, 1Mb SPRAM, 120Kb DPRAM, 8 Multipliers, 34 GPIO on 0.1=E2=80=9D headers, SPI Flash, RGB LED, 3.3V and 1.2V Regulators Gnarly Grey UPDuino v1.0 Board http://gnarlygrey.atspace.cc/development-platform.html#upduino_v1 or with std FTDI programmer interface $15.99 delivered http://gnarlygrey.atspace.cc/development-platform.html#upduino_v2 [2] Project Icestorm - see iCE40-UP5K-SG48 http://www.clifford.at/icestorm/
On Thursday, 16 August 2018 08:55:06 UTC+8, Jan Coombs  wrote:
> On Wed, 15 Aug 2018 16:54:16 -0700 (PDT) > Othman Ahmad <othmana@gmail.com> wrote: >=20 > > http://mymicroprocessor.blogspot.com/2018/08/cheapest-fpga-board-rm250-=
similar-to.html
> >=20 > > The A-CE4E6 > >=20 > > Intel Cyclone IV FPGA ic. >=20 > I like this one better, almost everything for a very low power > processor on one chip [1], and open-source development tool chain > available [2]. >=20 > It also has 15% more LUTs, ten times more RAM, and an SPI > flash for code storage. But only 60% of multipliers, and 16b > wide memories. >=20 > The iCE40 UP5K also has on chip 10kHz and 48MHz oscillators, and > hardware support for 2 x SPI and 2 x I2C interfaces.=20 >=20 > Jan Coombs > --=20 >=20 > [1] Gnarly Grey UPDuino v1.0 Board $9.99 delivered > 5.3K LUTs, 1Mb SPRAM, 120Kb DPRAM, 8 Multipliers, 34 GPIO on > 0.1=E2=80=9D headers, SPI Flash, RGB LED, 3.3V and 1.2V Regulators > Gnarly Grey UPDuino v1.0 Board > http://gnarlygrey.atspace.cc/development-platform.html#upduino_v1 >=20 > or with std FTDI programmer interface $15.99 delivered > http://gnarlygrey.atspace.cc/development-platform.html#upduino_v2 >=20 > [2] Project Icestorm - see iCE40-UP5K-SG48 > http://www.clifford.at/icestorm/
Thank you for introducing me to Lattice FPGA. I had been looking for source= s of Lattice Logic FPGA but cannot find any supplier. The development tools of this FPGA is still primitive compared to Intel Qua= rtus. I started with Xilink in the 1990s. 30 years ago. When I returned to the a= cademic 10 years ago, I found that Xilink does not provide its tools for fr= ee so I chose Altera. We started with simulation tools but later on managed to get funds to buy f= ull development boards for teaching. And now, are committed to developing F= PGA using Altera/Intel ics. I do not know the status of Xilink but would li= ke to reconsider if very attractive. Despite a few offerings, like the Spartan development boards at competitive= prices, Intel FPGA are still more widespread and tend to be slightly cheap= er than Xilink boards. Lattice boards are even more expensive. Your source seem cheap but transportation cost will kill us. Its tools are = still primitive but if Lattice were to provide manual routing tools, or any= body else in the ICE project were to provide manual routing tools, I may re= consider. Intel boards only allow auto-routing. Xinlink used to provide man= ual routing tools but no more. With manual routing tools, I can see exactly what devices are to be connect= ed and how they are connected. It will allow me to optimise my design bette= r. I used to do it for a Xinlink fpga for an instruction decoder demonstrat= ion. It was also satisfying to be able to see our components clearly. The pin pl= anners are too jumbled up and do not provide much information about devices= that are connected.
On Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:00:03 -0700 (PDT)
Othman Ahmad <othmana@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thursday, 16 August 2018 08:55:06 UTC+8, Jan Coombs wrote: > > [1] Gnarly Grey UPDuino v1.0 Board $9.99 delivered > > 5.3K LUTs, 1Mb SPRAM, 120Kb DPRAM, 8 Multipliers, 34 GPIO on > > 0.1=E2=80=9D headers, SPI Flash, RGB LED, 3.3V and 1.2V Regulators > > Gnarly Grey UPDuino v1.0 Board > > http://gnarlygrey.atspace.cc/development-platform.html#upduino_v1 > >=20 > > or with std FTDI programmer interface $15.99 delivered > > http://gnarlygrey.atspace.cc/development-platform.html#upduino_v2 > >=20 > > [2] Project Icestorm - see iCE40-UP5K-SG48 > > http://www.clifford.at/icestorm/ >=20 > Thank you for introducing me to Lattice FPGA. I had been > looking for sources of Lattice Logic FPGA but cannot find any > supplier.
[snip]
> Your source seem cheap but transportation cost will kill us.
The boards I have bought are shipped 5000km for free, and one at a time do not attract customs charges.
> Its tools are still primitive but if Lattice were to provide > manual routing tools, or anybody else in the ICE project were > to provide manual routing tools, I may reconsider.=20
The Icestorm tool chain is open source, so could be adapted for layout control, elimination of synthesis tool, and similar custom work.=20
> With manual routing tools, I can see exactly what devices are > to be connected and how they are connected. It will allow me > to optimise my design better. I used to do it for a Xinlink > fpga for an instruction decoder demonstration. >=20 > It was also satisfying to be able to see our components > clearly. The pin planners are too jumbled up and do not > provide much information about devices that are connected.=20
These chips are so small that maybe you could do this without a GUI, or add a chip layout planner to the tool chain yourself? Jan Coombs
>I started with Xilink in the 1990s. 30 years ago. When I returned to the >academic 10 years ago, I found that Xilink does not provide its tools for >free so I chose Altera.
You've started 30 years ago... and stayed there.