The TinyFPGA boards from Luke Valenty (TinyFPGA) are a series of low-cost, open-source FPGA development boards. These boards offer an inexpensive way to get an introduction to the world of FPGAs.
If you have ever considered working with an FPGA before, you will know how difficult they could be especially for those new to the game. Tiny FPGA boards are an excellent way to kick start development with them. They are breadboard friendly, and one can put up a simple circuit around them before adding things like sensors or actuators.
The Tiny FPGA boards are currently made up of about three series – The Tiny FPGA A1 that offers an X02-256 containing 256 logic cells; the A2 sports with an X02-1200 of about 1200 logic cells, and lastly the B2 boats an ICE40LP8K with 7680 logic cells. They are low cost in nature, costing about $12,00, $18,00 and $38.00 respectively.
The latest upcoming release to the Tiny FPGA board family is the Tiny FPGA BX.
Like the other Tiny FPGA Boards, the Tiny FPGA BX boards is quite flexible and powerful. The BX boards are intended for the maker’s community. The BX module allows one to design and implement a digital logic circuit in a tiny form-factor, and it’s perfect for building with breadboards or custom PCBs.
The Tiny FPGA BX shares close similarities with the Tiny FPGA B2 and are both based on the Lattice ICE40LP8K FPGA Chip with about 7680 logic cells. The BX board will offer an incredible power to project development and allows to achieve things not usually expected on traditional microcontroller boards at a fraction of the cost.
According to Luke, the Tiny FPGA BX prototype boards are currently being manufactured. The PCBs have been fabricated and are now waiting for assembly.
he BX measure at 0.7 by 1.4 inches and comes with a built-in USB interface, and preloaded with a USB Boot loader. It is expected to have 8Mbit of SPI Flash with only 5Mbit available for user applications.
The following are some of the available board specifications:
- ICE40LP8K FPGA
- 7,680 4-input look-up-tables
- 128 Kbit block RAM
- Phase Locked Loop
- 41 IO pins
- Small, breadboard friendly form-factor
- 0.7 by 1.4 inches
- Built-in USB interface with open source USB boot loader
- 8MBit of SPI Flash with 5MBit available for user applications
- Integrated 3.3v and 1.2v regulators
- 3.3v LDO regulator can supply up to 300ma of current to support external peripherals
- Ultra-Low-Power 16MHz MEMs Oscillator
- 1.3ma active power
- 50ppm stability