iCEBreaker FPGA

by 1BitSquared

The first open source iCE40 FPGA development board designed for teachers and students

View all updates Dec 22, 2018

Fully funded, pre-production hardware, and 35C3!

Hey everyone! It has been a very exciting few days! On the first day you managed to fully fund the campaign in only seven hours! And on day five we passed 200%! You all ROCK! :D

We did not expect that, and we are super happy to see that you are as excited about the iCEBreaker as we are!

We’re looking forward to ordering parts and assembling boards, so we can get the iCEBreakers shipped out to all of you. But for now, we still have another 19 days to go. Make sure to let all your friends know about the campaign so we can spread the love for digital design to as many people as possible. I think we can all agree that an FPGA is a good tool to have in one’s toolbox.

35C3 in Leipzig Germany

Currently, Piotr is in Europe, to celebrate Christmas with his family and then attend the 35th annual Chaos Communication Congress (35C3) in Leipzig Germany. If you are also attending 35C3, be sure to say hello. He will be wearing a 1BitSquared hoodie or T-Shirt. He is planning to hang out mostly at the #openfpga and Sigrok assemblies.

Thanks to the amazing 3D modelling and printing skills of Bob Miller, Piotr will be bringing a 3 x 2 LED panel display with him. It’s really bright and colorful!

iCEBreaker driving six high-density P2 64 x 64 LED panels

Because we sent some early boards to a few people like Bob Miller, Sylvain Munaut, and Micah Elizabeth Scott, we will have some colorful demos playing on the high-density displays! :D

If you are following Piotr on Twitter, you probably saw he was assembling some pre-production iCEBreakers just before leaving on his trip to Europe. Those iCEBreakers were generously sponsored by Symbiotic EDA for this year’s #openfpga assembly workshops. We do not know the exact schedule at 35C3 or if it will cost anything to attend, but we will be sure to let you know as soon as we find out.

Assembling pre-production iCEBreakers for 35C3 on the 1BitSquared pick and place machine

iCEBreaker V1.0c updates

Some of you following iCEBreaker closely probably know we’ve already made V1.0c of the iCEBreaker. The boards that you see on the campaign page are still V1.0b. The new version of the hardware has some cool improvements over the predecessor:

  • Added RGB LED footprint next to the RGB LED connector
  • Added jumper to connect an additional chip select line from the FTDI chip to RED LED line, which lets you send high-speed data to the FPGA without using the Pmod2 lines. This was a great suggestion from @tnt. This way, we can send streaming video data to the iCEBreaker and still have a full Pmod to spare.
  • Added a pad with GRN LED signal next to the flash chip. This pad can be wired to add a "piggyback" serial RAM chip to the iCEBreaker. Another great suggestion from @tnt.
  • Added "ears." As you might have noticed, there is some spare space next to the iCEBreaker's default Pmod. We filled it with small extra boards. One board can be used to drive the WS2812 LED string and the other can be used to connect a #badgelife Shitty Add On (SAO). Both boards can be connected to the RGB LED connector on the iCEBreaker. Just a little extra hardware added since we had the space.

ICEBreaker V1.0c

The ears and the RGB LED footprint are not populated, but we chose large 0603 footprints so they will be very easy for anyone to populate.

That’s it for now

That is all for this week! We can’t say thank you enough! We are really excited to see so much enthusiasm for open source FPGAs! We can’t wait to get the hardware out to all of you!

Piotr and Danika

$125,236 raised

of $15,000 goal

834% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices



Your own iCEBreaker FPGA development board and headers. Learn how to design digital logic, experiment with your own CPU core design, and build your next innovative project.


iCEBreaker DIP Switch Pmod

Single Pmod is ideal for simple exercises as well as an 8 bit input for your FPGA project. Required for the WTFpga workshop.


iCEBreaker 7-Segment Pmod

Single Pmod is ideal for simple exercises as well as number indicators for your FPGA project. One is required for WTFpga workshop and you will need two for the iCEBreaker workshop.


iCEBreaker 12-Bit DVI Pmod

Dual Pmod is ideal to add digital video output to your FPGA project. It is as easy to use as an analog VGA output without the need for high speed differential signals and encoding.


iCEBreaker LED Panel Driver Pmod

Dual Pmod to interface your FPGA project with a HUB75E interface RGB LED Matrix. By default configured for 3.3V signaling but can be switched to 5V signal shifting for those LED Panels that need it.


RGB LED Panel P2 64x64 (ICN2037 Shift Registers)

A tested and documented RGB LED Matrix with easy to use ICN2037 shift registers.



Embedded hardware and tool development and manufacturing company. We create hardware focused on promoting and supporting open source projects.

Piotr Esden-Tempski

Danika Esden-Tempski

OSH Park

PCB Manufacturer

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