PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit

by Microchip

A low-cost dev kit for Microchip's PolarFire SoC, a low-power FPGA integrated with a hardened quad core 64-bit RISC-V microprocessor subsystem

View all updates Aug 25, 2020

Field Report: Logging into Linux

by lifton

For the below screencast of the Linux Quick Start Demo, I used the minicom serial communications program on a Ubuntu laptop connected as described in the demo instructions to a PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit.

In the video, I open four serial connections, but only ever use one of them to log into Debian running on the PolarFire SoC’s quad-core RISC-V subsystem. As you can see, it’s easy to get started with the Icicle Kit to develop for Linux on RISC-V — nothing shown in the video required any knowledge or configuration of the PolarFire SoC’s FPGA subsystem.

The exact command I used to start minicom is:

minicom -s --8bit --baudrate 115200 --device /dev/ttyUSB0

The -s flag drops you straight into minicom‘s set up menu, which I needed to turn off hardware flow control. You may also need to add yourself to the dialout group in order to gain access to the serial port, or you could use sudo.

In the video, right before I type root at the login prompt, I clear the minicom screen (CTRL-A Z C), but I only did that to make the video a bit clearer.

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lifton  ·   Portland, OR

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PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit

This kit includes the Icicle development board, a quick-start instructions card, a 12 VDC / 5 A power adapter and cord, an Ethernet cable, and a micro USB cable.



Microchip Technology Inc. is a leading provider of microcontroller, analog, FPGA, connectivity, and power management semiconductors. Its easy-to-use development tools and comprehensive product portfolio enable customers to create optimal designs which reduce risk while lowering total system cost and time to market. The company’s solutions serve more than 130,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications, and computing markets. Get Launched is a start-up and incubator support program which helps companies achieve rapid time-to-production/market by utilizing Microchip’s technical expertise to advise throughout the design process.


RISC-V cores

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