There’s been a lot of exciting activity with the TinyFPGA EX in recent months and I would like to summarize recent progress, the current state of development, and future plans. Read the full update to catch up on all the latest developments!
New prototype PCBs came back from PCBWay. Despite an issue with the soldermask caused by the KiCad export, they were a breeze to assemble and get up and running!
There were a number of issues with the previous prototypes that needed to be fixed along with some component changes to be tested out. The major changes:
I’ve assembled the latest prototypes by hand and have enlisted the help of some members of the community to assemble even more. These early prototypes will go out to more folks to build early projects and demos to put the design through its paces.
Along with fixing some bugs in the previous batch of prototypes, some new features have been added and changes have been made to the specs of the variants. The major changes:
|Vcore||1.1 V||1.1 V||1.2 V|
|Programming Interface||USB or JTAG||USB or JTAG||USB or JTAG|
|Distributed RAM||97 KBit||351 KBit||669 KBit|
|18 x 18 Multipliers||28||72||156|
|Block RAM||576 KBit||1944 KBit||3744 KBit|
|Hyper RAM||64 MBit||64 MBit||128 MBit|
|User Flash||112 MBit||112 MBit||112 MBit|
|MicroSD Card Slot||1||1||1|
|Phase Lock Loops||2||4||4|
|Delay Lock Loops||2||4||4|
|User IO Pins (dedicated + shared)||55 + 7||55 + 7||55 + 7|
|High Speed 5 Gbit SERDES||0||0||2|
|High Precision 200 MHz Ref. Clock||0||0||1|
Project Trellis has made excellent progress in supporting the FPGAs used in the TinyFPGA EX series. All of the major features of the FPGA are now supported, including the SERDES! The first stable release was made on March 6th, 2019.
The open source tools are moving at a fantastic pace and already support real-world designs on these larger FPGAs. For example, the USB bootloader can now be built using Yosys, Project Trellis, and NextPNR.
There are a number of things that need to happen before the campaign can be launched:
I have a plan for each of these items. I’ll be sending out an update in a month with an updated status. I’m excited to get this project moving faster and out to makers all over the world! The TinyFPGA EX is a fantastic FPGA board and will enable many new projects!