Alternative developemnt FPGA boards for hobbyists

Other FPGA systems, e.g. Turbo Chameleon.

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olin
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Alternative developemnt FPGA boards for hobbyists

Postby olin » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:11 pm

I recently discovered an interesting FPGA board on Aliexpress. Considering its price and the FPGA used, I thought it's worth sharing the info. Also if you find a board with reasonable price (up to 150 USD) and plenty of resources (let's say more than 70K of LE) which is publicly available to buy, please leave a note and I will add them to the list. I know there are plenty of interesting FPGA dev boards, but most of them are quite expensive, so they are not included in the list.

What is this list for? It's for experimenting with FPGAs and for hobby projects, particularly retro computing. The list does not imply any suitability for certain project, it here for your consideration.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with any producer, vendor nor seller of these boards, and I don't sell any FPGA boards myself either.

OK, the board list:

ZEOWAA A-E115FB : generic development board
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Cyclone ... 77255.html
Price (2018/11): 84 USD
Altera Cyclone IV, 114K LE, no secondary CPU or MCU, SoDIM slot with 1GB DDR2 SDRAM, 120 IO pins, SPI flash, JTAG etc. Schematics available.

ZEOWAA A-E115FB + IO Board : generic development board with IO Board
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/USB-Bla ... 79878.html
Price (2018/11): 120 USD
Same as above, plus additional IO board for VGA, RJ-45 Ethernet, SD Card socket, Line Out, Microphone socket, etc.

Terasic DE10-nano: I guess this is now well known board, base of the MiSTer project.
https://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page ... sh&No=1046
Price (2018/11): 130 USD (110 USD academic price)
Altera Cyclone V SoC, 110K LE, 800MHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB DDR3 SDRAM (32-bit data bus), 1 Gigabit Ethernet PHY with RJ45 connector, HDMI port, USB OTG Port, USB Micro-AB connector, Micro SD card socket, 80 IO pins etc. Schematics available.
Last edited by olin on Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sorgelig
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Re: Alternative developemnt FPGA boards for hobbyists

Postby Sorgelig » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:04 pm

E115 board looks good in terms of available resources, but it's better to buy it with motherboard:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/USB-Bla ... 79878.html
it's more expensive, but it has all useful connectors and ready for experiments right away.

While this board looks good, it's hardly can be used in large audience as there is absolutely no trust to unknown chinese manufacturers. They may disappear any time.

olin
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Re: Alternative developemnt FPGA boards for hobbyists

Postby olin » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:25 pm

Good find, list updated.

Sorgelig
Fuji Shaped Bastard
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Re: Alternative developemnt FPGA boards for hobbyists

Postby Sorgelig » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:45 pm

I just don't understand what DE10-nano is doing here. Terasic produces several boards below 150USD. DE0-nano, DE0-nano-SoC, DE10-lite, DE1.
Also, for personal experiments budget can vary. Some more expensive boards can be found as secondhand on ebay with much cheaper price.

olin
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Re: Alternative developemnt FPGA boards for hobbyists

Postby olin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:27 am

I just don't understand what DE10-nano is doing here.

It's an affordable FPGA board with plenty of resources, I think it should be in the list.

Terasic produces several boards below 150USD. DE0-nano, DE0-nano-SoC, DE10-lite, DE1.

These boards are indeed fine for tinkering and there is plenty of other cheaper boards. The point is their resources are limited - all of those you mentioned have less than 70 K LE and smaller BRAM and IMO (you many disagree) I see little point of investing in them these days if you can buy a superior board for a bit more.


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