community coverage - Great Scott Gadgets

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Exploring Open FPGA Hardware

Last month, Kate Temkin began her blog series aimed at comparing FPGA families that have open source toolchains available. In the first post she reviews the pros, cons, and features of the Lattice iCE40 LP/HX, Lattice iCE40 UltraPlus, and Lattice ECP5 families.


“The world of FPGAs has traditionally been full of closed-source mysteries: designs have long been crafted using expensive, multi-gigabyte vendor tools, and the inner working of vendors’ hardware and software have remained closely guarded secrets.

This changed when Claire Wolf created her IceStorm project, which reverse engineered Lattice’s low-cost iCE40 FPGAs, and led to an expansive ecosystem for creating FPGA designs using entirely open-source tools. Today, open-source toolchains exist targeting a handful of FPGA families; and a huge swathe of compatible FPGA hardware exists.

In this series, I’ll ‘show off’ a variety of hardware you can use to develop your own designs using open-toolchains– and hopefully help people to get a feel for the ecosystem.” Read the full post here.