FPGA demo kit hosts Altera’s MAX 10 single-chip configurable processor

July 22, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
MAX 10 NEEK features a multi-touch display to simplify the evaluation and development of single-chip embedded processor designs in a non-volatile FPGA

Altera’s second-generation Nios II Embedded Evaluation Kit (NEEK) features the non-volatile MAX 10 FPGA and Nios II soft-core embedded processor. The MAX 10 NEEK is a platform that provides a fast and simple way for embedded designers to explore the capabilities of a custom embedded processor in a non-volatile FPGA. The MAX 10 NEEK was jointly developed by Altera and its board partner, Terasic.

The MAX 10 NEEK combines a MAX 10 FPGA-based board with a 7-inch, 5-point multi-touch display. Embedded developers can select from a variety of networking, audio, video and image processing reference designs, and launch example applications with the touch of a finger. The kit includes many amenities that enhance human machine interface (HMI), machine vision, and surveillance operation including an 8 megapixel MIPI CSI-2 camera, HDMI support, humidity & temperature sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, and built-in microphone.

Combining a Nios II soft processor and a MAX 10 FPGA with on-die flash provides several advantages over microcontroller-based solutions, Altera asserts; including enabling custom hardware configuration, obsolescence proofing, and custom hardware acceleration for real-time processing. Embedded designers can configure a specific processor system with Nios II processor and MAX 10 FPGAs, which is impossible to do with a standard microcontroller’s limited peripheral sets. The Nios II processor delivers flexibility for cost-sensitive, real-time and safety-critical (DO-254) systems. A white paper that details the benefits of soft-core processors used in non-volatile FPGAs is available at http://www.altera.com/neek

The MAX 10 NEEK costs $373.

Altera; www.altera.com