FPGA evaluation kit in USB-stick format

August 22, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Lattice has introduced a low-cost evaulation vehicle for its iCE40 FPGAs, to speed development of mobile devices; on-board hardware supported by design software and reference designs accelerates realisation of, for example, infrared, and sensor applications.

The iCEstick Evaluation Kit is a USB thumb-drive form factor development board that allows engineers and system architects to rapidly evaluate and develop mobile solutions based on the company’s iCE40 mobileFPGA family, designed for mobile devices. The kit includes, along with the FPGA, hardware features and reference designs targeting infrared and sensor functions for smartphones, tablets, gaming devices and other applications. “The explosion of mobile devices available on the market today is creating challenges for equipment designers, who need to define, implement, and deploy differentiated capabilities in their next generation devices before the next market window closes,” said Ted Marena, Director of Solutions Marketing at Lattice.

Using the iCEstick, designers can implement a solution that replaces virtually any high-end remote control to interface to TVs, LED lighting systems or other infrared-controlled devices. Additionally, the Kit provides a simple starting point to design infrared data transfer between mobile devices such as PCs, tablets, and gaming devices, using the iCE40 FPGA to implement a fully programmable Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) function and bridge to an infrared LED.

The kit includes reference designs that enable wireless transmission of data or control signals via an interface to an IrDA transceiver or a Digilent Pmod Compatible peripheral connector, all while using a minimal number of I/O from the iCE40 FPGA.

The iCEstick Evaluation Kit’s Pmod Compatible peripheral connector also enables you to connect an accelerometer to the board so that you can develop solutions for sensor interfacing, monitoring and data management.

The iCEstick connects to a laptop or PC like a USB thumb drive, giving users immediate access to the onboard iCE40HX-1k FPGA. The kit is supported by Lattice’s iCEcube2 design software for HDL development and Lattice Lattice Diamond Programmer software enabling programming via the device's SPI flash.

The iCEstick evaluation kit costs $24.99.

Lattice Semi; www.latticesemi.com/icestick