FPGA Development Kit

This page covers FPGA kit used for evaluation/porting of HDL code on FPGA.

The development board is a PCB with electronic circuits made using components and FPGA or any other chip designed and developed based on application need.This readily available board saves a lot of time for instant experiment for FPGA programmer,otherwise one has to assemble components on a PCB along with FPGA device and test/troubleshoot the board before running the program.

In order to buy the FPGA development board one must know the selection criteria for the FPGA based on intended application. Refer our article on selecting the FPGA chip.

Other than FPGA chip development board should have Following based on application:
•  HDMI/DVI.PCI/PCI express
•  External non serial memory
•  MMC/SD cards
•  LEDs
•  Switches
•  Serial interface ports
•  LCD display

There are major vendors/manufacturers of FPGA development board such as Altera,Xilinx,PHYTEC,ACTEL,SUNDANCE,Nallatech,Microsemi,Lattice,cypress etc.

Altera - www.altera.com

Various DSP and FPGA kits are available from Altera.Kits based on various devices such as stratix,Arria,Cyclone and MAX are available. There are kits with ADC and DAC on board which can be easily integrated with third party RF board to generate modulated RF signal to test with commercially available devices/equipments or with Vector Signal generators/analyzers. DSP development kit,stratix III is one such example.

•  DE0-Nano board housing Cyclone IV EP4CE22F17C6N , 64 bit serial configuration FPGA device., 3 axis accelerometer with 13 bit resolution, A/D converter with 8 channels and 12 bit resolution., 32MB SDRAM,2KB EEPROM,8 LEDs, 4 DIP switches.
•  Cyclone V GX starter kit housing cyclone V GX 5CGXFC5C6F27C7N device, HSMC card, 3.125G transceiver, HDMI transmitter,24 bit CODEC,4GB LPDDR2 X 32 bit data bus, 4MB SRAM X 16 data bus etc.
•  BeMicro board housing Altera cyclone III FPGA device. 16MHz clock, LEDs and more.

FPGA Development boards from Xilinx

Various FPGA evaluation kits are available with built in xilinx devices on board. Kintex 7, virtex 7 and other FPGA devices are supported on such boards. This can be used for porting and testing of soft IPs.

Following are the boards with Xilinx chips:
•  Digilent Nexyx 3 housing Spartan6 XC6LX16-CS324 FPGA
•  ZTEK USB FPGA module housing cypress microcontroller and spartan6 LX9 to LX25 FPGA includind 90 GPIOs ,64MB DDR SDRAM,128 kbit EEPROM.
•  Mojo development board with spartan6 XC6SLX9 FPGA with 84 digital IO pins,8 LEDs,8 analog inputs.
•  Avnet spartan6 board housing spartan6 XC6SLX9-2CSG324C FPGA device.It contains 64MB SDRAM,10/100 ethernet PHY,USB to UART port, 4 LEDs,4 bit DIP switch.
•  Papilio Pro and Pipistrello boards housing Spartan 6 FPGA devices.

PHYTEC - www.phytec.com

PHYTEC embedded boards are designed for microcontroller,FPGA,Processor considering various applications porting/testing.

Development boards using ACTEL/Microsemi chips - www.actel.com

Evaluation kit which support Microsemi's fusion family is available.It has built in ARM cortex device core. Model No- AFS600-FG256

Sundance - www.sundance.com

Various virtex family of boards are available, mainly with virtex 5 FPGA device. There are boards which houses both multicore DSP as well as FPGA.

Nallatech - www.nallatech.com

Various Altera and Xilinx boards are available.

Boards using Actel/Microsemi chips

•   Actel IGLOO nano starter kit housing AGLN250 VQG100 device. 20 MHz clock, USB to UART connection,8 LEDs and more.

FPGA Development boards from Lattice

•  Lattice XP2 Brevia housing LatticeXP2 FPGA device,2MB SPI memory,on board USB controller, 1MB SRAM, LEDs and DIP switch.
•  LatticeECP3 Versa housing Lattice ECP3 FPGA device,1Gbit DDR3, 64 Mbit SPI Flash memory, 14 segment alphanumeric display,LEDs,switches etc.
•  Bugblat pif housing onchip LUTs,SRAM blocks 256kbit flash memory, LEDs,I2C,SPI,PLL and timers/counters.

Useful Links

What is an FPGA? READ MORE.
FPGA architecture basics and FPGA selection guide, READ MORE.

Useful product vendors or manufacturers

RF and Wireless tutorials