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Lattice FPGA evaluation kit speeds up system dev't

22 Aug 2013

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 Lattice FPGA evaluation kit

An easy-to-use USB thumb drive form factor development board has been unveiled by Lattice Semiconductor Corp. Called the iCEstick Evaluation Kit, it enables engineers and system architects to develop mobile solutions and rapidly evaluate mobile solutions based on the company's iCE40 mobileFPGA family.

Using the iCEstick Evaluation Kit, 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 iCEstick Evaluation Kit provides a simple starting point to design infrared data transfer between mobile devices such as PCs, tablets, gaming devices, and more. The iCEstick Evaluation Kit enables this by using the iCE40 FPGA to implement a fully programmable Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) function and bridge to an infrared LED.

To streamline and accelerate development, the kit includes reference designs that enable wireless transmission of data or control signals. This is done 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. This is just one example of what the iCEstick enables; more reference designs are included as detailed below.

The iCEstick Evaluation Kit's Pmod Compatible peripheral connector also enables designers to connect an accelerometer to the board so that designers can easily develop solutions for sensor interfacing, monitoring and data management. This capability is key for mobile platforms as accelerometers are becoming more mainstream in mobile designs to facilitate measurement of speed and impact for context aware applications such as gaming controllers and smartphones.

Getting started with the iCEstick Evaluation Kit is easy because it simply 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.


Reference designs
iCEstick customers can download free reference designs that simplify the process of developing complete custom solutions. Along with the user guide, these reference designs are available at www.latticesemi.com/icestick.


Pricing and availability

The iCEstick evaluation kit is available now for purchase from Lattice distributors and costs $24.99.




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