A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Tiny 5x5cm² FPGA board with Xilinx Artix-7
Dimensions of 5 cm x 5 cm
36 user In-/Outputs (10 analog inputs)
4 user LEDs
4 user switches
Optional clock IO with MMCX jacks
Input voltage range from 5 V to 17 V
100 MHz onboard clock
64 Mbit configuration memory
Standard Xilinx JTAG header (14 pin)
All GPIOs are directly accessible through 2.54 mm pin headers
Out-of-the-box functionality, no mother- or carrierboard required
Industrial measurements and control
Digital signal processing
Research and education with FPGAs
The tiny Artix-7 FPGA Module is an out-of-the-box feature FPGA board with only 5 cm x 5 cm dimensions. It is ready for use by simply connecting a power supply and programming the FPGA or the 64 Mbit SPI flash via the standard Xilinx JTAG connector. The board operates with a wide input voltage range from 5 V up to 17 VDC sourced either by the screw terminal or pin 1 from the PT header (26 pos. male header). The module provides 36 general purpose IOs (GPIOs) through two easily accessible pin headers. Some of the inputs can be used for analog-to-digital conversion with a sample rate of up to 1 MSPS and a resolution of 12 bit (built-in Xilinx XADC module). For connecting auxiliary modules to the connectors, the board includes hardware-selectable power pins. Further, the tiny FPGA module has four programmable LEDs (one green and one red LED, two blue LEDs) and four micro switches for user interactions. On the board is a stable 100 MHz system clock source for the FPGA, but which also can be clocked from external sources via the connectors. Finally, the board offers all basic functions for many FPGA applications on a tiny footprint without the need for an additional carrier board.
1. For a quick training with the board and the FPGA family in general we provide a "Hello World" reference design. This example can be synthesized with the free Xilinx Vivado development environment and contains the complete project files with VHDL source codes. The simple design just performs flashing LEDs.
2. Common and useful applications of the board require the extension of I/O functionality by additional boards. The example shows the easy use of the FPGA pins as inputs for buttons or outputs with LEDs.
3. A more complex but still simple example is the use of the board for arbitrary frequency synthesis. In the example, the multiplication of an input frequency (blue channel) by a factor of 4 is demonstrated. The built-in phase-locked loop of the FPGA is used for generating the output frequency (yellow channel).
THE TINY FPGA MODULE JUST WAITS FOR YOUR APPLICATION!
1. We'd like to have I/O pins with a 2.54 mm pitch for easy access to the FPGA pins.
2. We'd like to have a tiny ready-to-use board, which is immediately usable without a motherboard.
3. We'd like to have a standard Xilinx JTAG connector for programming and debugging the FPGA.
4. We'd like to have a wide input voltage range with a robust screw terminal, instead of USB or DC power adapter jacks.
5. It's fun to create an awesome PCB.
Risks and challenges
We transfer the product from the prototype state to the first pilot series with an electronics manufacturing service provider. The board's functionalities are sufficiently tested so that no serious errors are expected. Moreover, the production data could be processed in the first run without fails. After the first series production, some unexpected issues may reduce the yield of usable boards, but we are confident that the service provider can produce the boards efficiently and without problems.
One fully assembled and tested FPGA board with online datasheet and reference design.
These are the boards from the prototype production run of revision B and are fully functionable. Some minor differences compared to the final version exist.