Design

Development board extends FPGA design options

9th January 2018
Mick Elliott

A development board, dubbed Avalanche, which features a Microsemi PolarFire non-volatile field programmable gate array (FPGA) has been announced by Microsemi and Future Electronics. As the lowest cost entry development board available today for designing with Microsemi's lowest power, cost-optimised mid-range PolarFire FPGAs, Future's Avalanche board lowers the barrier to entry for PolarFire FPGAs and helps expand Microsemi's market opportunities for the device.

The Avalanche development board includes a RISC-V-based soft central processing unit (CPU) pre-programmed to the kit, offering a RISC-V-based board for low cost broad market applications utilising RISC-V open instruction set architectures (ISAs) at mid-range densities.

This supports the ongoing expansion of Microsemi's recently announced Mi-V(TM) ecosystem, which brings together industry leaders involved in the development of RISC-V to leverage their capabilities and streamline RISC-V designs for customers.

"The availability of Future Electronics' Avalanche board delivers customers the best value for a mid-range density FPGA development board featuring our PolarFire FPGAs," said Ted Marena, director of FPGA marketing for Microsemi.

"With 300K logic elements (LEs), a Wi-Fi module, 1000 Base-T and numerous expansion connectors, engineers can quickly prototype their ideas at minimal cost. Future Electronics has not only lowered the cost to adopt PolarFire FPGAs, but it is also enabling customers to develop solutions leveraging the power of Microsemi's Mi-V ecosystem and the open RISC-V ISA."

Future Electronics' Avalanche development board also features serial flash memory, double data rate type three (DDR3) DRAM and a Microsemi VSC8531 triple speed PHY powered by Microsemi's LX7167 2.4A hysteretic step-down regulator, making the platform ideal for developing several applications within the industrial market, including industrial internet of things (IoT), secured wired communications, Gb Ethernet bridging and imaging.

It also offers industry-standard connectors Arduino Shield, mikroBUS and a Peripheral Module (Pmod) interface.

These three expansion headers allow for the use of additional boards to implement an expanded set of applications including infrared, thermal imaging, industrial cameras, touch screen and other wireless interfaces.

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