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$69.97 HACKADAY Arduino Shield Board gives Arduino Access to Real-Time Features of Spartan-6 FPGA

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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The $69.97 Arduino-Compatible Spartan-6 FPGA Board adds real-time FPGA responsiveness to an Aduino. I’ve known this product was imminent for a while, but now you can order it from the HACKADAY site. The on-board configuration EPROM can be programmed by the Arduino over an SPI connection or via the board’s JTAG port using a Xilinx JTAG programmer.



HACKADAY Spartan-6 FPGA Arduino Shield.jpg 



The board is based on a Xilinx Spartan-6 LX9 FPGA with enough on-chip resources to make it an interesting learning tool:


  • 9152 Logic Cells
  • 576Kbits of on-chip memory
  • 16 DSP slices


As you can see, a lot of the Spartan-6 FPGA’s I/O pins are brought out on 0.1-inch headers to the left of the Spartan-6 FPGA.


You can also use this low-cost board as a standalone module—no Arduino needed. Need a processor? Put a MicroBlaze soft microprocessor core into the FPGA along with your hardware design.


This board is the brainchild of Matt Berggren, who is interested in bringing the benefits of FPGA-based design to more embedded system developers. He designed this Arduino Shield as a way to introduce people to FPGA technology. Matt’s hackaday.io page is here.


Finally, here’s Matt’s 4-minute video that walks you through his HACKADAY Arduino Shield Board:





The video does a nice job of explaining Matt’s design philosophy.



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