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LOGi FPGA Dev Boards for Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black based on Spartan-6 FPGA tops Kickstarter Goal by 5x in 5 Days

by Xilinx Employee ‎12-16-2013 11:24 AM - edited ‎02-06-2014 01:34 PM (42,799 Views)

The latest FPGA-based project to hit Kickstarter, the LOGi FPGA Dev Board for Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black from Valent F(x), has topped its pledge goal of $6900 by 5x in just 5 days. Project pledges now total more than $35,000 but the campaign will run for another 25 days so you can still buy in—until January 10, 2014. The Valent F(x) Kickstarter project actually encompasses two development boards. There’s one version of the Valent F(x) board called the LOGi-Pi that’s designed for the RaspBerry Pi—based on a Broadcom BCM2835:



LOGi-Pi for the Raspberry Pi.jpg


LOGi-Pi for the Raspberry Pi



And there’s a second version called the LOGi-Bone for the BeagleBone Black development board, which is based on a TI AM335x microprocessor:



LOGi-Bone for the BeagleBone Black.jpg

LOGi-Bone for the Beaglebone Black



As you can see, both of these add-on boards are based on the Xilinx Spartan-6 XC6SLX9 low-cost FPGA, which adds 9152 logic cells, 16 DSP48A1 slices, 576Kbits of SRAM, and 96 I/O pins (for this design) to the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black processors. Both boards were initially available for pledges of $69 each but those boards are all spoken for. The going rate on Kickstarter is now $89. For a pledge of $115, you can get a camera as well, which will jumpstart your experience with machine vision.


As LOGi-Team member Dave Anderson says in the Kickstarter video, this LOGi board and the Spartan-6 FPGA add more interfaces, more functions, and connect more sensors such as quadrature encoders, cameras, and PWMs to the limited compute and I/O resources of the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black dev boards. It’s difficult to do these things in real time with microprocessors alone and so much easier when you add an FPGA like the Xilinx Spartan-6.


Here’s that Kickstarter video:






The Spartan-6 FPGA has long been a favorite for pairing with microprocessors to add real-time processing and I/O abilities that go far beyond the abilities of software-driven microprocessors alone. In fact, that sort of longstanding design approach was the spur for creating the Xilinx Zynq All Programmable SoC, which fuses a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor with programmable logic together on one piece of silicon. Because the connection between processor and programmable logic is on-chip, it employs thousands of high-speed connections. That’s not possible if the microprocessor and FPGA are on separate chips so the Zynq SoC is batter when you need very high performance.


To sign up for a LOGi FPGA board, click on this link, which will take you to the Kickstarter project page.