I’ve just received word that Scarab Hardware has decided to upgrade the miniSpartan6+ FPGA dev board to the Xilinx Spartan-6 LX9 FPGA in a BGA256 package even if the Kickstarter funding period ends before reaching the $65K stretch goal. As of this writing, pledges for the project are at $58,415 (7.8x over goal) with three days left in the funding period. With the package change, Scarab Hardware has also added a $30 option that replaces the Spartan-6 LX9 FPGA with a pin-compatible Spartan-6 LX25 FPGA—with greatly expanded on-chip resources including 24,051 logic cells (instead of 9152), 936Kbits of block RAM (instead of 576), and 38 DSP slices (instead of 16). So you get significantly more processing power to play with for the $30 upgrade.
The Scarab Hardware miniSpartan6+ is a credit-card sized FPGA development board that includes an on-board Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA; 32Mbytes of SDRAM; 64Mbits of SPI Flash; a microSD card socket; an HDMI port; an 8-bit, 8-channel ADC running at 1Msamples/sec; a stereo output jack with a 1-bit sigma-delta audio DAC; and a USB JTAG programmer port. The original miniSpartan6 design used a Spartan-6 LX9 FPGA in the TQFP144 package, which left 24 uncommitted I/O pins for custom uses. With the package upgrade, there will be approximately 64 uncommitted I/O pins.
Scarab Hardware is also developing a board-specific IDE and Verilog/VHDL libraries for this project. These tools will work in conjunction with the Xilinx ISE Design Suite, which is available as a free download (ISE WebPACK Design software) and is an excellent learning tool to accompany the miniSpartan6+ dev board.
As the miniSpartan6+ Kickstarter project blew through its stretch goals, the project initiators chose to upgrade the speed of the Spartan-6 FPGA to a -3 part ($30K stretch goal), added a second HDMI connector ($50K stretch goal), and were targeting $65K in pledges for the next upgrade to the Spartan-6 LX9 FPGA in the BGA256 package. However, that threshold is now waived and the boards will all incorporate the devices with larger pin count.
If you want the larger Spartan-6 LX25 FPGA, add $30 to your pledge. You can do this even if you have already pledged. I just did.