Newbie question about whether tinyFPGA is right for me


#1

Hello everyone,

I have some experience with using FPGAs, but when it comes to knowing which one to buy for my own needs I am completely clueless. Could someone please shed some light on whether something as cheap as the $12 XO2-256 is a fit for me?

For my project, I take the difference in time for a signal to reach an array of sensors, and then compute and output the sources position. Since all the receivers are close together, I need a better clock than the 1ms clock that Arduino Uno provides, and a really fast way to do the complex computation involved. Would the XO2-256 do the job?

Thank you


#2

If you’re trying to choose which one to get, a good place to start is to look at the number of resources (e.g. logic elements) available on the different boards. Have you written any HDL code yet for your project?

The X02-256 is great for small projects, but if you need to do complex calculations for many sensors, from my experience you’ll likely run out of resources.

The BX board is a nice intermediate. With almost 8k logic elements you can do a lot and it’s not too much more expensive.

Hope that helps!


#3

The A1 & A2 has significant resources. If you know an HDL lanquage, verilog or vhdl, and have the time go for it. The slowest onchip clock for the 256 is 2.08 MHz and goes up from there, ±5%. So it has the speed. The A2 has twice the logic capacity. I recently did a fairly simple circuit and found the process a small learning curve. My career was FPGA and ASIC design so that went smoothy, but still took some time. Without that it would have been harder for sure. I followed the A1 & A2 https://tinyfpga.com/a-series-guide.html it was not too difficult

Just a heads up. I’ve had the TinyFPGA A1, A2, & PGRM on order from CrowdSupply since mid February. The A2s were shipped, they were in stock. The other items, A1 and PGRM, modules arrived mid March at CrowdSupply. COVID-19 took over from there. They claim to be shipping.

I’ve yet to receive the A1s or the PGRM. Plus I’ve not heard from crowdsupply in two weeks. Simply want to know what is up. My first inquiry took 4 weeks to get a reply.

I expect someday they will get in touch and just might even ship the parts. So be prepared to wait.

And the A1 mounts on a PCB which is arriving later this week. It may be time to design the FPGA onto my PCB. However, I need to determine how to program it and then cancel my order.