A powerful ECP5 board for open source FPGA development
The ULX3S is a fully open source, compact, robust and affordable FPGA board equipped with a balanced spectrum of extra components and expansions. Although primarily developed as a teaching tool for mastering the principles of digital circuit design 1, a wide selection of useful features and interfaces enables it to serve as a broad spectrum module for installation in complex devices.
Embedded systems are everywhere, including in trusted environments. But what is really inside them? ULX4M is a modular version of the popular open hardware project ULX3S. ULX4M delivers a versatile programmable (FPGA) modular mainboard that can be used a wide choice of peripherals. The main board is “vendor neutral” and can be used with different FPGA vendors SOM boards. As the community continues to grow, lots of FPGA modules are written, and one goal of our boards would be that we can easily switch and check other vendor chips, and work more on vendor neutral code where possible. The project also improves SERDES availability. Some cheaper FPGA chips do not have lots of SERDES lines and when someone makes a board it needs to choose what peripheral will be using those SERDES lines. With an open source design, users are not dependent on anyone to make boards and can run independent production.
I will talk about features of ULX3S, how we got to modular version and what are the differences between them.
All boards are open source and available on github
Goran Mahovlić (electronics tech) worked for years in repair shop for informatics and banking equipment. Moved on to a developer for low power wireless technologies (LoRA/nbIOT) and measuring systems. Currently self employed in Intergalaktik d.o.o. intergalaktik.eu working on opensource HW solutions, mostly FPGA boards. With constant urge to take apart any device within reach and find out it’s secrets, Goran is equally successful at hardware and software hacking, from cheap products, up-cycling old tech, to serious work in technology and microprocessor development. He is a tech coordinator at Radiona. In past, Goran led a number of accomplished workshop and presentations, regular member of Radiona projects and exhibitions, lead and founder of Radiona SmartZG network. A member of Otvorena Mreza (Open Network) project, working towards accessible and open internet. Among his work is founding the lemilica.com portal, for which he writes.