FPGA dev boards

An FPGA Developer’s Guide to Cheap Development Boards

Finally, a detailed and all-encompassing guide for those of us with an addiction to buying new FPGA development boards.
Joel Williams’ list starts off by outlining the criteria that he looks for in an FPGA development board. He makes the great point to consider what peripherals you need for your project and which of those peripherals are the most difficult to recreate yourself.

This list is a really great resource for hobbyists, students, and industry engineers alike. The boards on this list are grouped together by FPGA chip manufacturer. The vast majority of the boards on this list are under a $150 price point with a few exceptions.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bringing AI to the Edge: Xilinx’s New Kria SoM Lineup with Embedded App Store
    Xilinx announces the launch of their new SoM ecosystem for AI and ML modeling in edge applications with the Kria K26 and embedded app store!

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sipeed has released an upgraded Tang Nano FPGA development board, dubbed the Tang Nano 4K, which packs a considerably expanded chip into a compact footprint.

    Sipeed’s New Tang Nano 4K Is a $12 FPGA Dev Board Offering HDMI Output, Camera Connectivity


    The new Tang Nano 4K is a major upgrade over the original Tang Nano, but has more than doubled the price.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kryptor FPGA Moving Towards Production with Crowd Supply Launch
    Open source FPGA-based hardware security module offloads encryption tasks from microcontrollers.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kryptor FPGA – Tiny MAX10 FPGA board works as a hardware security module (Crowdfunding)

    Kryptor FPGA, sometimes just called Kryptor, is a compact Intel/Altera MAX10 FPGA development board mostly designed for encryption, and acting as a dedicated Hardware Security Module (HSM) with a custom soft-core from Skudo OÜ. But obviously, you could also use the FPGA board for other purposes.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Renesas’ Dialog Semi Announces Low-Power, Low-Cost ForgeFPGA Range for Smaller Projects
    Launching in 1kLUT with 2kLUT to follow, the ForgeFPGA range will cost as little as $0.50 per chip in bulk and offer 20µA standby current.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Teensy Ice Breaker: The iCEBreaker-bitsy FPGA
    The trend of putting FPGAs in everyone’s favorite microcontroller form factors continues with an iCEBreaker FPGA in a Teensy package.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Renesas introduces sub 50 cents FPGA family with free Yosys-based development tools

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Basys3 Oscilloscope
    Creating a simple oscilloscope with the Basys3 board

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    iCESugar-nano is a $19 iCE40LP1k FPGA board with 3x PMOD connectors
    Muse Lab’s iCESugar-nano is a tiny FPGA board based on Lattice Semi iCE40LP1K-CM36 programmable via its USB-C port through on-board iCELink debugger, and exposing I/Os for three standard PMOD connectors.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Tiny iCESugar-nano Packs an FPGA, RISC-V Core, and iCELink Into a Compact Footprint
    A low-cost design with an open source toolchain, the iCESugar-nano punches well above its diminutive weight.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Open Toolchain For Sipeed Tang Nano FPGAs

    [Sevan Janiyan] shares their research on putting an open FPGA toolchain together. Specifically, this is an open toolchain for the Sipeed Nano Tang FPGAs, which are relatively cheap offerings by Sipeed from China. The official toolchain is proprietary and requires you to apply for a license that’s to be renewed every year. There’s a limited educational version you can use more freely, but of course, that’s not necessarily sufficient for comfortable work.

    Sipeed Tang Nano FPGA and Open Source toolchain

    Sipeed makes a range of FPGA boards called Tang Nano, based around the Gowin’s GW1N range of FPGA chips. The current top model in the range is the Tang Nano 9k which supports 8640 LUT and can fit a RISC-V softcore such as PicoRV23 for around £12 + £5 shipping from China via AliExpress. You can spend a little more and get different sizes of LCD panels which connect to the board via a ribbon, I went for the 4.3″ panel which supports a resolution of 480×272. The board itself has an HDMI connector so that could be used instead.

    The official vendor supplied toolchain is the Gowin IDE which is a closed source tool with an educational version that can be used for working with the Tang Nano series without having to apply for a license. Both Windows & Linux builds are offered for download but I was curios if I could avoid the IDE and just use a completely open source toolchain for working with the board, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could.

    The toolchain consists of yosys (for synthesis), apicula (for generating the bitstream of Gowin FPGAs), nextpnr (for place and route), openFPGALoader (to program the board).

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EIM Technology Aims to Demystify FPGA Development with the STEPFPGA MXo2Core Board, Tutorial Book

    Designed to walk the user from base concepts to Verilog projects, and using a quick-start web IDE to boot, EIM’s guide promises simplicity.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackster’s FPGAdventures: Experimenting with Microchip’s PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit Linux Code Samples
    With an up-to-date Linux OS installed to eMMC, it’s time to take a look at what resources Microchip provides for the programmer.


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