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.

Whitney Knitter
19 days agoFPGAs

The Teensy form factor microcontroller boards are popular for their compact size, making it the perfect candidate for the addition of an FPGA. The iCEBreaker-Bitsy FPGA takes on the smaller Teensy 4.0, 3.2, LC form factor with a iCE40UP5k FPGA with 128 MBit of QSPI-DDR-capable flash and 64 MBit of QSPI Pseudo SRAM.

A built-in DFU bootloader compatible with the dfu-util tool makes programming the iCEBreaker-Bitsy FPGA easy. The FPGA can be switched into bootloader mode from the user bitstream via either a button press or a DFU stub.

The USB-C connector's interface is fully controlled by the FPGA on the board allowing for implementation of both high speed and low speed USB interfaces across it for maximum flexibility. Other hardware peripherals include and RGB LED, two on-board discrete LEDs, and 24 PINs on the edge pads that are compatible with breadboards, 24pin IC sockets, and SMD soldering.

The iCEBreaker-Bitsy FPGA not only takes on the Teensy's form factor, but also its very popular GPIO pinout. This means you can use all of you favorite Teensy carrier boards with it as well.

The iCEBreaker-Bitsy FPGA board is supported by Yosys, nextpnr, IceStorm, Icestudio, nMigen, and Litex. Which is impressive for a brand new completely open source board to have such wide spread support.

Its wide spread support, low cost, and balance of useful hardware peripherals makes the iCEBreaker-Bitsy FPGA an ideal option for hobbyist and educational purposes. Check out the GitHub repository for hardware details and the Discord server for project updates.

Whitney Knitter
Working as a full-time SDR/FPGA engineer, but making time for the fun projects at home.
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles