Oak Development Technologies Wants to Add a Little FPGA to Your Next Feather Project

The company's IcyBlue Feathers give rise to a Lattice iCE40-powered FeatherWing, adding an SPI-connected FPGA to any Feather board.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month ago β€’ FPGAs / HW101

Oak Development Technologies is back with another Lattice iCE40-powered field-programmable gate array (FPGA) development board, but unlike its previous efforts this one's not supposed to be used on its own: the Lattice FeatherWing is, instead, designed to expand Feather-format projects.

"FPGA allow you to bring a whole new level of complexity to your design, providing the flexibility to introduce custom logic developed in Verilog [hardware description language] and built with fully open source tools," Oak Development Technologies' Seth Kerr claims of his latest creation. "An icy [addition] to your FeatherWing collection brings a Lattice iCE5LP4K FPGA to your Feather'd shenanigans."

This isn't the first FPGA-powered Feather-format board Oak Development Technologies has released. Back in February last year the company opened pre-orders for the IcyBlue Feather, built around the Lattice iCE5LP4K β€” a design that was revamped this April to address some hardware errata and switch to the more modern USB Type-C connector for data and power.

The Lattice FeatherWing is, as the name suggests, an add-on for Feather-format development boards, built around the same FPGA as Oak's earlier IcyBlue Feather series β€” offering full compatibility with existing project examples, Kerr promises, while delivering additional user-accessible general-purpose input/output (GPIO) connectivity.

The FPGA is exposed to the host Feather over the SPI bus, while the board's design breaks out the FPGA's GPIO pins to non-breadboard-friendly 0.1" header blocks β€” all except the RGB open-drain pins, which are connected to an on-board user-addressable RGB LED.

Oak Development Technologies is selling the Lattice FeatherWing on its Tindie store at $24.95; at the time of writing, no schematics or design files for the new board had been published on the company's GitHub repository.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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