Signaloid's Tiny FPGA Development Board Is the Size of a microSD Card

Signaloid C0-microSD contains an iCE40 FPGA and runs custom designs or a Signaloid C0 RISC V-based core for processing data uncertainty.

James Lewis
17 days agoFPGAs

The Signaloid C0-microSD from Cambridge-based Signaloid is a tiny iCE40 FPGA development board with a unique interface and programming model. As the name suggests, it fits into a standard microSD card socket — and that's how you program it!

Signaloid provides a platform for cloud and edge-based computing of uncertain data. Signaloid's technology is an alternative to traditional uncertainty analysis. Unlike Monte Carlo analysis, Signaloid's RISC-V-based processor core offers near real-time decision-making results.

Currently, the core is available as an FPGA image for Lattice iCE40UP5K FPGAs. This FPGA is the basis of the Signaloid C0-microSD.

This tiny FPGA development board contains the iCE40UP5K FPGA, 128 Mbit flash memory, 11 I/O signals, and two onboard LEDs. It is the size of a microSD flash card! The LEDs sit near the card's top edge, making them visible when inserted into a socket. Six of the programmable I/O pins are connected to the microSD interface. The other five I/Os are available as surface mount pads on the back.

The microSD interface makes this development platform unique. When you insert the Signaloid C0-microSD into a host computer, it appears as a file-based device. Your application can either natively talk to the board or use an Operating System's disk utilities. For example, you can program a new bitstream without an external programmer!

Signaloid offers the C0-microSD as a general-purpose FPGA development board. The board supports the same open-source toolchain as other iCE40-based designs. For example, you can develop for it using Icestorm, Yosys, NextPnR, and Icestudio.

Alternatively, you can use the pre-built (and included) Signaloid C0 RISC-V processor core. This core allows you to use Signaloid's uncertainty algorithms in your applications. Since the device appears as a microSD card, you can use it with platforms like single-board computers (SBCs) or standalone microcontrollers (with an SPI interface).

Signaloid also offers a carrier board for development work called the Signaloid SD-Dev. This 57 x 57 millimeter board contains a full-size, micro-SD card socket, USB-C ports, micro HDMI, and other connectors.

Signaloid plans to release the design files to its GitHub repository after completing the campaign. For more information, check out the Signaloid C0-microSD FPGA development board page on Crowd Supply. There, you can sign up for notifications to be notified when the campaign goes live.

Learn more about Signaloid's platform in this Uncertainty-Tracking Deep Dive article.

James Lewis
Electronics enthusiast, Bald Engineer, and freelance content creator. AddOhms on YouTube. KN6FGY.
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