Embedded hardware specialist tinyVision.ai has launched a compact gumstick-style development board which combines a Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core microcontroller with a Lattice UltraPlus iCE40UP5K FPGA — and brings out as many general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins as possible from both: the pico-ice.
"The pico-ice is a small, low cost board with the Raspberry Pi Pico processor (RP2040) and a Lattice Semiconductor iCE40UP5K FPGA," tinyVision.ai explains of its design. "The board features independent flash for the FPGA and RP2040, low power SSRAM [Synchronous Static RAM], a couple of push-buttons and a three-color LED with all FPGA and RP2040 pins brought out to easy to use 0.1” header pins (arranged as PMODs) for fast prototyping."
The main controller on the board is the Raspberry Pi RP2040, a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller running at a stock 133MHz and with 264kB of SRAM plus a clever programmable input/output (PIO) system for defining new hardware capabilities as state machines.
To this, tinyVision.ai has added the Lattice iCE40UP5K with 5.3k look-up tables (LUTs), 1Mb of single-port synchronous static RAM (SPRAM), 120kB of double-port RAM (DPRAM), and eight multipliers. There's 4MB of NOR flash each, connected via quad-SPI, and an additional 8MB of low-power SSRAM connected to the FPGA via QSPI and the RP2040 via SPI.
Elsewhere on the board is an user-addressable RGB LED, which is connected to both the RP2040 microcontroller and the FPGA, one dedicated user-addressable push-button switch and another that acts as a processor reset with the ability to change modes to a user input on-demand, 3.3V and 1.2V regulators, and a USB Type-C connector for data and power.
The generous GPIO capabilities, meanwhile, are brought out to twin 2×20-pin headers on either side of the board — with most of the pin-out split into PMOD connectors, one dual PMOD for the microcontroller and two dual PMODs for the FPGA plus another dual PMOD shared between the two.
The company is selling fully-assembled versions of the board, with bundled but not-fitted dual PMOD headers, via Lectronz at $35; the design has also been released on GitHub under the permissive MIT license as open hardware.