jgagnon wrote:In the interest of education, creativity, flexibility, and coolness... would you please consider adding a FPGA to a new model of the Raspberry Pi (or whatever a new device might be called)? I would think that having a FPGA mixed in with GPIO on a full featured, Linux-ready computer would make for an epic device.
This is exactly why we came up with the PiXi add-on board for the Raspberry Pi. We took a very capable FPGA, got the Pi to do all the programming work and added as much GPIO and as many features as we could without breaking the bank too much. We ended up with what we think is a very capable add-on for the Pi. We call it the PiXi Board, the name simply came from joining the "Pi" in Raspberry Pi to the "Xi" in Xilinx, after we decided to use a Xilinx FPGA on the board.
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We chose the Xilinx Spartan 6 LX9 which has also been used by several other successful projects like this. This is a very capable FPGA for the money. We'd typically be paying around $7 for this part and less than that if there's enough interest to make even more. We're also planning on making a "Lite" version that uses the LX4 part as this is cheaper still. Our target price for the full version is £80 and £50 for the Lite version but this is very much linked to the quantities we make. Our hopes are that once we run our Kickstarter project we'll get over 1000 backers and that will make it possible to meet this price.
If it takes off then we'd like to consider taking the concept to the next level and putting an even more powerful FPGA on a similar board, something like a Zynq, but that's a little way off...
Back to the design of the PiXi though, it was designed to capture the interest of the Raspberry Pi community, a low cost FPGA development board, designed to introduce the user to the world of FPGAs but at the same time appeal to the hobbyist and Pi enthusiast as a versatile add-on for the Pi and further still, appeal to the professional engineering community as a simple, low cost development & prototyping platform.
There's a few youtube videos of demonstrations of what you can do with the PiXi but the possibilities are kind of endless.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf0if8 ... fGbQiXWUaw
That's it in a nutshell, happy to chat more if anyone has any questions and if you have any thoughts on the PiXi board, please feel free to drop us an email.