Lattice slashes costs of development with new Plug-In-&-Go USB iCEstick FPGA evaluation kit

Lattice Semiconductor has announced its iCEstick Evaluation Kit, an easy-to-use USB thumb drive form factor development board that allows engineers and system architects to evaluate and develop mobile solutions based on the company’s iCE40 mobileFPGA family, currently the only FPGAs built to address the mobile devices market.

According to Latticethe kit speeds solution development by including, along with the FPGA, hardware features and reference designs targeting infrared and sensor functions for smartphones, tablets, gaming devices and a host of other applications that have demanding requirements for low-cost, low-power and fast-time-to-market.

“The explosion of mobile devices available on the market today is creating challenges for equipment designers, who need to define, implement, and deploy differentiated capabilities in their next generation devices before the next market window closes,” said Ted Marena, Director of Solutions Marketing at Lattice. “The. iCEstick development kit provides a plug-in-and-go development environment that allows designers to innovate and deploy faster than ever before.”

Using the iCEstick Evaluation Kit, designers can implement a solution that replaces virtually any high-end remote control to interface to TVs, LED lighting systems or other infrared-controlled devices. In addition the iCEstick Evaluation Kit provides a simple starting point to design infrared data transfer between mobile devices such as PCs, tablets, gaming devices, and more. The iCEstick Evaluation Kit enables this by using the iCE40 FPGA to implement a fully programmable Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) function and bridge to an infrared LED.

To streamline and accelerate development, the kit includes reference designs that enable wireless transmission of data or control signals. This is done via an interface to an IrDA transceiver or a Digilent Pmod Compatible peripheral connector, all while using a minimal number of I/O from the iCE40 FPGA.

The iCEstick Evaluation Kit’s Pmod Compatible peripheral connector also enables designers to connect an accelerometer to the board so that designers can easily develop solutions for senor interfacing, monitoring and data management. This capability is key for mobile platforms as accelerometers are becoming more mainstream in mobile designs to facilitate measurement of speed and impact for context aware applications such as gaming controllers and smartphones.

Getting started with the iCEstick Evaluation Kit has been designed to be easy because it simply connects to a laptop or PC like a USB thumb drive, giving users immediate access to the onboard iCE40HX-1k FPGA. The kit is supported by Lattice’s iCEcube2 design software for HDL development and Lattice Lattice Diamond® Programmer software enabling programming via the device”s SPI flash.

iCEstick customers can download free reference designs that simplify the process of developing complete custom solutions. Along with the user guide, these reference designs are available at: www.latticesemi.com/icestick

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