If you are not needing a lot of power to start your FPGA adventure, or are looking for a more economical option, the Alchitry Cu FPGA Development Board might be the perfect option for you! The Alchitry Cu is a "lighter" FPGA version than the Alchitry Au but still offers something completely unique. FPGAs, or Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, are an advanced development board type for engineers and hobbyists alike to experience the next step in programming with electronics. The Cu truly exemplifies the trend of more affordable and increasingly powerful FPGA boards arriving each year. This board is a fantastic starting point into the world of FPGAs and the heart of your next project. Finally, now that this board is built by SparkFun, we added a Qwiic connector for easy I2C integration!
The Alchitry Cu uses the Lattice iCE40 HX FPGA with 7680 logic cells and is supported by the open source tool chain Project IceStorm. The Cu possesses 79 IO pins with eight general purpose LEDs; a 100MHz on-board clock that can be manipulated internally by the FPGA; a USB-C connector to configure and power the board; and a USB to serial interface for data transfer.
By adding stackable expansion boards similar to shields or HATs called "Elements," the Alchitry Cu is able to expand its own hardware capabilities by adding prototyping spaces, buttons, LEDs, and more!
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Expert - You should be extremely comfortable programming on various hardware in several languages.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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