Alchitry Au FPGA Development Board (Xilinx Artix 7)

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The Alchitry Au is the "gold" standard for FPGA development boards and it's possibly one of the strongest boards of its type on the market. 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 Au continues 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 Au features a Xilinx Artix 7 XC7A35T-1C FPGA with over 33,000 logic cells and 256MB of DDR3 RAM. The Au offers 102 3.3V logic level IO pins, 20 of which can be switched to 1.8V; Nine differential analog inputs; 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. To make getting started even easier, all Alchitry boards have full Lucid support, a built in library of useful components to use in your project, and a debugger!

By adding stackable expansion boards similar to shields or HATs called "Elements," the Alchitry Au 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.

  • Artix 7 XC7A35T-1C - 33,280 logic cells
  • 256MB DDR3 RAM
  • 102 IO pins (3.3V logic level, 20 of then can be switched to 1.8V for LVDS)
  • Nine differential analog inputs (One dedicated, Eight mixed with digital IO)
  • USB-C to configure and power the board
  • Eight general purpose LEDs
  • One button (typically used as a reset)
  • 100MHz on-board clock (can be multiplied internally by the FPGA)
  • Powered with 5V through USB-C port, 0.1" holes, or headers
  • USB to serial interface for data transfer (up to 12Mbaud)
  • Qwiic Connector
  • Dimensions of 65mm x 45mm

Alchitry Au FPGA Development Board (Xilinx Artix 7) Product Help and Resources

The ClockClock Project

October 8, 2020

Tell the time with this fantastic Alchitry project using clocks to make a clock!

How Does an FPGA Work?

July 30, 2020

The What, How, Why, and When of Field Programmable Gate Arrays, aka FPGAs

First FPGA Project - Getting Fancy with PWM

July 30, 2020

An initial project using Alchitry's onboard FPGA to manipulate PWM

External IO and Metastability

July 30, 2020

Why external signals can cause metastability and how to use constraint files to manage this

Programming an FPGA

July 30, 2020

Come look at the basics of working with Field Programmable Gate Arrays.

Core Skill: Programming

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.

5 Programming

Skill Level: Expert - You should be extremely comfortable programming on various hardware in several languages.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

2 Electrical Prototyping

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.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • njswede / about 5 months ago / 1

    Is is compatible with Icarus Verilog and ohter Verilog-related tools?

  • Member #1621132 / about 2 years ago / 1

    If you want to code VHDL for this board, I have a starter example at:

  • Member #1621132 / about 3 years ago / 1

    The IO Element board is nearly impossible to use due to the tiny switches, that can only be flipped with teensy-tiny tools and magnifying eyesight. The Alchitry Labs IDE installer will not run on my Windows 10 machine and complains of a JRE version less than 8, when I have openjdk 11 installed. I have a message out to Alchitry Labs and am awaiting response. So far, a less than inspiring experience...

    • Member #1621132 / about 3 years ago / 1

      Version 1.2.1 of the Alchitry Labs did not work for me, but 1.2.4 beta did install...

  • Member #1506841 / about 4 years ago * / 1

    I'm very disappointed with this product line so far -- the QA is terrible! A diode fell off the AU board as I pulled it out of the bag, and several pins on Br board had pins shorted with solder bridges. I never even got to power the boards up!

    • We are sorry to hear that your new Alchitry board is exhibiting QC issues and we appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Please simply submit a return ticket and our excellent customer service team will take care of this issue right away:

      We hope to get a working part in your hands soon!

      • Member #1506841 / about 4 years ago * / 1

        I got the new boards promptly, and have been having great fun with them. Thanks!

        To echo the the person below, please develop new board(s) with HDMI, SMA or SMP, and micro SD connectors!

        • Member #1506841 / about 4 years ago / 1

          Another product idea: a set of spacer strips, to increase the distance between an Io board at the top and a Br board below. This would let us use a Br board with connectors soldered on together with an Io board. It might also be a way to salvage defective Br boards -- just cut them up and sell the side that works.

  • Member #27157 / about 4 years ago / 1

    Will more 'Element Boards' be available soon? I'm hoping an HDMI one.

    • Member #1581901 / about 2 years ago / 1

      Hi, I created for hobbyist and fans of AU this board:

    • santaimpersonator / about 4 years ago * / 1

      Currently, Alchitry doesn't have one available. They do have an contact page if you would like to express further interest in an HDMI board.

      (*I am not working on that project; however, I think they currently are working to fine tune the production and testing process for the available boards.)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5

Based on 7 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

0 of 1 found this helpful:

nice compact board

I just started to learn FPGA which is completely different than microcontroller and little hard . but the board is small and connected by usb to make life little easier very good board but io element shield has little buttons it requires strong press to function I would like to change that in future revision.

Neat little board

I got the AU and CU version of the board I have to say its very well built little FPGA board, I don't have a lot of experience working with FPGA, so when I tried to get into it I hated the traditional FPGA boards often offered (usually big and require a programmer) Alchitry AU is definitely not the best FPGA board out there, but it is small, easy to use and for a beginner the expansion board is enough to get you started.

Great product

Easy-ish to use. Examples are mostly for older Mojo board, but translate pretty easily. I added a java lib to more easily a create a java-based host application with gradle dependency management to communicate over USB serial via the register interface.

Advice: buy the Learning FPGAs book by Rajewski and read it while you are waiting on the Vivado tooling to download ;-)

Really love the hardware, LUCID sw and the tutorials!

I don't think there is a faster way to learn about FPGA's

Happy Alchitry Au user

Very Good tool, good price, good quality, easy to use (if you already know something about FPGA). you can easily embed it to you design.

Love the board so far

I'm teaching an intro to arduino course with a couple of kiddos who were already quite proficient. I set them up with Alchitry AU board and showed them where to get software. They've blown me away already with what they've been able to do as they just learn the basics. Relatively low floor, incredibly high ceiling!

Cool little board

The board itself is great, but the DDR3 has proven to be much too slow for my use case. It'd be worth every penny of the increased BOM cost to go with a couple MB of SRAM over the DDR. Build that and you can take my money and 5 stars.