The ICE-V Wireless from QWERTY integrates RISC-V, FPGA, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi onto a single board

This low-power board has a small footprint and is designed to provide a foundation for FPGA development with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.

The ICE-V Wireless from QWERTY integrates RISC-V, FPGA, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi onto a single board

UPDATE (6/19/2022): The ICE-V Wireless Crowdfunding campaign is now online, with 250 devices available for $75 each plus delivery.

QWERTY Embedded Design has verified that backers buying the low-cost FPGA development board during the campaign would receive one fully constructed device with through-hole pin connections included but unsoldered.

The project's crowdfunding campaign will continue through August 16, 2022, with 45 of the 250-unit manufacturing run having sold as of this writing.

The ICE-V Wireless GroupGets page has further information and the chance to fund the project; hardware is planned to be supplied after a manufacturer lead time of 28 days.

QWERTY Embedded Design's Michael Welling and Eric Brombaugh are ready to release the ICE-V Wireless, a new low-cost FPGA development board based on a Lattice Semi iCE40 UltraPlus FPGA and an Espressif ESP32-C3 RISC-V system-on-chip with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

"To allow Wi-Fi and Bluetooth management of the FPGA, this solution combines an Espressif ESP32C3HN4 SoC [System-on-Chip] (which has 4MB of flash in the package) with a Lattice iCE40 FPGA (either an iCE5LP4k or iCE40UP5k or other pin and packaging-compatible devices)," Brombaugh adds.

"Except for the pins utilized for SPI communication between the ESP32 and the FPGA, the ESP32 and FPGA I/O [Input/Output] is essentially uncommitted. Additional interfaces, like as serial, ADC, and I2C, are accessible on many of the ESP32C3 GPIO pins."

The planned community-driven production variant of Welling and Brombaugh's latest board design includes an Espressif ESP32-C3-MINI module on a custom board, as well as a Lattice iCE40UP5k, a compact low-power FPGA designed for edge-AI work that includes 5,280 four-input lookup tables (LUTs), 80kb of embedded dual-port memory, and 1Mb of embedded single-port memory, as well as a digital signal.

QWERTY's ICE-V Wireless Packs RISC-V

Meanwhile, the ESP32-C3 has a single 160MHz 32-bit RISC-V core, as well as 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, and is designed for low power consumption. Three PMOD connections, extra pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM), a lithium-polymer battery charging circuit, a USB Type-C connector for data and power, and an RGB LED for on-device feedback are also included on the board.

Welling and Brombaugh plan to sell the board for $75 per unit through GroupGets. Meanwhile, the design files, firmware, and FPGA gateware are all accessible on Welling's GitHub site, which is licensed under the permissive MIT license.

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