Fomu - an FPGA board that fits inside your USB port
Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 10:32 CET
Contributed by: tingo
Fomu - an FPGA board that fits inside your USB port.
FPGA: Lattice ICE40UP5K
Speed: 48 MHz external oscillator
RAM: 128 kB RAM for a soft CPU¹
Storage: 1 MB SPI flash²
Connectivity: USB 2.0 FS (12 Mbps)
LEDs: One RGB
Fomu runs RISC-V
Underneath the Python interpreter lies a RISC-V softcore running on the FPGA fabric. RISC-V is an up-and-coming processor architecture that is poised to take over everything from deeply-embedded chips to high-performance computing. Fomu’s RISC-V softcore is a great introduction to the processor architecture of the future.
Fomu is an FPGA
An FPGA is a piece of reconfigurable silicon. The default Fomu firmware exposes a USB bootloader running a RISC-V softcore, but you can load whatever you want. Softcores are also available for LM32 and OpenRISC. You can practice adding instructions to the CPU, or add new blocks such as LED blink patterns or better captouch hardware blocks.
Fomu is entirely open
Developing with Fomu is incredibly easy: just load code via USB and go. Whether you’re writing RISC-V code, Python code, or HDL, it’s all uploaded to Fomu in the same way. The ICE40UP5K FPGA is supported with a fully open toolchain, meaning you can start development without creating an account, signing an NDA, or downloading a multi-gigabyte installer. Fomu hardware repository.