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Cheap FPGA Board Roundup

There’s never been a better time to get into using FPGAs. Nearly all vendors have some level of free software and while boards haven’t gotten as cheap as ones with microcontrollers, the prices are way down. [Joel Williams] was frustrated when his board of choice became unavailable, so he decided to compile data on as many cheap boards as he could.

[Joel] covers the major vendors like Intel and Altera. But he also includes information on Actel, Cypress, and Lattice. While the list probably isn’t comprehensive, it is a lot of information about many popular boards. The notes are helpful and point out oddities about the boards in many cases.

We didn’t see our favorite — the Lattice iCeStick — on the list. But there were some boards in the $10 range including the UPDuino, which looks like fun and will stack with an Arduino Nano or Pro. We also saw another of our favorites, the MAX1000 board which is a great little low-cost board.

We liked [Joel’s] comments about not worrying too much about the things you could add easily like serial memory and character LCDs. He suggests you worry more about things that you want that would be hard for you to add yourself, such as an Ethernet port, or HDMI. The list was updated a few months ago and we hope [Joel] will continue to maintain it. He does solicit suggestions.

If you are interested in learning about FPGAs, we have a set of boot camps for you at Hackaday.io, that you might like to check out.

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