[Ukfreebsd] OSHUG #72 - Open Source FPGA Hardware and Tooling Past, Present and Future.

Pete French pete at twisted.org.uk
Wed Mar 13 10:51:22 GMT 2019

Ahhhh, memories! Once up on a time this was my phd subject - back in the 
days of Algotronix, and that stuff wasn't proprietary. I even 
presentated a paper at the first IEEE conferebce on these things in Napa 
valley. Must have been about 1991? Then Algotronix got bought by Xylinx 
if I remember rightly, and everything becamse proprietary, as noted below.

Happy memories though....


PS: Found this!

On 13/03/2019 00:15, Sevan Janiyan wrote:
> On 21 March 2019, 18:30 - 20:30 at BCS London, 1st Floor, The Davidson
> Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA.
>    Registration: http://oshug.org/event/72
> Once upon a time we could only use proprietary tools and development
> boards supplied by FPGA vendors. This all changed in 2016 with the
> advent of the IceStorm open source toolchain, combined with open
> hardware like the myStorm board. With the 2nd generation of tools and
> hardware, sophisticated FPGA features are opening exciting avenues for
> 'open source all the way down'. We hope to provide an update and crystal
> ball on where some of this could be leading to.
> — Tools: past to present
> David Shah looks at where we have come from with the IceStorm toochain,
> and looks at how this has developed recently and expanded Lattice iCE40
> support to include new lower power, lower cost, reduced pin count FPGAs
> to include their Ultra & Ultra Plus range.
> — Hardware: past to present
> Alan Wood talks about the journey through the early history of open
> source FPGA open hardware from IcoBoard through myStorm too recent
> UltraPlus offerings recently made available.
> — Tools: present to future
> IceStorm was aimed at a narrow family of iCE40 FPGAS, the new SymbiFlow
> family of tools expands the open source tooling exponentially. David
> Shah takes a look at NextPNR, which lies at the heart of the toolset and
> deals with specific FPGA family functionality, in particular he
> concentrates on the Lattice ECP5 family support he has developed with
> Project Trellis as part of NextPNR and the recent 1.0 version supporting
> this new family and high end FPGA features.
> — Hardware: present to future
> What comes next for open source FPGA hardware, after the success of
> tinyFPGA and myStorm we are beginning to see ECP5 open source hardware
> emerging, first with Radiona's ULX3S and being followed up by offerings
> from both tinyFPGA and myStorm dev board stables. With new hardware
> comes new features building on NextPNRs tooling, like DSP, SerDES I/O
> gearing and DDR memory etc. Alan plots the course for these new powerful
> opesource development boards.
> — Demos
> Time permitting we can show some of what's possible with the new tools
> in a brave new 'open source all the way down' world.
> * David Shah is a engineer at Symbiotic EDA and a Electronic and
> Information Engineering student at Imperial College London. He entered
> the world of open source FPGAs by extending Project Icestorm, the iCE40
> bitstream documentation project, to include the newer iCE40 UltraPlus
> FPGAs. As well developing Project Trellis, he has been involved in the
> development of a new open source FPGA place-and-route tool, nextpnr.
> * Alan Wood has been working with parallel distributed programming for
> several decades. His recent work includes smart grids, 3D printers,
> robotics, automation, biotec diagnostics and designing FPGA dev boards.
> His current research is focused on machine learning for embedded
> automation using FPGAs. He is a long term advocate of open source
> communities, a moderator (aka Folknology) for xCORE, the co-founder of
> myStorm open hardware FPGA community, as well as a co-founder of Surrey
> and Hampshire Makerspace.
> Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.
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