Communications too slow
Not enough GPIO at microcontrollers
TinyFPGA BX $45, Fomu $45, iCEBreaker $65
eg. Yosys, NextPnR, IceStudio, Migen
Photo by Pauli Rautakorpi - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link
Simple Cost-effective Micro Processor. 1974. 1MHz - 4MHz
Fixed peripherals. Fixed IO's. Slow. One thing at a time.
Can have a CPU - can still write code
Plenty of IO
Write the peripherals you want
Upgrade in the Field (it's in the name!)
No need to work with BGAs directly
Often Provide: Memory (Flash and RAM), Programming Interface
Often provided as Microcontroller Peripherals
ABANDON STANDARDS YOU DON'T LIKE!
WRITE YOUR OWN PERIPHERALS!
Easy to design
Cheap to manufacture
Present the FPGA IO's in different configurations
Chips like AD5592R
ADC for voltage and current sensing
Provision for shaft encoder or resistive position sensor
All sensing and control through 8 pins
Verilog is not like learning another programming language
Expect to have to reorganize your brain!
I got this! I don't got this... (repeat)
Developing in a strange environment
Tools are occasionally buggy and frequently obtuse
Missing FPGA Features
Almost 50 years of FPGA development has left miniscule code library trace
Code is frequently buggy
Code is frequently unfinished / unmaintained
Testing is rudimentary
Do not expect that what you are looking for will be there
Design minimalistic FPGA Core Modules!
Design diverse base boards!
Design Pmod peripherals!
Write Modular, Interconnecting FPGA Code!
Write libraries for SoftCPU!
Develop control and interface technologies!
Replace special purpose chips!
Stop using annoying standards, replace!
Make projects and products with upgradable hardware!
Share your stuff! We have 50 years to make up for!
Smart Motor Controller
Software Defined Radio
Hard Core (Academic, Industry, etc.)
Historical FPGA Hackers