25 Free Silego development kits will soon be winging their way - Embedded.com

25 Free Silego development kits will soon be winging their way

A couple of weeks ago, I posted this column asking if anyone was interested in receiving a free Silego GPAK4 mixed-signal FPGA development kit.

As you may recall, in that column I spake as follows:

The problem is that there are only 25 free kits on offer, but so many folks who would like to play with them, so here's what we'll do. You email me at and tell me why you deserve one of these little beauties. Excite me and delight with descriptions of the amazing hobby or work projects you are currently working on or you may one day consider working on LOL.

In two weeks' time, on Wednesday 15th July, 2015, as soon as I've sauntered into the (my office) and ensconced myself in my Supreme Commander's Chair with its super-soft cuddly cushion, I will select the 25 entries that have most fired my imagination and whipped my creative juices into a frenzy. I will then email these folks to ascertain their shipping addresses, and then the guys and gals at Silego will dispatch the development kits and send them winging their merry way.

Well, not surprisingly, I've been inundated with emails. Do you have any idea how difficult this has been? Of course you don't! You would not believe the incredible range of project suggestions I've seen. In fact, some of these are so tasty that I will summarize them in one or more future columns.

I allocated each suggestion an ID number based on the order in which they were received, and then I ended up spending most of the morning creating a monster spreadsheet in which I awarded “points” for things like “creativity” and “ingenuity” and “tasty” and “Oooh, Shiny!”

Well, maybe not quite like that, but I did spend a lot of time and effort comparing and weighing the various suggestions. Then something unexpected happened. I tried to use the “Sort and Filter” function in Excel to re-organize everything based on my weighting numbers. Instead, the !@#$% system modified all of my weighting numbers based on the suggestions' ID numbers.

Essentially, Excel pseudo-randomly swapped my weighting numbers around. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize what had happened; I just assumed Excel had done what I'd assumed it was going to do, if you see what I mean. The problem was that I had some other tasks to attend to, so I saved the file and closed it down, and then continued with my other duties. It was only when I returned to the spreadsheet that I realized what had happened. “Oh dear,” I said to myself (or words to that effect).

The end result was that I had to do the whole thing again, which has left my nerves a little frazzled, let me tell you. I'm just about to start emailing everyone to inform them whether or not the radiance of my smile is going to lighten their lives and if they should start looking for a free development kit to land on their doorstep in the very near future.

But wait, there's more, because I've been chatting with the folks at Silego over the last couple of weeks, teasing them with some of the project ideas that have been coming in. They are really impressed with what they've heard; so much so, in fact, that they say that they are going to offer a special bonus to everyone who emailed me with suggestions but didn’t make the “Top 25.” Check out the following image of a GPAK evaluation board.

The idea is that the folks who aren’t getting a development kit can still use the GPAK design environment — which can be downloaded for free from Silego's website — to create a design of their choice. They send their design file to me; I forward the design file to the folks at Silego; and the guys and gals as Silego will return an evaluation board populated with a GPAK mixed-signal FPGA that's been programmed with the design. Even better, the folks from Silego will throw in a $20 coupon that can be used to reduce the price of any item on their website.

Pretty tasty eh? Oooh; I bet you're saying to yourself: “I wish I'd emailed Max with my really cool idea.” Well, I'm sorry, but you're too late; that boat has already sailed (sad face); maybe next time. In the meantime, watch this space for future columns describing some of the cool application ideas people came up with for the GPAK parts.

20 thoughts on “25 Free Silego development kits will soon be winging their way

  1. “That's very generous of Seligo to offer something to everyone! I'm glad I submitted an entry!nnI've been looking over the data sheets and learning more about the Seligo parts. Looks like a great fit for my application, and I'm excited to give them a t

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  2. “They are really nice folks. I'm in the process of sending out the emails as we speak — but there are so many that I will have to finish tomorrow morning (I hear my wife and a cold beer calling … and not necessarily in that order LOL)”

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  3. “Wow, Max, As I said in my email, I am one happy person right now.nObviously thanks go to your good self and to the folks at Seligo.nnPersonal Rant!nNow, for your comments about Excel and using it as a database (You didn't say that, but in essence that

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  4. “As TM123 said – many thanks to you Max, and to the folks at Seligo for sponsoring this giveaway.nNow, ready to face the challenge of getting up to some cool projects which are worthy of the new hardware (and hopefully will make a good read as well)…nT

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  5. “Thanks for sending me a kit! I look forward to receiving it and finding out just what it is capable of! Your previous columns on the GPAK4 make it seem both interesting and useful.”

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  6. “The waiting time will over soon to reach this board to my lab, thanks Max for making my morning Very Good, :), Silego board has many things in it, which was in my list of works and for which I was using ADC with jumble of wire, wireless (less-wire) system

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  7. “It was great to receive your email today. I am looking forward to working with the Silego board and incorporating it into our product.nThanks again.”

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  8. “Max many thanks for your email informing me about the selection and that I am one of the lucky ones to receive this gorgeous kit. nnIt has been a pleasure to be given the opportunity to work on the Silego FPGA board. As I am waiting for its arrival I wi

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  9. “Hello MaxnI'm very happy to be a selected one, and as you say in your email, I did a happy dance.nnI'm so excited to put hands on with my projects and Silego parts.nnSo many thanks to You and SilegonnBest regardsnnMisael Lafuente”

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  10. “Well happy dance right back atch ya :)nnWhen I get the nifty stuff from Silego I will get on power sequencing of the ProBoard (Open-source A13-based embedded computer with dedicated PID functions (I wanted a **really** good controller for my toaster-ove

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  11. “Thanks Max and the good people at Silego. The software is already installed on my Mac and raring to go. Now all I need to do is find an adapter board to use them on 0.1” pitch breadboards and Veroboard. If anybody has any tips please post.nnBest regard

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  12. “Maybe we can convince the good folk at Silego to make adapter boards for us. They would just have to make a board with only the center portion of their evaluation board. Jameco has some SMT breakout boards but none that I've seen will handle this package.

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  13. “Very glad to have one coming my way. I just got the email from Silego saying it was shipped. I'll try my best to test it out on a real arcade video game as I mentioned for my potential use. By the way… I liked your talk at ESC yesterday about the mec

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  14. “You were at my talk? Why didn't you come up and say “Hi” (or go the whole hog and say “Hi Max, can I buy you a beer?”) LOL “

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  15. “”Sadly, I'm not getting one of the development kits but looking forward to seeing what everyone is making.”nnBut you are — you are — I emailed you to say “congratulations” and to ask you for your post address — but silence was the grim reply, as

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  16. “Woot and Happy Dance! The board and sample chips are HERE and I am preparing to retreat to the Steampunk IoT Labs to conjure up exiting things!nSee you in Minneapolis!”

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