Well, this is an exciting day and no mistake. I just heard from the folks at Silego. They are really excited by the interest my column Teeny-Tiny GPAK4 mixed-signal FPGAs for embedded systems generated with the Embedded.com and EETimes.com communities. So much so, in fact, that they've decided to offer 25 development kits for free.
As you may recall, the most recent addition to the GPAK family is the GPAK4, and the first member of this fourth generation was the SLG46620V. Presented in a 20-pin STQFN package (2.0 x 3.0 x 0.55mm with an 0.4mm pitch) and supporting a supply voltage of 1.8V to 5.0V, this little rascal boasts 18 general-purpose input/outputs (GPIOs), 6 analog comparators ACMPs, 3 digital comparators/pulse-width modulators DCMPs/PWMs, 2 digital-to-analog converters (DACs), 25 lookup tables (LUTs), and a variety of counter, delay, and flip-flop macrocells.
These tiny devices can be used to implement a wide variety of system functions, including comparators, logic, delays, counters, resets, power sequencing, voltage sensing, and interface circuits — all while minimizing component count, board space, and power consumption. I can think of all sorts of uses for these little beauties in my own projects. Furthermore, I recently discovered that the engineering company in whose building I have my office is using these devices in their rugged transportable workstations (see Tiny mixed-signal FPGAs used in honking-big workstations).
The development kit includes a Universal Development Board, a GreenPAK4 STQFN-20 Socket Adapter along with a bunch of SLG46620V Samples, a GreenPAK4 STQFN-14 Socket Adapter along with a bunch of SLG46140V Samples, a USB Cable (USB-A to Mini-B), and a Quick Start Guide.
The dev kit is complemented by Silego's free, intuitive, and easy-to-use graphical user interface. Using the GUI-Kit combo, you can capture, simulate, emulate, and program your GPAK4 devices.
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 Pleasure Dome (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.
Meanwhile, I will create one or more follow-up columns describing these coolest-of-cool project ideas on Embedded.com, EETimes.com, and their sister publications. I also expect to receive updates (including photos) from the folks who are playing with these kits to see what cool things they come up with.
OK… now it's over to you. I await your communications in dread anticipation…