Previously,  I wrote a FleaFPGA Introduction. This board was about the size of an Arduino Uno with some GPIO pins, a VGA, USB, SD Card, PS2 Style Port, and a USB Host connector. At the time, the Lattice Mach XO2 provided the base logic. It found some success in the emulation community (*cough* x86 *cough*.) Unlike software emulators, the FPGA emulates the actual digital logic of classic computer ICs. Also known as ASICs.

Fast forward to today, well, this week. Valentin Angelovski is at it again, but this time, with a new and improved board the size of a Raspberry Pi Zero. He’s launched an Indiegogo Campaign for the FleaFPGA Ohm. For $45 (plus a bit for shipping) you can reserve your spot for when these start shipping early next year.

As you might have noticed, I don’t often promote or comment on crowdfunded projects. My experience with crowdfunded projects has not been positive. So what makes the FleaFPGA Ohm different? Well first, I know Valentin well. Granted distance has kept us from meeting face-to-face, we talk at least once a week on IRC. I’ve been eagerly watching his progress with the FleaFPGA Ohm. Second, this isn’t his first hardware project. He’s already sold many of the original FleaFPGA boards. While there is always a risk with crowdfunded campaigns, I think the risk here is minimal–and worthwhile.

If you’re interested in advancing your hardware hacking game, FPGAs are the next step. And I think the FleaFPGA Ohm is a serious option to consider. Since you might be new to FPGAs or Valetin’s projects, I sat down to interview him for this project. (Okay, it was Google Docs, but these questions and answers are real!)

Before continuing, in disclosure, I have backed this project. However, no other endorsement or paid promotion has happened. Below here are actual answers from Valentin to questions I asked (and had.)

Back FleaFPGA Ohm on Indiegogo

Can’t find the digital chip you need on Mouser or just wish you could make it yourself? With the FleaFPGA board, you can! As a college freshman, we heard rumors of a custom Integrated Circuit (IC) class. Surely what had to be a senior level class, I couldn’t wait until I understood electrical engineering enough that I got to make my own IC!

Two years passed, I was learning Verilog and VHDL in a class titled “Complex Programmable Logic Devices.” In short, CPLD. Those devices were the precursors to today’s modern FPGA devices.

In short, FPGAs, allow you to create your own IC with “software.” The best part? You can quickly reprogram that to fix bugs, add features, or operate completely differently just as fast as you can flash a new sketch into an Arduino Uno.

Introducing the FleaFPGA, a fully functional FPGA board perfect for beginners or veteran chip designers ready to create “chips” on their own.