The folks at Actel have just announced the availability of their A2F500 Development Kit for customers wanting to take immediate advantage of the highest density member of their SmartFusion intelligent mixed-signal FPGA family.
The kit is supported by Actel's Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE), which includes SoftConsole Eclipse-based embedded software development environment.
The availability of this development kit complements the production availability of SmartFusion A2F500 devices. The device offers 500K system gates, a hard 100 MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3-based microcontroller subsystem with 512 MB of embedded flash and 64 KB of SRAM. The programmable analog blocks were also improved and now include 3 ADCs and 3 DACs, 10 comparators and much more.
The A2F500 Development Kit includes:
SmartFusion development board with SmartFusion A2F500M3G-FGG484 device
Ethernet, EtherCAT, CAN, RS485, UART, I2C and SPI interfaces
Mixed Signal and Digital Expansion Header to connect application daughtercards
Extensive off-chip SRAM, Pseudo SRAM, SPI Serial Flash and NOR Flash memories
Several switches, LEDs, Organic LEDs
Low-cost programming stick (LCPS)
Pricing and Availability
The A2F500-DEV-KIT is priced at $999 and available now for ordering. Customers may contact their local Actel sales office or distributor for more information. For evaluating SmartFusion FPGAs, an Evaluation Kit based on the A2F200 device is also available for $99 (A2F-EVAL-KIT).
It looks like this board has the same 100-pin mixed-signal header that my SmartFusion eval kit has. Does anyone know if anyone makes an expansion card for this header? I found that I can get the headers/connectors from Samtec, but it would be nice to have a basic, premade breakout board of some kind. Something like Digilent makes for their boards with the Hirose connectors (which I've bought). Those are pretty cool. Anyway, the Actel header pins are spaced .05", so it makes it difficult to even find a jumper wire to push onto them without bending the pins around them. I hope Actel (or someone) comes out with a convenient way to connect to this header!
I'm just looking at the photo of this development kit and thinking about the amount of computing power on this little board ... and comparing it to the stuff we were designing 30 years ago ... it's a different world!