My understanding is that there's no problem using VHDL or Verilog on Papilio DUO or any other Papilio board. The schematic editor is intended for attracting newbies who don't want to learn a new language. You can design FPGAs for Papilio using the standard Xilinx tools and download them using various tools that talk to the FT2232D/H USB interface.
As an interested Papilio DUO backer, I've been watching the DUO's progress on Kicktraq, a wonderful resource that lets you monitor the funding progress of Kickstarters. For example, Papilio DUO is currently at 139% of goal, so it's fully funded along with its first stretch goal with 10 full days to go. You can get that information from kickstarter.com, but Kicktraq also shows you the daily progress as a bar chart so you can see trends. In DUO's case, there were many backers at the beginning -- most likely people who were already familiar with Papilio -- but the rate of new backers fell off quickly.
I've also been watching the miniSpartan6+ from Scarab Hardware, which was kicked off one day after Papilio. This is a rather nice Spartan 6 LX9 board, smaller than Papilio DUO and with DIP pinout so it can plug into a solderless breadboard. This means miniSpartan6+ has fewer I/Os than DUO, bit it does have HDMI output and I think they're adding HDMI input. Except for HDMI and I/O count, the miniSpartan6+ is pretty much the same as the Xess XuLA2-LX9 which has been in production for at least a year (IIRC) and costs the same, except that you can order the XuLA2 today and you can get it with a larger Spartan-6 part for more money.
What's very interesting is that there has suddenly been a surge in miniSpartan6+ backers, with 102 backers added yesterday (Sunday 15 June), more than 25% of the backers up to that point. There are 26 28 more backers so far today, with miniSpartan6+ nearing 400% of goal. I'm quite amazed at this sudden interest in FPGA boards. The surge coïncides with an article on the miniSpartan6+ at Hackaday one day earlier, but it's still impressive that so many people would back a US$69 board when not that many people seem interested in FPGAs and there are quite a few Spartan-6 LX9 boards already out there.
@Mike: You have received your Parallella ? I am still waiting for mine....
Regarding the DUO, let me give a personal thanks to all of you for your support. This is one of the outcomes of very hard labour of the team during the last years. We have now more than 15K lines of VHDL code for the ZPUino project, excluding contributions (like Mike's SDRAM controller) and board-specific files. The hardware design has also been time consuming, as well as the integration with ISE's schematic editor.
@Crusty: Max I think with what I have learnt already using the Papillo boards and with the Vic20 core Jack is offering with this bundle, the UK101 Ohio Superboard will actually be re-lifed in this newest offering from Jack.
Cool Beans -- I think a Papilio DUO version of the UK101 would be a fantastic project.
@Mike Field: Jack pointed me in the direction of the Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield System for Arduino, r2, and I backed it too.
Hi Mike -- great to see you here -- how's life treating uyou ion New Zealand? Duane just told me yesterday that both you and Jack had backed our Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield -- I think you'll find it to be extremely useful -- I don't know how I managed without mine.
I can't afford any more tech, but this is just too good to miss with the present Dollar/Pound exchange rate. Jack is definitly going the right way by getting a schematic entry option going with this bit of kit. I have gone for the wings and the shield option on the extra memory reward.
Max I think with what I have learnt already using the Papillo boards and with the Vic20 core Jack is offering with this bundle, the UK101 Ohio Superboard will actually be re-lifed in this newest offering from Jack.
With a good schematic entry as a starting point I think more people will begin to work with FPGA and then move to HDL of some type.
Anyone going to make an Atmel One programmer with this board?
So many things to do with it and so little time to work with it?
Should be a good Christmas present for me when it arrives.