Overview of RiskFive Applications.

RiskFive functionality has been divided between two boards, the core FPGA module and the motherboard. The FOM provides the core features which are needed in virtually any FPGA project. The motherboard provides the extra functionality needed in a specific project. The present motherboard enables the development of internet connectivity, as well as the fast data streamimg using the USB-3 interface. The development of other applications is deferred to future motherboards.

The FOM provides a complete environment for the FPGA, such as the FPGA power generators. It requires one +5V power input for operation. Several power outputs are generated both for the FOM itself and for the application specific chips on the motherboard.

The FOM implements three extra features: the gigabit Ethernet PHY, the video controller, and the DDR3 memory. All three features can be ignored if they are not needed. Please note that the development motherboard provides two other Ethernet chips which may be better suited for low end Ethernet applications.

The following paragraphs will outline the diverse applications of the RiskFive system. The list is not exhaustive. Many other applications are possible. One should note that some motherboard is always needed to fan out the GPIO pins from the high density Hirose connectors to application specific connectors, like multipin headers.


FOM Applications.

The FOM itself is best suited for deeply embedded application which needs flexible programmable logic, large memory buffers, gigabit Ethernet, or video. The general purpose IO pins can serve application specific chips, such as ADC, DAC, serializers-deserializers, or camera interfaces. The FOM will simplify the design of the application board and make it less expensive to manufacture.


FOM With a Development Motherboard.

The following applications can be addressed using the FOM mounted on the present "development motherboard".

    Soft CPU Applications, using one of the following:
  • RISC5, originally developed by Niklaus Wirth for the FPGA Oberon project.
  • RISC-V, which is an open source alternative to ARM.
  • MicroBlaze, used in the recent FPGA Prototyping textbook by Pong P. Chu.
  • Many other soft processors available from Open Cores and other EE websites.
  • Academic soft CPU projects.

    Internet Of Things Prototyping.
  • Taken together, the FOM and the development motherboard provide three different Ethernet chips for various levels of cost and performance. Various IOT applications can be prototyped using either one of these chips.

    USB-3 Streaming.
  • The development motherboard provides a high performance USB-3 chip with a FIFO interface which is ideal for fast data streaming.

    General Purpose Programmable Logic.
  • Artix-7 is an entry level FPGA that can be used for programmable logic prototyping.

    Academic Projects.
  • RiskFive will be a competitively priced platform for the academic EE curriculum.


FOM With a Custom Motherboard.

A great variety of applications can be addressed using the FOM mounted on a custom motherboard. SkuTek Instrumentation can develop such motherboards under a contract. Alternatively, third party developers can design their own motherboards, starting from the "development motherboard" design files. Please inquire if you want to follow the DIY route.

  • Data Acquisition.
  • Signal Synthesis.
  • Software Defined Radio.
  • Arbitrary Waveform Generation.
  • Logic Analyzers.
  • Industrial Controllers.
  • Internet Of Things.
  • Academic projects.

Please inquire concerning other specs and details that have not been covered above.

Updated Jan/06/2018.
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