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FPGA-based computer can be used as a personal server

Jan 27, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 766 views

Machdyne revealed today another compact embedded board based on the Lattice ECP5 FPGA which can run on Kakao Linux (partial fork of linux-on-litex-vexriscv). The Kopflos is a headless general-purpose computer equipped with an RJ45 LAN port, a JTAG header and a few USB ports for additional peripherals.

The Kopflos Computer implements the Lattice ECP5 FPGA (LFE5U-12F) similarly to other boards launched last year by Machdyne (i.e. Noir and Schoko).

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  • Lattice ECP5 — 24K LUTs, 2x PLLs, 256MB DDR3L DRAM; 2MB NOR Flash


Machdyne’s replaceable MMOD module
(click image to enlarge)

The product page mentions that the 3.3V MMOD SPI module (NOR Flash) can be easily upgradable. See this page for additional Machdyne’s MMOD modules.


Kakao Linux demo
(click image to enlarge)

The Kopflos features a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port so according to Machdyne, it can be used as a small server running Kakao Linux. Machdyne’s GitHub indicates that Kakao Linux is a partial fork of linux-on-litex-vexriscv

Example gateware, schematics, 3D-printable cases and additional documentation will be available on Machdyne’s GitHub.


Kopflos Computer
(click image to enlarge)

Machdyne mentioned on Twitter that other boards recently launched such as the Noir, Konfekt and Schoko can already be used as servers as well. However, these three boards require an USB ethernet adapter unlike the Kopflos.

Specifications listed for the Kopflos Computer include:

  • Storage:
    • 1x MicroSD card slot
  • Connectivity:
    • 1x 10/100Mbps Ethernet port
  • USB:
    • 1x USB Type-C port
    • 2x USB host port
  • I/O Peripherals:
    • 2x Digilent Pmod ports 
  • Other Features:
    • 1x JTAG header
  • OS:
    • Kakao Linux
  • Dimensions:
    • 70mm x 60mm

 Further information

Machdyne didn’t reveal the price for the Kopflos Computer. The product can be reserved at Machdyne’s online store.

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