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FPGA-based computers run on Linux

Dec 11, 2022 — by Giorgio Mendoza 1,137 views

Machdyne recently unveiled two general-purpose computers built around the Lattice ECP5 FPGA. The Noir and the Konfekt boards are equipped with 2MB NOR flash, 1x MicroSD card reader, 1x USB-C port, etc. Both boards can run Linux as well.

Both Noir and Konfekt computers can be configured with the ECP5 FPGA variant that includes 25K LUTs and 2 PLLs. It also seems that the Noir computer can also be ordered with the FPGA variant that includes 45K LUTs and 4 PLLs. 


Noir Computer
(click image to enlarge)

The Noir board is equipped with 256 MB DDR3L RAM while the Konfekt comes with 32MB of SDRAM. Both boards also include 2MB of NOR Flash via a MMOD module (3.3V SPI memory module).

These two models also have display support using a DDMI (Differential Data Multiple Interface) and a 3.5mm audio jack (external amplifier required).

MMOD Module
(click image to enlarge)

According to Machdyne, these devices are aimed for “timeless applications that simply don’t need the computational horsepower or complexity available in modern computers. Among these are many forms of reading, writing, storage, communication, mathematics, organization, education, automation and programming. “

Konfekt Computer
(click image to enlarge)

Both boards will support LiTex and Linux just as the Shoko Computer that was released this year. Software and documentation will be available on the company’s GitHub

Preliminary specifications listed for the Noir and the Konkeft include: 

  • Memory/Storage:
    • 256MB DDR3L RAM (Noir)
    • 32MB SDRAM (Konfekt)
    • 32MB NOR Flash (via user-replaceable MMOD module)
    • 1x MicroSD card slot
  • Display/Audio:
    • 1x DDMI port (Supports DVI over HDMI connector)
    • 1X 3.5mm Stereo Audio Line Out
  • USB:
    • 1x USB host port
    • 1x USB-C port
  • Debug:
    • 1x JTAG header
  • Power:
    • 3.3V DC
  • Dimensions:
    • 70mm x 50mm

 Further information

According to a Machdyne Twitter announcement, “the Noir Computer won’t be available before Q2 2023″. The Konfekt Computer could be available around Q1 of 2023. Both boards can be reserved on Machdyne’s online store.


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