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7 Best FPGA Development Boards for Beginners Reviews in 2022


In case you are working on complex integrated circuits and microprocessors, then you need to make a lot of code and applications for running such circuits. And before finalizing your design, you will need to test your circuit using some tool like an FPGA development board. Thus, we are here with the best development boards for beginners that have been chosen as per these factors:

  • Number of LEDs: Most FPGA development boards for beginners will have LED lights on them since they are easy to use as indicators. While entry-level FPGA development boards for beginners may offer only 1 or 4 LEDs, higher-end units come with 8 or even 16 LEDs which should be more than enough for most.
  • Number of User Switches: Apart from indicators, you would also want your FPGA development board to have some switches for the user to be used as an input. Thus, you can find user switches on all FPGA development boards which have either an on or an off state that generally use a sliding mechanism. And depending on the FPGA development board you are going for, you can find 1, 4, or even 16 switches.
  • Number of User Push Buttons: Speaking of user input, you can also find push buttons with many FPGA development boards for push buttons. Unlike user switches, these push buttons have a temporary input which is given by a button with tactile feedback. You can find 1, 4, or even 5 user push buttons according to the FPGA development board for beginners that you are using.

Even though these factors are some of the most important ones, you still need to consider much more while going with the best FPGA development boards for beginners. Therefore, we have also given all of the primary features and options, an extensive Buying Guide, and the major FAQs for best FPGA development boards for beginners which should allow you to easily pick the perfect one for your needs by the end of this list.

Best FPGA Development Boards for Beginners 2022

Best FPGA Development Boards for Beginners Reviews

1. Digilent Basys 3 Artix-7 FPGA Trainer Board

Digilent Basys

Digilent is one of the higher and quite a premium brand of FPGA development boards for beginners that you can consider if you are looking for something versatile.

The Digilent Basys 3 Artix-7 FPGA development board for beginners is present in the 1st position in this list since this is the best option for long term usage. Starting with its functions, you get a total of 16 LEDs with this FPGA development board which is more than enough even for heavy-duty usage let alone for beginners.

Similarly, you get a total of 8 user switches and 8 user push buttons with this FPGA development board which makes it quite versatile. But the best thing about this premium FPGA development board for beginners is that you also get a 1-year warranty with it for your peace of mind.

Best Features:

  • Offers a total of 16 LEDs
  • Comes with a total of 8 user switches
  • Includes a total of 8 user push buttons
  • Backed by a 30 day long warranty period

Pros:

  • Highly versatile FPGA development board for beginners as well as heavy-duty usage
  • Perfect for long term usage thanks to included warranty
  • Large number of LEDs and switches even with the given size

Cons:

  • Quite an expensive and high-end FPGA development board for beginners

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2. Taidacent FPGA Development Board

Taidacent FPGA Development Board

You can also consider Taidacent and its FPGA development boards if you are in the market for something which is ideal for small and compact spaces as required by the developer.

Taidacent’s FPGA development board for beginners is present in the 2nd position in this listicle as this is one of the smallest options present in this list. Even though it is quite small in size, this FPGA development board for beginners still features 8 LEDs.

Although, you only get 1 user switch and 1 user push button with this FPGA development board for beginners since it is quite an affordable option. Thankfully, despite offering only a 30 day long warranty period, you still get a pretty good build quality with it.

Best Features:

  • Offers a total of 8 LEDs
  • Comes with a total of 1 user switches
  • Includes a total of 1 user push buttons
  • Backed by a 30 day long warranty period

Pros:

  • Ideal for small and compact development kits
  • Quite a large number of LEDs for practicality
  • Solid build quality and sturdy construction for most

Cons:

  • Limited buttons and switches due to smaller size

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3. Intel/Altera MAX10 FPGA Development Board

Intel Altera MAX10

MaxProLogic is one of the more affordable and entry-level brands out there when talking about development products like FPGA boards for beginners which offers various options including this one.

This MaxProLogic MAX10 FPGA development board for beginners is present in the 3rd position in this article because it is the perfect option for those who are on a tight budget thanks to its highly affordable price tag. Considering that it is a highly affordable option, you still get a total of 8 LED lights with this FPGA development board for all your indicators.

Coming to the buttons and switches of its FPGA development board for beginners, this is where it reflects its entry-level price tag since you only get 1 user switch and 1 user push button with it. And as it is a fairly affordable FPGA development board, even the included warranty period is only 30 day long.

Best Features:

  • Offers a total of 8 LEDs
  • Comes with a total of 1 user switch
  • Includes a total of 1 user push button
  • Backed by a 30 day long warranty period

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable and budget-friendly FPGA development board for beginners
  • Fairly large number of LED lights for versatility
  • Decently solid build quality considering the given price tag

Cons:

  • Included warranty period could been longer

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4. OrangeCrab Lattice ECP5 FPGA Board

OrangeCrab Lattice ECP5 FPGA Board

OrangeCrab is one of the newer and cheaper options out there when talking about FPGA development boards for beginners since a lot of its offerings are fairly feature-loaded without being too bulky in size.

The OrangeCrab 25F FPGA development board for beginners can be a great pick for those who are in the market for something which is highly practical in terms of the onboard features you get. While you do get great versatility in terms of its software features and support, this FPGA development board for beginners only has 1 LED on it.

Moving over to its switches and buttons, you get a total of 1 user switch and 1 user push button with this FPGA development board for beginners. And just like most other options out there, this OrangeCrab FPGA development board for beginners also has a 30 day long warranty.

Best Features:

  • Offers a total of 1 LED
  • Comes with a total of 1 user switches
  • Includes a total of 1 user push buttons
  • Backed by a 30 day long warranty period

Pros:

  • Quite practical and versatile FPGA development board thanks to software features
  • Pretty small and compact in form factor and size
  • Works great with modern computers thanks to a USB type C port

Cons:

  • Highly limited FPGA development board for beginners in terms of hardware

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5. Alchitry Cu FPGA Development Board

Alchitry Cu FPGA Development Board

Even though Alchitry is one of the newer options and brands out there while considering FPGA development boards for beginners, you should still consider it especially at the given price tag.

Alchitry’s  FPGA development board for beginners is yet another highly affordable and budget-friendly option for all those who are in the market for something easy to use. But if you want to use this FPGA development board for heavy-duty usage, then it can be done too using its 8 LED lights.

Unfortunately, while you do get 1 user push button with this FPGA development board for beginners, it does not specify anything about user switches. As for the reliability of this entry-level FPGA development board for beginners, it will also have a 30-day warranty similar to other options.

Best Features:

  • Offers a total of 8 LEDs
  • Comes with a total of 1 user switch
  • Includes a total of 1 user push-button
  • Backed by a 30 day long warranty period

Pros:

  • Pretty large number of LED bulbs for user output and indication
  • Quite an affordable and budget-friendly FPGA development board
  • Good enough build quality and warranty for the price

Cons:

  • Does not mention anything about its user switch

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6. Taidacent FPGA Development Board

Taidacent FPGA Development Boards

Taidacent offers even smaller and compact options for those who are willing to pay a bit extra but want all of the handy features and options within a small footprint.

This Taidacent MXO2-C FPGA development board for beginners is an even smaller option than the previous Taidacent option given above which makes it the most compact option out there. And even with such a compact form factor, this FLGA development board still has 8 LEDs in it.

And since this is a slightly premium option, you do get extra input options with this FPGA development board including 4 user switches and 4 user push buttons. However, despite being a more expensive option, its included 30-day warranty is the same as the previous Taidacent option given above.

Best Features:

  • Offers a total of 8 LEDs
  • Comes with a total of 4 user switches
  • Includes a total of 4 user push buttons
  • Backed by a 30 day long warranty period

Pros:

  • Hands down the smallest and most compact FPGA development board for beginners
  • Quite a large number of lights and switches
  • Decently strong and sturdy construction for the given price

Cons:

  • Warranty period could have been longer

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7. Arty A7: Artix-7 FPGA Development Board

Artix-7 FPGA Development Board

Arty and its development boards can be a great option for all those who are looking for feature loaded and highly versatile options while getting an FPGA development board.

The Arty A7 FPGA development board for beginners is definitely quite bulky because of the various features included. Starting with its LEDs, you get a total of 8 of them which should be plenty for most users there.

And even though it is not the best, the included 4 user switches and 4 user push buttons do make this FPGA development board for beginners fairly versatile. You also get a 30-day warranty with it which goes great along with its solid construction.

Best Features:

  • Offers a total of 8 LEDs
  • Comes with a total of 4 user switches
  • Includes a total of 4 user push buttons
  • Backed by a 30 day long warranty period

Pros:

  • Multiple LEDs and switches for highly versatile control
  • Sturdy and highly strong body for long term usage
  • Perfect option for heavy-duty and large scale project

Cons:

  • Might be too bulky and large for some users

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Buying Guide for the Best FPGA Development Boards for Beginners

Those of you who are familiar with working on circuits must know that before creating any circuit into its final form, you also need to prototype it using some sort of development board. And if you are looking for something that is ideal for beginners, then you can go with one of the best FPGA development boards for beginners given above.

With all of these best FPGA development boards for beginners, we have also given their significant features and specifications. And if you wish to learn even more about the same, make sure to check out this complete buying guide for the best FPGA development boards for beginners:

1. Number of LEDs

Since an FPGA development board is something which will support both input from the user and output to the user, making sure that you have various options for the same is quite important when you are getting something for beginners. Thus, first, we will be checking the number of LEDs offered by a given FPGA development board for beginners.

These LED lights are perfect to be used as indicators due to which having multiple of these can be quite handy. While entry level FPGA development boards for beginners may have 1 or 4 LEDs, higher end models can even support 8 or 16 LEDs which should be plenty for most.

2. Number of User Switches

Other than the output from your FPGA development board for beginners, you should also check its input options. And in most cases, you will find this input support given via the help of user switches. These user switches are slider switches that can have either an off state or an off state.

And similar to LEDs present on an FPGA development board for beginners, most of them will come with multiple user switches. Depending on the FPGA development board for beginners that you are using, it may have 1, 4, or even 16 user switches which should be plenty for most.

3. Number of User Push Buttons

Another great way to send inputs to your FPGA development board for beginners is by using user push buttons. These push buttons send temporary input via tactile switches that can be pressed or clicked only once after which they return to their normal state. Just like user switches, you can find multiple user push buttons in most FPGA development boards for beginners. For the same, you can find 1, 4, or even 5 user push buttons depending on the FPGA development board that you are going for.

4. Warranty

Even though having a feature-rich and versatile FPGA development board for beginners is always great to have, you would also want your FPGA development board to last for a long time. This becomes even more important if you are a beginner and getting an FPGA development board for the first time. Therefore, it is always recommended to check the included warranty period of your FPGA development board for beginners since any option with a longer warranty period will most likely last for much longer.

FAQs for the Best FPGA Development Boards for Beginners

1. Are FPGA development boards for beginners microcontrollers?

Even though an FPGA development board may seem like a microcontroller like Arduino or Raspberry Pi, it is quite different. FPGA development boards for beginners use a large number of logic cells, interconnects, gates, and more that can be programmed to your requirements using an HDL language which is not possible with microcontrollers.

2. How many times can you reprogram an FPGA development board for beginners?

While there is no limit on the number of times you can reconfigure an FPGA development board for beginners, they do have a limit on the number of times you can write to its flash memory. Generally, you can write to its flash memory 10000 to 100000 times which should be plenty for most.

3. What are the programming languages used with an FPGA development board for beginners?

If you want to configure or use your FPGA development board for beginners, you will need to use some sort of programming language. And in most cases, this programming language is going to be either Verilog or VHDL which should be highly versatile for most especially if you are a beginner.

Conclusion

Even though FPGA development boards are one of the best ways to prototype a circuit and processor design that you have in your mind, using such a development board can be quite difficult. Thankfully, there are still easier to use options out there like the best FPGA development boards for beginners mentioned up above. And to help you pick the perfect one, all of these best FPGA development boards for beginners also have their important aspects and factors. There is even a detailed buying guide and some common FAQs for the best FPGA development boards for beginners to further help you. Although, if you are still confused regarding these, considering going with one of our favorite recommendations for the best FPGA development boards for beginners:

In case if you are looking for an FPGA development board for beginners that can also be used as a heavy-duty option later on, then you can go with the Digilent Basys 3 Artix-7 board. With this board, you get a total of 16 LEDs, 16 user switches, and even 5 user push buttons which should be more than enough for most users. And the best part about this FPGA development board is that you even get a 1 year long warranty with it for your peace of mind.

Taking a look on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Altera MAX10 FPGA development board for beginners which is the cheapest option given above. Even though it is the most affordable option given above, you still get 8 LEDs with it. Although, it only has a 1 user switch and 1 user push button which is to be expected.

When compared with most other FPGA development boards for beginners out there, the Taidacent MXO2-4000HC is the most compact option given above. Despite being perfect for tight spaces, you still get 8 LEDs with it. Not only that but it even offers 4 user switches and 4 user push buttons which makes it a highly versatile option considering its given size.



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