Search
Close this search box.

Home

7 Best FPGA Development Boards for Beginners Reviews in 2023

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 2023

FPGA Development Boards for BeginnersNo. of LEDsNo. of Push ButtonsWarrantyBuy Now
Digilent FPGA Development Board16 LEDs5 buttons1 year longCheck On Amazon
EIM Technology FPGA Development Board 8 LEDs4 buttons---Check On Amazon
MiiElAOD FPGA Development Board--1 button---Check On Amazon
ALINX FPGA Development Board--1 button---Check On Amazon
SparkFun FPGA Development Board8 LEDs1 button30 day longCheck On Amazon
Taidacent FPGA Development Board8 LEDs4 buttons30 day longCheck On Amazon
Digilent FPGA Development Board4 LEDs4 buttons30 day longCheck On Amazon

Best FPGA Development Boards for Beginners Reviews

1. Digilent FPGA Development 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

Buy Now From Amazon

2. EIM Technology FPGA Development Board

EIM Technology FPGA Development BoardThe EIM Technology FPGA board is a platform for people interested in digital electronics. It is designed to help you explore and learn in an easy and enjoyable way. This versatile board comes with many useful features, such as 64 KB memory, USB, I2C, and GPIO connections. It also includes a Type-C cable, a user manual, and open-source example codes.

With the FPGA board, you can easily create your own digital circuits and explore various designs without any hassle. It’s a fun and straightforward way to delve into the world of digital electronics!

Make the most of your learning with the priceless open-source example codes. They’ll give you a solid starting point to boost your creativity and take your projects to the next level!

No matter who you are – a student, hobbyist, or experienced engineer – the FPGA board invites you to explore digital electronics and create unique circuits!

Best Features:

  • Powerful and versatile development platform for learning about digital electronics.
  • 64 KB memory, USB, I2C, and GPIO connectivity for diverse project possibilities.
  • Simple interface, making FPGA programming easy for beginners.
  • Comes with open-source example codes for quick project kick-start.

Pros:

  • Easy to use and learn, even for those with no prior FPGA experience.
  • Enables the creation of various digital circuits.
  • Provides a supportive community for help and guidance.

Buy Now From Amazon

3. MiiElAOD FPGA Development Board

 

MiiElAOD FPGA Development BoardTang Nano 9K FPGA board is ideal for both beginners and experienced users looking to develop custom circuits.

With its features, like the 8640 logic units and 6480 flip-flops, I was able to create my own digital circuits and explore various designs effortlessly. As a beginner in FPGA programming, I found the FPGA board’s interface to be incredibly simple and user-friendly. It made programming a smooth and hassle-free experience, even for someone with little prior knowledge.

One of the best parts is the open-source example codes, which provided a solid foundation for my projects. I could quickly start working on my ideas and bring them to life with confidence.

Another amazing aspect is the supportive community surrounding the FPGA board. Whenever I needed help or advice, there were fellow users ready to lend a hand. It has made my learning experience enjoyable and fruitful.

Best Features:

  • Budget-friendly option for learning FPGA design, making it accessible to beginners and hobbyists.
  • 8640 LUT4 logic units and 6480 flip-flops provide ample resources for experimentation.
  • The inclusion of PSRAM enables larger data storage and complex applications on the FPGA.
  • HDMI, RGB screen interface, SPI screen connector, SPI FLASH, and 6 LEDs for easy prototyping.

Pros:

  • Ideal for newcomers to FPGA, offering an accessible platform for learning and experimentation.
  • Supports Verilog HDL and C/C++ languages, providing flexibility for users’ preferences.
  • Serves as a convenient power source and programming interface for the board.
  • Simplifies FPGA development and debugging, streamlining the learning process.

Cons:

  • This may not be suitable for highly complex and high-performance applications.
  • Some higher-end FPGA boards may offer more advanced functionalities.
  • The included 64M PSRAM may limit data-intensive applications.

Buy Now From Amazon

4. ALINX FPGA Development Board

ALINX FPGA Development BoardALINX PCIe solution verification board is a handy tool made for developers who want to work on PCIe solutions, video image processing, and SFP/Gigabit Ethernet communication projects.

And the best part is, it’s so versatile and budget-friendly that it fits right into our projects with ease.

With a massive 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM and 128MB of QSPI Flash, data processing becomes a breeze. And let’s not forget about the high-speed 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port, ensuring seamless and fast network communication. With the two SFP/SFP+ connectors and the PCI Express 2-lane edge connectors, it is easy to connect optical devices and transfer data quickly. Plus, the USB-to-UART bridge connector allows us to interact smoothly with all kinds of external devices.

The HDMI input and output capabilities unleash the potential of high-definition video processing and the package even includes a schematic, user manual, Verilog HDL demos, and experiments guideline.

Best Features:

  • Powerful 8GB DDR3 SDRAM and 128MB QSPI Flash.
  • Fast 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port.
  • Two SFP/SFP+ connectors for optical devices.
  • PCI Express 2-lane edge for rapid data transfers.
  • USB-to-UART bridge for external device interaction.
  • HDMI input/output for high-definition video.
  • Versatile and easy to use.

Pros:

  • High-performance data processing.
  • Smooth network communication.
  • Simple optical device integration.
  • Fast data transfers.
  • Seamless external device interaction.   
  • Excellent video processing capabilities.
  • Versatile and user-friendly.

Cons:

  • Limited expansion with two 40-pin connectors.

Buy Now From Amazon

5. SparkFun 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

Buy Now From Amazon

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

Buy Now From Amazon

7. Digilent 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

Buy Now From Amazon

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are FPGA development boards for beginners microcontrollers?

Ans: 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?

Ans: 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?

Ans: 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 FPGA Development 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 MiiElAOD 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 FPGA Development Board 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *