Terasic’s DE0-Nano houses the Altera Cyclone IV that features a low cost, low power FPGA ideal for high-volume and cost-sensitive applications. Boosting a miniature size of 49 x 75 mm and a weight of 40 g, the board was aimed for simple implementations targeting the Cyclone IV up to 22,320 LEs. The device utilizes small spacers as legs and even an acrylic cover on top of the board to provide better protection making this Development kit (Devkit) the option to choose for robust applications while giving of a sleek feel to users as they get to look through the device’s glass-like cover. The DE0-Nano definitely is one device to consider in making portable design projects where portable power is essential.
Running at around $80, users already get to enjoy a lot of other on board features. The DE0-Nano is equipped with a 3-axis digital accelerometer designed for better sensing applications. Other on board features follow in the form of 2 separate extension headers plus a third header that supports an ADC converter with 8-channels and 16 I/O Pins, 8 user LEDs, Push buttons and DIP switches. DE0-Nano also provides a three-power scheme option for designers through a USB mini-AB port, 2-pin external power header and two DC 5V pins.
Upon connection to the host PC, the FPGA Devkit automatically powers up and the LEDs start fading in and out. Once host PC has loaded up the DE0-Nano Control Panel, the LEDs stop fading indicating a full user access of the device. The DE0-Nano Control Panel is a GUI that allows users to automatically verify hardware components of the board. Users get to play around the LEDs and a GUI representation is also provided for the Push buttons and DIP switches. The control panel also allows users to work around with the memory and verify accelerometer coordinates and even provides an ADC tab that allows users to monitor the voltage levels in the different channels. The DE0-Nano Control Panel has a user-friendly interface that provides a fast response GUI that readily illustrates all changes made in the actual board. In general, the device is a great development board. It already has everything on board without having to pay for a lot of extras. Despite the DE0-Nano being an entry-level device, the well thought out and compact design definitely makes it a very complete and functional development board.
Terasic DE0 Nano – Product Overview – [Link]