iCEBreaker FPGA – Open source iCE40 FPGA development board

iCEBreaker FPGA – Open source iCE40 FPGA development board

The first open source iCE40 FPGA development board designed for teachers and students. It’s comming soon on CrowdSupply.

Are you ready to venture into the brave new world of digital logic design? The iCEBreaker FPGA board is specifically designed for you. It’s designed to work out of the box with the newest open source FPGA development tools and next generation open CPU architectures.

The iCEBreaker FPGA board is designed to accept the widely popular PMOD connectors. This gives you access to a massive library of modules that can be used no matter your project. You can find a large collection of PMOD modules in the Digilent online store. For several use cases, we have also developed our own PMOD modules and we keep adding more as they are developed.

The iCEBreaker is a great teaching and learning platform. We already have a list of educators developing their workshops and classes using the iCEBreaker as their target platform.

The iCEBreaker FPGA prototypes are already supported by the following FPGA design tools:

Feature list:

  • iCE40UP5k FPGA
    • 5280 Logic Cells (4-LUT + Carry + FF)
    • 128 KBit Dual-Port Block RAM
    • 1 MBit (128 KB) Single-Port RAM
    • PLL, Two SPI and two I2C hard IPs
    • Two internal oscillators (10 kHz and 48 MHz) (for simple designs)
    • 8 DSPs (16×16 multiply + 32-bit accumulate) (for digital signal processing)
    • 3x 24 mA drive and 3x hard IP PWM (for driving RGB LEDs or other high current devices)
  • QSPI-DDR-capable flash 128 MBit (16 MB)
    • Enables hardware designs that access the flash; by choosing a Quad SPI Double Data Rate flash lets designs to run at very high speeds.
  • Lots of I/O capable pins:
    • Three PINs for RGB LED (pin header)
    • Two on-board LEDs
    • One UART, 1 Rx & 1 Tx Pin accessible via virtual serial port of the board USB connector
    • One on board push button
    • 16 PINs on a not-dedicated dual PMOD
    • Eight PINs on single PMOD / snap-off section
  • Default pre-wired PMOD module
    • Input and output fully user accessible and usable in your own hardware design.
    • Five LEDs in a star pattern
    • Three buttons
  • On board FPGA programmer with a built-in USB to serial adapter
    • An easy to use programmer compatible with the IceStorm open source iceprog tool.
    • A USB to serial converter allowing very easy connection of your FPGA design to a computer using a standard TTL level RS232 protocol. No need for special drivers.

For more detailed and technical discussion of the hardware features, please visit our github icebreaker repository. If you have questions regarding this project, or want to follow project progress in real time, please join our icebreaker gitter channel.

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About mixos

Mike is the founder and editor of, an electronics engineering community/news and project sharing platform. He studied Electronics and Physics and enjoys everything that has moving electrons and fun. His interests lying on solar cells, microcontrollers and switchmode power supplies. Feel free to reach him for feedback, random tips or just to say hello :-)

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