We reached out to Element14 for advice for our next project which is more of an appliance than a project.  They recommended the Matrix Creator.  It is a FPGA driven device that mounts to the Raspberry Pi. 


It has a ton features:

  • 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope, 3D magnetometer, temperature sensor, ultraviolet sensor, pressure sensor, humidity sensor and 8 MEMS microphone array.
  • Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA and an Atmel ATSAM3S2C Cortex-M3 MCU
  • RGBW LED light array
  • IR RX/TX for remote controller compatibility
  • Infrared ring for the Raspberry Pi NoIR camera
  • 802.15.4-compliant short-range wireless radios like Z-Wave, ZigBee and Thread


But, step one was getting the card and getting it going.  With its operating system being in "alpha" phase, we found it was somewhat of a challenge to go from a blank SD card to a working Raspberry Pi/Creator combo.   So, we made a startup guide along the way to help others get started.  We hope it helps you get started quickly: