Looks like there is a new Xilinx Spartan7 board on the market!


S7-Mini top

S7-Mini bottom



The S7-Mini board has been officially launched at Embedded World 2019, by Trentz Electronic, a German company specialized in the design of high-speed data acquisition, high-accuracy measurement and embedded digital signal processing systems based on FPGA and CPU architectures.


The design of the prototype board comes from last year collaboration between  Black Mesa Lab and OSH Park, which is now been finalized by Trentz Electronic, who has taken the board to the market. The first interesting thing to notice is the price: the S7-Mini board is for sale at 34 euros  (about 40 dollars) here. You will still need to add a few more euros for the delivery cost on top of that, but all in all a very reasonable price.


For the initial PROM programming, you will need a standard HS2 JTAG programming cable, which turns out to be more expensive than the board itself (Digilent sells it for 59 dollars!), but once the PROM is programmed with a bootloader, you can use a FTDI cable for updates.





Lets take a look to the board key features:




  • Xilinx Spartan-7 XC7S25-1FTGB196C FPGA
  • Dimension: 2.7 x 5.2 cm
  • Fully Open-Source Spartan-7 Module
  • 7S25 target with 23K logic cells, 29K flops, 45 36Kb BRAMs, 80 mults.
  • Footprint compatible with 7S6, 7S15, 7S50 FTGB-196 devices
  • Devices fully supported by free "Web Pack" Vivado for Synthesis, Place + Route
  • Dual-pinout DIP-40 or 50mil 80 pin connectors for 32 or 64 FPGA 3.3V I/Os
  • 64 MBit Config PROM for dual-boot and/or SW code storage
  • 64 MBit HyperRAM DRAM (may be used as video frame buffer)
  • Standard 1x6 FTDI cable serial interface to Host-PCs
  • Standard 1x6 Digilent HS2 JTAG header for initial PROM programming
  • 5V supply input (4.0V-5.5V per PAM2305 spec)









A presentation, containing more info on the prototype board can be found here.


To get started with the board, there is a hello world project on the Black Mesa Lab GitHub repository, (there are also some other interesting applications there).