We forecast BlackIce this winter..

It's time to give an update on myStorm progress, Ken and I have been very busy working with myStorm design, software and build plans. October saw our release of the initial SDK myStorm boards, we made about 30 of these for developers who just could not wait for the volume myStorm boards. We debuted these at ORCONF at the University of Bologna, in Bologna, Italy. We also had the opportunity to speak about myStorm along side some fascinating RiscV/HDL/toolchain talks. We also met some great folks and distributed an number of myStorm SDKs with them. Primarily it allowed us to start working with a very diverse bunch of clever folks that believe in myStorm and it's goals.

The SDK has helped us and our SDK team begin to explore, experiment and shape what myStorm can become. The opensource development approach encourages both participation and discovery it's an exciting mix. What we have discovered from this is that there are a lot more folks who would like to be part of the myStorm development story, we have literally only scratched the surface of those interested in joining and shaping myStorm. However we are still some way from being able to build the required volume of low cost high volume myStorm $30 boards, this is not expected be delivered until early 2017. It became clear that we should therefore extend the development stage and produce a large number of myStorm boards suitable for the growing band of myStorm developers. We are also in a better position than before as we already have some of the basics around software operating to make it more accessible to a larger group. Therefore we have decided to build a small volume of boards tailored for early adopters and myStorm shapers with lots of great features, we are calling this SDK board 'BlackIce'.


BlackIce features

  • Lattice Ice40HX4K FPGA 3530 LUT4, 100Mhz Oscilator, 256K - 16 Bit 10ns SRAM, 4 leds, 6 switches
  • 80Mhz ARM Cortex M4, FPU, ART, 256K/64k, 12bit 5Msps ADC with 16bit OS, 2 x 12bit Dacs, USB/STLink bootloader, monitor & debug
  • Fast dedicated Quad SPI interface between FPGA & ARM
  • ┬ÁSDCard socket SDMMC, accessible from ARM & FPGA
  • Olimex 34 pin connector including LVDS/SYS IO lines
  • General RPi communication header SPI, UART, STLINK
  • 15 Pmod ports featuring total of 60 SYS IO lines
  • 20 ARM GPIO Arduino Shield headers 4 shared
  • USB interface supporting DFU programming
  • Includes Pmod breadboard adaptors and prototyping boards for $49.

We are currently building several hundred myStorm BlackIce boards and will be shipping them in December. Along with this we will be showing and featuring BlackIce at several events. The first event is on the West Coast, 19th November Forthday , Stanford CA , Ken will be talking about Forth machines running on myStorm along with some interesting uses and applications. Ken also hopes to be at Noisebridge either 22nd or 25th of November TBC with myStorm for anyone in the bay area. Then on December 1st we will be debuting BlackIce SDKs for the first time in the UK at the FPGA 1 day Workshop, London, kindly organised by BCS and OSHUG, we will of course be powering the workshop with myStorm BlackIce, both Ken myself will run the workshop. It's a great opportunity to get some early hands on with Verilog and myStorm and to join our merry band, there will also be an opportunity to purchase BlackIce at the event and take one away before general availability soon after.

BTW we have had a few issues with the forum and activation, these should be fixed now..