Propeller 1-2-3 FPGA Board (#60054) available to Forum Members $375

Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,990
edited August 2015 in Propeller 2 Vote Up2Vote Down
Hello there, 
We've got 30 Propeller 1-2-3 FPGA Boards (#60054) in stock, built around the Cyclone V A-7. As Chip has announced that we will be making a new version of this board with the Cyclone V A-9, we'd like to do a quick sale of the #60054 boards to Propeller developers (you). We are not offering these for general sale like our common products because we would like to uphold a certain standard with documentation, schematics, code and support for products sold on the web site. Instead, all the resources available for these boards will be posted on this page and PayPal will be the payment choice. The resources we will share include a schematic, a Propeller loader from Chip, and the production files. We're providing Altium production files because the board is open source, but also because some customers have designed products using the Propeller 2 binary image and we want them to have freedom to proceed with any PCB design and production plans should Parallax have further Propeller 2 ASIC delays.   
In summary, the support for this product is right here on the forums. PayPal ebaysales@parallax.com $375 and we'll ship you a board (shipping is included). I will be updating this post with the relevant links around this effort (or, I'll get a helper to do that because I'm upside down time-wise).
This is what you can do with the Propeller 1-2-3 FPGA Board with the Cyclone A-7:[*]Run the Propeller 1 in full, even up to 48 cogs (forum members will know something about this);[*]Run the first Propeller 2 binary image released a year ago;[*]Run future versions of Propeller 2 (with limitations; we're not sure exactly how many yet).[/list]Resources (to be updated): Thanks, 
Ken Gracey

1280 x 1280 - 550K
1280 x 1280 - 499K
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Comments

  • 252 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Nice looking board Ken. Kudos to everyone in on that design.

    Infernal Machine
  • Cool! Lots of opportunities for blinking LEDs! :-)
  • Pretty tempting!  It's a lot more than your average BeMicro demo board.  May be the last and best way to preserve and exploit the original P2.
    Platåberget
  • LeonLeon Posts: 7,618
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    BeMicro CV A9 with a much bigger Cyclone V A9 is $149.
    Leon Heller
    G1HSM
  • User NameUser Name Posts: 1,451
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    @Leon:  Are those the only differences you see between the two boards?
    Platåberget
  • No, the 1-2-3 board has a lot of stuff on it, mainly for working with the P1 and P2 emulations. The BeMicro board hasn't got anything on it but has had a lot of add-ons designed for it, like software-defined radio interfaces and an oscilloscope front end. It can be used for P1 and P2 emulation, but might need some additional hardware.
    Leon Heller
    G1HSM
  • The 1-2-3 board really looks quite nice, less sparse than most of the other FPGA boards.
  • Nice work Parallax! :)
    Melbourne, Australia
  • ALLLLLLL  RIGHT!!!!!

    Only problem is I have a gasket leaking oil all over my alternator... should be fixed tomorrow...
    A quick trip to Walmart to freshen up my Bluebird account, and I should be good to go:)

    Thank You Parallax

  • It looks like a really nice board. Definitely not sparse! It's probably not an option for me right now, but just to check - is this U.S. only? As the price is 'shipping included'.
  • Yikes!  $375 seems a bit high.  Is that Parallax's cost?  It seems like the parts cost should be less than $200.  I guess if you factor in development costs it would be way over $375 for a volume of just 30 boards.  Will P2 FPGA images be provided for the DE2-115?  I'll probably just stick with that.  I realize that the DE2-115 won't be able to run 16 cogs, but even with a smaller number of cogs it should still be useful for verification.
  • I guess most people would rather wait for the rev2 board with the larger FPGA since it will only cost $120 more. After all, there is no P2 image ready to run yet anyway.
  • Yikes!  $375 seems a bit high.  Is that Parallax's cost?  It seems like the parts cost should be less than $200.  I guess if you factor in development costs it would be way over $375 for a volume of just 30 boards.  Will P2 FPGA images be provided for the DE2-115?  I'll probably just stick with that.  I realize that the DE2-115 won't be able to run 16 cogs, but even with a smaller number of cogs it should still be useful for verification.

    Yeah, I'm in the same boat.  As much as I'd like to help test the upcoming P2 image, that's way too much for me.  If Chip puts together a BEMicro CV A9 version, I can probably convince myself to get one of those.  Otherwise, I'll have to hope that there's at least a one or two cog version that will fit on the DE0 Nano or BEMicro CV.
  • Yikes!  $375 seems a bit high.  Is that Parallax's cost?  It seems like the parts cost should be less than $200.  I guess if you factor in development costs it would be way over $375 for a volume of just 30 boards.  Will P2 FPGA images be provided for the DE2-115?  I'll probably just stick with that.  I realize that the DE2-115 won't be able to run 16 cogs, but even with a smaller number of cogs it should still be useful for verification.

    We won't get where we are trying to go if everything is sold at or below cost, unfortunately. Not every product can be a loss leader for Parallax.  
    Bill of Materials costs (labor and material) are just under $300. If you want to amortize the PCB NRE costs and see them justified in this product alone [which is not the case, as it's a development tool for our own use as well], you can spread about $45K across the expected annual usage to figure out your break-even quantity. At $75 gross profit per board and $45K of NRE, it'll take 600 boards to simply break even. 
    I believe there are many benefits to using the Parallax board if you're an early adopter. When Chip described them to me (I didn't take note) it was clear that the value of one's time will be reflected in the first few hours of saved setup time. 
    As soon as I have time I'll post a fully costed Parallax BOM so you can see what goes into this product. 
    Ken Gracey  
  • I'm in, but I gotta wait for a contract payment to show up. About three weeks.

    The DE2 was a similar investment and it was an effective test bed.

    The real question for people is what images get produced and when.

    If doing the DE2 with its 4 DAC outputs, does not make sense initially, getting one of these makes more sense.

    Can we get that info?

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,488
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I've been laying low while all the forum dust settles. It was getting too negative around here and I found myself getting wrapped up in it, which I really didn't like.

    Regarding the $375, yes, it's alot but it is less than we expected this board to cost. We're back to value and I see a lot of value on this board EVEN THOUGH in the mean time, the A-9 became supported in the Quartus free version *AND* there is a BE Micro board with the A-9 available for less money.

    Even better yet, Parallax decided to adapt the 1-2-3 FPGA board to support the A-9, opening up a bunch of new possibilities. (Yay, Parallax!!! Thanks!)

    I think a long time ago, a bunch of us may have told Ken, "Sure, we'll be onboard as testers and early adopters, the Parallax FPGA board sounds like just the ticket." Well, stuff happens, plans change, new releases happen and don't happen, things are said.

    I had grumbled, "that I probably wouldn't buy one of these boards"; "who needs a  P2"; "too little, too late"; etc. Well, I feel I committed to this project as a customer and Ken and Parallax may have built a board for me based on things I said and committed to.

    So I ponied up the money and bought a board when Ken announced the availability. Could it have been a 1-2-3 FPGA board with an A-9 on it, yeah, maybe, someday. Could I buy a BE Micro A-9 board? Sure and I still can if I want to? Is the Be Micro going to be supported or as well supported in the P2 testing program? Don't know. Are the peripherals I build and hang of my BE Micro A-9 going to be as well supported? Don't know.

    So it comes down to that Parallax Value thing that we always talk about and try to put a price on. This board at the going price has value to me.  I can't say if it has value to anyone else.

    In the end, it's all fun, and if it isn't, find another hobby! Life's too short and the earth spins too fast!
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • It looks like a really nice board. Definitely not sparse! It's probably not an option for me right now, but just to check - is this U.S. only? As the price is 'shipping included'.

    Good question! Shipping is included to U.S. destinations;  please add $20 for international orders.
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,990
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thank you MindRobots, too. We appreciate having you, Searth and potatohead on board. 
    KG
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 8,793
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I can't stand three weeks, so I applied for a credit card authorization from the CFO :)

    The prior test time was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • Thanks Steph - I'll consider ordering a board when I return to Japan, if any are still available at that time.
  • Ken I'll be on board for this when I return from my road trip.  Maybe I can pick one up when I stop in Rocklin next week, perhaps just direct buy there instead of the paypal route?
  • jac_goudsmitjac_goudsmit Posts: 314
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That looks like a great board and I'd love to get one, but the $375 price gets a "negative" on the spousal approval factor. I may get one later or I might get a BeMicro CV A9 but at this time I just can't spend that much.

    I'm still on board with the P1V development (https://github.com/jacgoudsmit/p1v); I just haven't had much time for it lately.

    ===Jac
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
  • Ken: Do you have any idea when the A9 version of the 1-2-3 board will be ready? Is it still expected to cost $495?
  • Ken: Do you have any idea when the A9 version of the 1-2-3 board will be ready? Is it still expected to cost $495?

    This board could be available as early as four weeks from now, but it won't be sold until Chip has a viable P2 image to distribute with the board. So, it's more of an R&D-based lead time and not one associated with manufacturing. 
    Cost? Don't know yet. It depends on what we get the A-9 chips at - last time it took me six months to save $70/chip. I was very disappointed when I learned I'd need to start that process again. Altera is a huge company and they change positions every year by design. And now they're owned by Intel so I doubt it'll get any easier. If we don't get a price break then the cost of the chips will simply be reflected in our price. I don't know if everybody on this forum really knows what kind of effort is required to get low-priced chips. It's significant, and an opportunity cost in many ways. 
    Ken Gracey 
  • I'm in Ken. I sent funds yesterday via PayPal as directed.
    Just noticed Steph's post about an additional $20 for international shipping. Sending that now. :)
    Melbourne, Australia
  • I was looking for a SDRAM there, but there is none :(, that would have been a great addition too
  • The edge connector is for plugging in memory, and provides flexibility as memory standards evolve.  
  • Ken: Do you have any idea when the A9 version of the 1-2-3 board will be ready? Is it still expected to cost $495?

    This board could be available as early as four weeks from now, but it won't be sold until Chip has a viable P2 image to distribute with the board. So, it's more of an R&D-based lead time and not one associated with manufacturing. 
    Cost? Don't know yet. It depends on what we get the A-9 chips at - last time it took me six months to save $70/chip. I was very disappointed when I learned I'd need to start that process again. Altera is a huge company and they change positions every year by design. And now they're owned by Intel so I doubt it'll get any easier. If we don't get a price break then the cost of the chips will simply be reflected in our price. I don't know if everybody on this forum really knows what kind of effort is required to get low-priced chips. It's significant, and an opportunity cost in many ways. 
    Ken Gracey 

    Thanks Ken. Makes it sound like it might be a good idea to snap up one of the A7 boards soon. I imagine they will go fast!
  • jmgjmg Posts: 10,208
    I was looking for a SDRAM there, but there is none :(, that would have been a great addition too

    I was thinking about this, and it may be possible to emulate SDRAM using the DDR3 memory that comes on the BeMicro CV A9.Depends on how much silicon support for SDRAM Parallax plan, but simpler SW SDRAM interface, could see an IO map on the FPGA, that then bridges via a special verilog block to the DDR3 memory.
    For more accurate SDRAM memory emulation, if actually needed, I see the BeMicroMAX10 has 8MB SDRAM installed.
  • .... Altera is a huge company and they change positions every year by design. ...
    Ken Gracey 

    Never worked for a big company. Do they really do that? Funny.

    How can they get work done when constantly people need to retrain colleges and reestablish trust and communication habits.

    Just curious!

    Mike
    I am just another Code Monkey.

    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
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