FPGA – Development Board Selection

The focus of this article is on the process of selecting an FPGA development board. A focus is placed on beginners because more advanced users have probably developed an intuition for this process for themselves already. I will not be making a lot of specific suggestion in this guide, but I will link some pages with some more specific suggestions. This guide will help you actually select a board out of those suggestions.

The process is actually quite complicated and nuanced, it depends on quite a few situational details that are worth thinking about. Some initial thoughts are…

  1. Current skill level in general electrical engineering and software development
  2. What they want to make with the FPGA
  3. Whether this is someone looking at FPGAs as a hobby or as a future career
    1. Hobbyists might be interested in open source tooling
    2. Those looking towards a career in the field probably want to look at AMD/Xilinx FPGAs/SoCs to start, unless they are looking at low power solutions, in which case Lattice is a good place to start
  4. How much money they have to spend and the likelihood this is a 4-6 month interest or a career long investment
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