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Super Duper FPGA-Powered Badge

BEWARE! The Hackaday.io website is a rabbit hole that’s easy to fall into but hard to dig your way out of, and you’ll be wild-eyed and disheveled when you do manage to emerge.

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Well, this is a bit of a coincidence and no mistake. I’m sure you’ve seen the Hackaday.io website, which bills itself as “The world’s largest collaborative hardware development community.” If you haven’t already visited Hackaday.io then BEWARE, because this is a rabbit hole that’s easy to fall into but hard to dig your way out of. And, when you do manage to pull yourself away from your screen, you will have the wild-eyed disheveled look of someone who is poised to make something soon. Hackaday.io is where you can upload details of your project builds to share with your peers. Meanwhile, the Hackaday.com website is more of a “Mothership” where they curate and present the best-of-the-best offerings gleaned from their sister site, alongside their own original content. The folks at Hackaday.com also orchestrate the annual Hackaday Superconference. By some strange quirk of fate, the 2019 Hackaday Supercon is racing our way as we speak, because it will be held November 15th, 16th, and 17th in Pasadena, CA. I really, really wish I could attend (I was invited, but I simply don’t have the time — maybe next year). So, here’s the coincidence. Just a couple of days ago as I pen these words, I was chatting with the guys and gals at Lattice Semiconductor about their latest and greatest FPGA offerings and design tools. So, you can only imagine my surprise when my chum, James “Chewy” Vroman, emailed me to point me at an article on the Hackadey.com site: Gigantic FPGA In A Game Boy Form Factor, 2019 Supercon Badge Is A Hardware Siren Song. The creator of this masterpiece is Jeroen Domburg. As you can see in this video, what the little scamp has done is to take a Lattice ECP5 FPGA running a RISC-V core and use it to power a board presented in a Game Boy form factor complete with cartridge slot.  
Ooh! Daddy wants one of these! What I can’t understand is why the chaps and chappesses at Lattice didn’t drop this little tidbit of trivia into our conversation. Mayhap they simply forgot in the excitement of chatting with me (which is perfectly understandable, of course). But still, I fear, I shall have to chastise them soundly. Meanwhile, I’m on a quest to add one of these little beauties to my collection, so I must away to see what I can do to make this come to pass. Watch this space…

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Mike Anderson

Very cool piece of kit, Max!


Can’t wait till the kit is released. Badge and game in 1 – perfect for boring meetings!!

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