Clemens Valens
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IGLOO Nano & Icicle FPGA kits

Cool, cooler, igloo!

IGLOO Nano & Icicle FPGA kits
Often when we talk about FPGA, the first we think of are Altera or Xilinx (in alphabetical order) – but these are not the only manufacturers of this type of devices. Actel is another one. Among its ICs, we find the Fusions, the ProASIC3s and the IGLOOs. Actel is currently playing the low consumption card and states that its IGLOO ICs are the most energy-efficient on the market. We tried out two IGLOO evaluation boards, the Icicle and the nano. Here are the results we got.
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Specifications of the nano kit (around £45 / €50):
- IGLOO AGL250 FPGA with 250,000 gates
- 8 LEDs
- 5 push buttons (one of which is a reset)
- 8 DIP switches
- All pins accessible via an expansion connector
- Programmable I/O and core voltages
- Libero DVD

Specifications of the Icicle kit (around £90 / €100):
- IGLOO AGL125 FPGA with 125,000 gates
- 96 × 16 pixel OLED graphic display
- 3 LEDs
- 3 push-buttons (one of which is a reset)
- Flash*Freeze
-120 mAh Li-ion battery
- USB serial port
- Expansion connector for 34 I/Os
- JTAG port
- Test points
- FlashPro3 programmer included
- two USB cables
- CD-ROM with documentation, tools, and software

Libero IDE v8.5 specifications:
- Windows XP Pro with SP2 or Vista Business Edition
- Graphical environment
- Design via circuit diagram entry or programming
- Synthesis
- Simulation
- Placement and routing
- Programming
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