This question is somewhat related to an earlier question: Cheapest FPGA's.

I have been searching for a cheap FPGA board with PCI express 2.0 or 3.x support. Such boards can be plugged in one of the compatible PCIe slot on a motherboard, and can be programmed using either HDL entry or OpenCL or C/C++ based HLS tools. In order to facilitate data transfer between CPU DDR and FPGA DDR memory, the board comes with programmable DMA controllers.

There is a company which sells such boards(Nallatech), but the starting board prices are just too high (> 5000 USD). Then there are FPGA PCIe boards sold by Xilinx and Altera with minimum 1300 USD price. But all these are still too expensive for me. Can someone recommend a cheaper FPGA board from Xilinx/Altera with a PCIe 2.0 or 3.x support ?.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Shopping questions are off topic on ee.se. But either way, cheap and PCIe don't go together. You can get Stratix IV boards for $4000 or so. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31 '15 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1) PCIe transceivers are only embedded in mid-range and high-end FPGAs. 2) These FPGAs need a complex power supply and wiring, which need expensiv PCBs. 3) Only big FPGAs are attractive for accelerator usage and HLS purposes. 4) because you want to use high-level approches, you'll need a set of IP cores (PCIe, DMA, DDR RAM vontroller, ...) these cores are expensive and are only shipped with high-end boards. 5) Nallatech boards for 5000 USD are cheap compared to other boards :). \$\endgroup\$
    – Paebbels
    Jul 31 '15 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ The FPGA itself is the majority of the cost of the board. Take one of those boards, and search on the FPGA part number alone. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1 '15 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Alex - true dat ... there was a time when the price on the Xilinx boards (ML506,7) I mentioned was less than the one-off price quoted by distributors for the FPGA... may still be true for the boards above. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 3 '15 at 10:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ PicoEVB is the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – chx
    May 25 '18 at 8:30

You could look around for an old ML506 or ML507 from Xilinx, but really $1300 is a reasonable price for these boards.

There is one other option I can think of: the Raggedstone 2 from Enterpoint, at prices from about $400 upwards according to the FPGA (Spartan-6, different sizes). They have a range of other options with up to 25 FPGAs, but probably outside your price range


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