iCE40HX8K-EVB OSHW prototypes are ready to test


What you see is our new iCE40HX8K-EVB prototype.

It has same layout as our first iCE40HX1K-EVB board with same 34pin bus connector where iCE40-IO, iCE40-DIO, iCE40-ADC and iCE40-DAC modules could snap together.

We made all connections backward compatible so all code for 1K will work on 8K too. just here you have much more resources and more GPIOs which are wired to 4 small 40 pin 0.05″ step connectors. These can be connected to external boards either with cable either with female matching connectors which are in our shop.

Now we are testing for silly mistakes, if everything is OK will run it in production next month.

The price will be EUR 39.95


19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. SK
    Aug 29, 2016 @ 21:08:43

    Why don’t you add another connector in the 34-pin BUS format?


  2. Morgaine
    Aug 30, 2016 @ 20:19:25

    I’ll hazard a guess that given the very small price difference between 1K and 4K parts (a dollar or two), that many people were hoping for a 4K board in exactly the same form factor as the 1K board, and definitely no 0.05″ pitch connectors.

    40 euros is a pretty large leap up in price from 22, and this wouldn’t have been necessary if the 4K part had been used. It will impact on sales.


    • SK
      Aug 30, 2016 @ 20:42:58

      I would guess that the main part of the price raise besides the chip’s price comes from this part being BGA (more complicated and expensive assembly process) and maybe more layers in the PCB for the routing. That being said I really didn’t expect this to cost more than 35 EUR. Maybe Olimex can add a 4K board somewhere in the middle (price and feature wise).


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Aug 31, 2016 @ 08:29:06

      We started with 1K version for practical reasons, the idea is to make low cost first steps board, and this was the only iCE40 chip which was orderable, Lattice suffers from capacity problem and all their chips are with enormous delivery times. So 1K is good enough for fun starter projects and it’s proven now as many people who never have been touching FPGA before on the workshops we did had no problem to start using this board!
      Now to play with synthesible CPU cores and more complicated projects 8K version is necessary. Is the price high? Perhaps if you compare it with 1K version, but I do not expect many sales of 8K version like the 1K version thus smaller quantities will be run in production and price can’t be like he 1K version 🙂 Tell me how many people are capable to make their own CPU in verilog? I can bet they are hundreds of times less than these who are interested to learn and make their first steps.


  3. Morgaine
    Aug 30, 2016 @ 21:34:38

    I’m surprised that using the 4K device didn’t enter the business plan as soon as its very low price became known, because this would have given Olimex a 4 X more attractive board for an insignificant price boost.

    The 4K part holds the sweet spot in iCE40 pricing. While the 8K is nice, it misses the huge sales advantage brought about by very low cost.


  4. Kristoff
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 22:22:08

    Any idea when the 8K version will be available?

    I am looking at a FPGA platform to play with the risc-v processor (by preference in combination with the icestorm toolkit) and this looks to be the perfect board for this.



  5. Bernard Mentink
    Oct 21, 2016 @ 02:26:46

    Where is the USB connector/ FTDI chip to implement a fast serial port to program with the IceStorm tools? … and to communicate to the board ..

    Do you have any differential LVDS input pins routed to the connector, if so how many pairs?


  6. Kristoff
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 22:25:02

    Any update on this?
    We are now almost the end of january, but more then a month with your new production capacity-.
    It would be nice to -at least- have a date when this will be available. If not, I will have to look at another place for a board to experiment with icestorm and RISV.



  7. Kristoff
    Feb 11, 2017 @ 15:13:42


    Last week, I bought the HX1K (and ADC, DAC and IO board) of this product while waitng for the HX8K to come out.

    One remark I like to make (perhaps an idea for the next release of this product):

    I do not like to have board that just lay on by desk (risk of shortcircuit do small metal traces or whatever on my desk), so I usually “mount” the PCBs on (say) small plastic spacers. Most boards do have a couple of 3 mm holes, so the spacers can be put in there and the board does not touch the desk anymore.

    On the EVB board, there are 4 small holes on the board, but 2 of them are covered by the extension connector. On the ADC, DAC and I/O board, all 4 of these holes are covered.

    So, for a future release, either make the board a little bit larger so that the holes on the PCB are still uncovered and the board can be mounted a little bit and not to touch the desk on which it is placed.

    BTW. Any news when the tests with the LX8K will be able available to buy?

    KrIstoff (on1arf)


  8. Andreas Seltenreich
    Feb 28, 2017 @ 23:15:26

    Any news on the release date? I’ve been enjoying the HX1K a lot with yosys, and am yearning for the big FPGA 🙂


  9. Bernard Mentink
    Mar 01, 2017 @ 19:47:59

    Hopefully the delay is because they have re-designed and put a USB port on there .. 😉


    • Andreas Seltenreich
      Mar 01, 2017 @ 20:23:04

      I’m afraid that won’t happen: Olimex makes no secret of their hate for FTDI-chips :-).
      Btw, I’m flashing my HX1K-EVBs with some wires to a raspberry pi’s SPI port and flashrom’s /dev/spi driver – no need for the proposed custom flashed arduino. I did submit the howto for publication on the wiki months ago, but it hasn’t appeared yet.
      I could put it up somewhere else if there’s interest.


  10. Kristoff
    Mar 11, 2017 @ 23:33:25

    I am surely very interested in your setup. (I also have a HX1K-EVB).hanks

    Thanks in advance.


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