I came up with the following requirements for this PCB:
FT232H for communication
I used an FT232H in the test setup above to get high enough transfer rates required for making gifs look nice. Each frame is around 12KB and to transfer 30 per second the transfer rate has to be around 400KB/second, something UART cannot easily do. The FT232H supports up to 60Mbit/sec using SPI, more than plenty.
ICE40UP5K as the FPGA
The ICE40UP5K has plenty of on board SRAM, 1Mbit, is affordable and works great with the FOSS tools, perfect.
74HCT245 level shifters
I noticed some glitches in the test setup. It turns out these LED matrices need 5V IO. Hence some level shifting is needed.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.