Altera Cyclone II FPGA starter development kit

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

RetroTechie's picture

08-08-2019, 23:49

Not my board, but I thought this might be interesting to some of you:

Altera Cyclone II FPGA starter development kit

From Zeeland (NL), asking price is € 55.

Looks like a typical Terasic FPGA board, and their name is even visible on the board, but still I was unable to find any info on Terasic website. Not even under "phased out" boards. But I'll save you some Googling..

Overview, kit contents, short specs etc
PDF of the manual (7 MB) which has lots more details, some (all?) schematics & more. FPGA on it has roughly 1.5-2x the number of LE's as the FPGA in the 1chipMSX. So plenty of space for recreations of 8-bit systems with 'everything & the kitchen sink' attached.

Again: not my board! I don't even know the seller, nor have I ever owned this board. So don't ask me about it, I have no clue. What I do know is that you don't need a separate Altera programmer (even though clones are cheap). It plugs right into an USB port of development PC using standard USB cable that comes with it. Posting here because the site I found it on is not one of the usual suspects like eBay, Marktplaats etc.

As you may know, Altera has been bought by Intel recently, so Intel site is the place to look for downloads, Cyclone II family data books and so on.

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By rderooy

Paladin (686)

rderooy's picture

09-08-2019, 20:55

If your looking for FPGA systems this MiSTer & DE-10 Nano one may also be interesting

By dmr

Ambassador (0)

dmr's picture

22-03-2020, 15:13

The Altera Cyclone II Starter Development kit, a.k.a. DE1, is an old board - (the one for which an MSX implementation is available: MSX FPGA. Nice, but old... not supported anymore by Intel (now the owner of Terasic), however software is free (Quartus 13.0). Caro also designed an extension board with MSX cartridge connectors and other ports.

The DE1 is nice for development, but if you want something MSX-ish, maybe Zemmix/SX1 and other clones are more suitable.

There is a successor of this DE1: the DE1 SoC. Similar to the DE10 mentioned above, it has a built-in dual core ARM, and it can communicate via a high speed bus with the FPGA (part). Mine runs Linux. This board might be the one that triggered Kay Nishi's idea of a hybrid ARM Linux / FPGA MSX implementation (dunno, but might as well be).

I have both a DE1 and a DE1 SoC. The DE1 is programmed as an MSX. With the DE1 SoC I have lots of ideas what to do with it, but nothing implemented yet (it starts with dreams ;-) ); it may be possible to port the MSX for this board (perhaps only by changing I/O pin assigments...) and start interfacing it with the Linux I have running on it.

... alas so much to do, so little time :-D.