QuickLogic, SparkFun team on open-source EOS S3 SoC dev kit

March 29, 2021 // By Rich Pell
QuickLogic, SparkFun team on open-source EOS S3 SoC dev kit
Fabless semiconductor company QuickLogic has announced that it is co-launching a new development kit - featuring a small-form-factor board with a QuickLogic EOS S3 SoC - with product development platform Crowd Supply and electronics retailer SparkFun Electronics.

The SparkFun Thing Plus – QuickLogic EOS S3 development kit combines SparkFun's Thing Plus form factor and the Qwiic connect system with QuickLogic’s EOS S3 multicore MCU + eFPGA and QuickLogic’s QORC open source tools. The Qwiic Connect System enables users to easily complement the embedded FPGA and MCU on the EOS S3 SoC with a multitude of additional development functionality.

The kit, says the company, is also fully supported by open source development tools, making it highly accessible to everyone from students to consultants to engineers at the world's largest corporations.

"The SparkFun Thing Plus – QuickLogic EOS S3 development kit represents another step forward toward realizing the vision of a completely open source development environment as defined by our QORC initiative," says Brian Faith, QuickLogic's CEO. "This tiny board represents a super flexible open source development platform, which makes our technology available to everyone."

The EOS S3 SoC includes the company's embedded FPGA (eFPGA) technology with 2,400 effective logic cells and 64 KB of RAM along with an embedded Arm Cortex-M4F MCU running at up to 80 MHz and providing 512 KB of RAM. The eFPGA technology can implement custom IP, accelerate or offload functions from the MCU, or provide glue logic. The Arm Cortex-M4F can implement functions generally best suited to software.

This extreme hardware and software flexibility, says the company, makes the kit a perfect development platform for a wide range of applications, including adding voice or AI/ML processing to edge IoT devices. A further benefit of combining embedded FPGA and MCU functionality on the same SoC is that the EOS S3 consumes very little power – making it suitable for remote and battery-powered applications.

The SparkFun Thing Plus – QuickLogic EOS S3 dev kit form factor and integrated Qwiic Connect System enable developers to easily add other design building blocks to the dev kit, including over 150 development boards, sensors, LCDs, relays and more, without the need for soldering. Once the boards begin shipping at the end of May, say the companies, SparkFun will release its standard suite of documentation, including sample code, design files, and tutorials for getting started.

"QuickLogic's EOS S3 SoC is perfect fit for our Thing Plus series of development boards," says Kirk Benell, SparkFun's CTO. "It gives users an ultra-low power but highly integrated hardware and software solution in a tiny package. The fact that it's fully supported by an open source development environment is completely aligned with our company philosophy of accelerating innovation with open source hardware and software."

The kit is supported by 100% open source software tools such as FreeRTOS, Zephyr, nMigen, Docker and SymbiFlow, and includes out-of-the-box support for AI tools, including the SensiML Analytics Toolkit and TensorFlow Lite. The development kit will be sold and distributed through the online site Crowd Supply, further increasing its accessibility.

Josh Lifton, co-founder and president of Crowd Supply says, "The combination of QuickLogic's embedded FPGA technology with SparkFun's Thing Plus and Qwiic ecosystems makes for a powerful platform to quickly build embedded and wearable machine learning and sensor fusion applications. We're thrilled to work with both companies to further the state of open source hardware."

The SparkFun Thing Plus – QuickLogic EOS S3 development kit has launched exclusively on Crowd Supply.

Crowd Supply
SparkFun Electronics

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