Nysa: Open Source FPGA Development Platform
Nysa is an open platform that simplifies hardware and software development. It is similar to Arduino or Raspberry Pi in that you can easily prototype ideas or develop products around it but instead of using a processor (MCU or CPU) it uses an FPGA.
There are two areas where FPGAs are different from processors.
- If a processor was not designed to talk to a specific hardware device it is very challenging if not impossible to get the processor to do this, this is not the case for FPGAs. FPGAs can be used to interface with powerful hardware peripherals such as multiple cameras, large displays and harddrives to name a few.
- FPGAs handle parallel data processing much better than a processor. The idea of interfacing with 10 stepper motors or 20 ADCs simultaniously is within reach. Think you can design a better processor that runs 256bit wide instructions? you probably can. You can even run that new processor on the FPGA and execute code.
Traditionally FPGAs are very challenging to use because there is a lot of knowledge and experience required to execute a significant project. This is a similar problem that the trailblazers of software development faced back in the old west. Writing their own compilers to simplify software development so that we, today, are free to use languages like Python to express ourselves. This is the goal of Nysa. Write the foundations of FPGA development and reduce complexity by performing all the necessary infrastructure generation (both software and hardware description language) so that developers can focus on what they want to accomplish.