Welcome to Pipistrello

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Pipistrello is a FPGA development board for Xilinx Spartan-6 parts in 324 BGA package, desiged by Saanlima Electronics.

For more info contact magnus@saanlima.com

Pipistrello Rev 2.0 Hardware Description

Pipistrello v2 25.jpg

Board features:

  • FPGA: Spartan-6 LX45 in 324 BGA package, speed grade -3C
  • Flash memory: 128 Mbit SPI flash memory (Micron N25Q128A13ESE40G) wired for 1x, 2x or 4x wide data path
  • On-board DRAM: 64 MBytes (32Mx16) of LPDDR memory (Micron MT46H32M16LFBF-5) clocked at 200 MHz (up to 800 MBytes/s transfer rate), supported by Xilinx MIG
  • USB device interface: High-speed (480 Mbits/s) interface using a 2-channel FTDI FT2232H chip. Channel A is wired for JTAG. Channel B is wired for serial (max 12 Mbaud) or async FIFO mode (max 8 MB/s).
  • DVI/HDMI interface: Full HDMI output interface (including I2C level translators for DDC) using a 19-pin HDMI type A connector
  • Audio output: Two-channel audio output using 1-bit sigma-delta DAC
  • Micro-SD card: Socket for micro-SD card, wired for SPI or native (4x wide) SD interface
  • PMOD interface: Double-row PMOD connector that will allow the use of a wide range of PMOD devices (see below for more info on PMOD devices)
  • LED indicators: Power (green), config state (yellow), five user-defined
  • User I/O: Papilio-style wing interface with 48 user-defined I/O signals. The boards have female headers installed on the wing interface.
  • Form factor: Similar to Papilio One (2.9" x 2.7")

LPDDR memory supported by Xilinx MIG (Memory Interface Generator) and Xilinx EDK/XPS (Embedded Platform System).

Assembled and tested in USA

How to purchase a board

Boards are available for purchase in the Saanlima Electronics web store.

Check out the store here: saanlima.com/store

Orders are typically shipped the same day if received before 2pm. Shipped from Milpitas, California, USA.


Saanlima.com forums are now up and running. Check it out here: saanlima.com/forum

Board design files

Board design files Copyright Saanlima Electronics 2012 and licensed CC BY-SA 4.0. See CC BY-SA 4.0 for more info.

Xilinx ISE support files

  • Generic ucf file, edit as needed Updated 5/20/2016
  • EDK board description files Unzip and copy Saanlima directory to C:\Xilinx\XX.X\ISE_DS\EDK\board (windows) or /opt/Xilinx/XX.X/ISE_DS/EDK/board (linux)
  • Latest (final) version of ISE (14.7) can be downloaded from here: Xilinx ISE 14.7
  • The board is fully supported by 3rd party JTAG programming tools like fpgaprog or xc3sprog without the need for a Xilinx JTAG cable.

Fpgaprog utility program download

JTAG programming utility (including source code and binary):

On Linux you might have to give yourself root access to the ftdi device. See this forum post for more info.

The board can also be used with xc3sprog (see this link).

GUI frontend to fpgaprog

This is a modified version of Scarab's miniSProg. More info here.

For more info on miniSProg see this github page

Bit files (see below for complete Xilinx projects)

To download one of the bit files just right-click on a link and select "save link as"

The bit files can be loaded to ram (fpgaprog -v -f <bitfile>) or written to flash (fpgaprog -v -f <bitfile> -b bscan_spi_lx45_csg324.bit -sa -r)

  • ledtest.bit Board test - tests all five LEDs.
  • ramtest.bit Board test - test the LPDDR memory and reports the status on red/green led.
  • dvid_serdes.bit Board test - Board test - video-out @ 1280x720.
  • bouncing_ball.bit Board test - HDMI output test (Arduino example using HDMI display)
  • pacman.bit Pacman game, can be played with the GadgetFactory LogicStart wing
  • vtc_demo.bit HDMI test page, this is a modified version of Xilinx xapp495, default is VGA resolution but pulling one of A0 - A5 to 3.3V will select higher resolution (up to 1440x900)
  • linux.bit Based on main-line Linux version 3.14.4 with full MMU. Note: this must be put in flash since it also contains the linux kernel and file system in addition to the fpga bit file
  • nes_top_smb_mb.bit Super Mario game, can be played using a NES game controller hooked-up to the PMOD connector. For more info see this Saanlima forum page
  • nes_top_smb_mb_tft.bit Same as the above but using a TFT LCD display. For more info see this Saanlima forum page
  • pipi-robo4.bit Robotron ported to Pipistrello by Brad Parker
  • vic20.bit MikeJ's VIC-20 ported to Pipistrello by John Voltz
  • sprites256.bit Gameduino sprites256 demo, display via HDMI. See short video here. For more info about Gameduino see this forum page
  • collision.bit Gameduino collision demo, display via HDMI.
  • asteroids.bit Gameduino asteroids demo, controller inputs via pins A3-A6 (active high)
  • waveplayer.bit Play audio wave files stored on the SD card. Sample wave files here (unzip and store on SD card).
  • logic_sniffer.bit Open Bench Logic Sniffer (serial version @ 921600 baud, 64 MB capture memory, no buffer wing)
  • doom.bit Note: this must be put in flash since it also contains the doom program in addition to the fpga bit file. Instructions how to run DOOM on Pipistrello.
  • See it in action in this DOOM video. Full-screen hi-res video here (65 MB). Here it is running on an Adafruit 5" TFT display.
  • PlusToo_scsi_128M.zip Macintosh Plus clone based on Big Mess o' Wires/Mist work. This is with SCSI disk support via sd-card (requires Oberon SRAM wing)
  • See this forum page for more info about PlusToo on Pipistrello.

Complete Xilinx ISE project examples

Open Bench Logic Sniffer on Pipistrello


PMOD devices

A wide range of PMOD devices are available including A/D and D/A converters, wifi, bluetooth and ethernet communication modules and much more.

Microblaze Arduino

Microblaze Linux

Misc links

Pipistrello Rev 1.0 information