Photo - Kobi Li
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Hoverbear

Xous

Getting started with Xous and the Precursor

Getting familiar with this open hardware development platform

A few years ago, I saw bunnie's Precursor on Crowd Supply and instantly fell in love. The idea enamored me despite hardly knowing what FPGAs were at the time.

Embedded development has always been a fun hobby of mine, and I think it's an excellent pursuit for any developer to improve their knowledge. If you like Rust (like me), some great starting points are the nRF52840s, the ESP32-C3-DevKitC-02, or one of the TockOS boards (like the Hail).

While I love those, one thing I've wanted for a long time was a portable board with a battery, screen, keyboard, SDR, and user-servicable parts that could be hacked on top to bottom.

The Precursor offers all of the above list (except, sadly, the SDR) and is powered by a XC7S50-1L CSG324I System-on-Chip (SoC) running the open Betrusted SoC and an iCE40UP5K SG48 Embedded Controller (EC) running the open Betrusted EC on an open hardware design. It seems almost perfect for me.

Well... I finally convinced myself to order one as a reward for doing a big thing, and it has now arrived! So, let's explore!

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