The Parallella board was designed for one purpose SPEEEEED! This was the reason we chose the backside Samtec connectors instead of something more hacker friendly like a 0.1″ pin header. With the current Samtec backside connectors we have a total of 240 backside pins and a peak bandwidth of 50 Gbps, which is pretty insane for a credit card sized board! The drawback of the the Samtec connectors is the 0.5mm pitch which makes them impossible to work with without considerable soldering skills (and equipment).
To make the Parallella pin access easier, our very own Fred designed a breakout board “Porcupine” for the Parallella over the summer and released it as open source hardware (gerber & schematic). Since then we have been giving away quite a few boards to worthwhile projects and I am happy to tell you that we are now putting the board up for sale through our distribution channels.
The Porcupine includes the following features:
- All of the Parallella PEC_FPGA and PEC_POWER signals exposed as 0.1″ header signals.
- A convenient PMOD connector for plugging in a variety of analog peripherals.
- Insulation-displacement connectors for the PEC_NORTH and PEC_SOUTH connectors.
- A JTAG header for FPGA development and reflashing the board.
The Porcupine is now available for purchase at Digi-Key!! (BUY HERE)
There are currently only 59 available at Digi-Key so if you are itching to get going on a Parallella project I suggest you grab one quickly.