This Blog is to document the progress of the Crog
project funded by netidee.at
Project CroG Blog:
9 Feb 2017
The CroG Team this year did not make it to the FOSDEM
Open source conference in Brussels. Nonetheless, several
other opensource projects presented Yosys and icoBoard.
This is a strong indicator that the tools and hardware
developed had been picked up by the community.
Tristan Gingold held a tutorial how to do a digital
design with Yosys. During his presentation, Martin Braun
in the Softwarepointed during his FPGA for SDR pointed
out that CroG is worldwide the only opensource toolchain
to programm FPGAs.
5 Feb 2017
Kevin from Blackmesa Labs designed a smaller and cheaper
version of the icoBoard and named it iceZero. As the
icoBoard, the iceZero can be connected to and programmed
by RaspberryPi. The software used to program the iceZero
is what was developed during the Crog project is The Team
are very happy to see that the open source community is
picking up the results of the CroG project.
3 Feb 2017
Kevin from Blackmesa Labs used the FPGA tools and the
icoBoard developed during the CroG project and in the
best tradition of open source, he re-purposed them to
make something totally different, but very cool: a cheap
flexible high performance logic analyzer.
A logic analyzer is an essential tool for designers to develop and debug digital hardware circuits.
Up to now, no such powerful and flexible measurement
device was available for such a low price.
Kevin already released all the sourcecode to it and make
a cool video how to use it.
Link to project
Link to video
1 Dec 2016
@Folknology is giving the second open source FPGA
workshop in UK teaching the icetools developed during the
CroG project. Link
1 Nov 2016
Jesús Arroyo held on 28th of October the first open
source FPGA workshop in Spain teaching the icetools which
Clifford Wolf developed during the CroG project. pictures
27 October 2016
What others say about the work of Clifford Wolf:
"El milagro llegó con Cifford Wolf que es un friki de la hostia" Link
21 October 2016
Olof Kindgren from Quamcom in Sweden presented the
software tools developed during the CroG project. He
pointed out that "Traditionally we had to do FPGA designs
on powerfull laptops or servers. With the icotools, for
the first time we can do this on embedded computers like
the RaspberryPi. I am sure this will enable a lot of
future innovation." Video
21 October 2016
The University of California Los Angeles (ULCA) is using open source software developed by Clifford Wolf during the CroG project to teach its undergraduate students digital circuit design.
Paul Marting from UCLA, who gave the course, commented: "The entire open source toolchain is a fantastic effort. We are looking forward to use icoBoards in future courses."
8-9 October 2016
We will present the icoBoard and all the tools developed
during the CroG Project at the OrConf conference in
Bologna. Clifford will present features of the Yosys
software he developed for programming FPGAs. (You can
see the video of his presentation)
25 September 2016
CroG Team member Clifford Wolf won the best research paper award at ICCAD 2016, The Premier Conference Devoted to Technical Innovations in Electronic Design Automation. At this conference, over 500 researchers from Universities and companies like Samsung, Intel, IBM, Qualcomm get together to discuss the future of chip design tools. The research work which won Clifford Wolf and his colleague from the TU Wien this prestigious prize looks into the possibility to detect back-doors in chips.
For carrying out this research, software tools have been
used which have been developed during the CroG project.
The research paper is available online. The price will be handed
over on November 8th 2016.
23 September 2016
Obijuan is presenting in Granada in Spain the FPGA tools
Clifford developed during the workpackage 1. We are happy
that the community is pickung up our
8 September 2016
Inspired by the work Clifford has done, a team of software and electronics engineers in UK got together to develop their own board called myStorm. For programming the FPGA on their board, they are using the software developed during the CroG project.
With 30 Eur, their board is very cheap, has very flexible
IO, and they plan to manufacture 1000 of them . They made
a first workshop in UK with 40 boards witin a
hackerspace. this project would not have been possible
without all the software tools provided by CroG.
9-10 July 2016
By invitaiton of the Tuxconf in Plovidv, we presented the Crog Project, the icoBoard and the software tools developed during the project. Olimex is using our software to support the FPGA it is now manufacturing to introduce more open source hackers to FPGA programming.
9 June 2016
We did port the Contiki Operating System to the 32 Bit
Risc-V iceSoC we have developed. So for the first time,
we can transfer data from the CroG board wireless over
6lowpan. We currently work on a first demo to communicate
sensor and actuator data between the icoBoard over CoAP
to a leading system.
We also do have a second batch of 50 icoBoard which we
will distribute in the next days to interested developers
worldwide. So we already have reached our project goal of
distributing 100 CroG prototpye boards to qualified
We will present the CroG solution with its tools and
hardware at the FPGA Kongress in
We finished the SoC on the icoBoard and are nopw ready to port the operating system Contiki with its drivers to our SoC and make the IoT gateway software run on the whole system.
We also ordered the PCBs for the second batch of icoBoard to hand them out to additional developers which are already waiting to get their hand on.
The code for the icoBoard SoC can be downloaded at
We do have Segway Steyr as a demonstration partner where
we will implement a demo case of legacy power
We hope to be able to use Papparrazi R0 Radio, which
covers 433 and 868 MHz. All the other hardware is
We decided on the legacy standards we will implement for the Crog project. 433 MHz ISM radio send and receive, 868 MHz ISM radio send and receive, RS-485 , Infrared send and receive, relais switching.
28. January 2016
At Fosdem 2016 we gave two presentations about icoBoard
and its toolchain icoTC. Severy developers got an
icoBoard. Now all icoBoards_Beta from the first
production run are gone. We will need to make another
16. January 2016
We did finish the design, production and testing of the central FPGA board (icoBoard) and will ship them out to interested developers in the coming week.
11. January 2016
Mailing list is operational.
Next step is to develop all the interface hardware and drivers for the usecase.
29. December 2015
Hackaday reports about the presentation of icoBoard
12. November 2015:
This is the start of the blog to document the process of building the CroG device and software. I am mainly working on administrative stuff. I am also evaluating different software packages to realize the frontend for the demo case.