A backpack for commonly available RGB video panels, allowing longer/simpler cable runs and local refresh.

What it does

I’d like to use a single-duplex RS485 data pair with possibly a separate pair to enable auto-addressing or to enable higher bandwidth bidirectional comms. The Lattice ICE40 UltraPlus has a ton of RAM for about $6, or I could save a few dollars using the ICE5LP with an external SRAM. ICE40UP contains multiplier for gamma correction and global brightness control.

FPGA does local refresh, high-speed UART, frame buffering and auto-addressing. FPGA can run at 185MHz, SRAM below is 83Mhz.

Power could be 12-24v, locally buck converted. Connectors could be standard box headers. Cabling could be a custom FPC to reduce profile.

Alternatively, use a Lattice ECP5 with it’s 2.5Gbit SERDES block to provide pixels and float DC power to the panels.


  • Control: https://github.com/pixelmatix/SmartMatrix
  • Muilti-master sync: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_synchronization
  • SRAM: https://www.digikey.com/short/jn3dbf
  • ICE40UP: https://www.digikey.com/short/jn3dvh
  • ICE5: https://www.digikey.com/short/jn3dvw

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