Editor's Letter Insights

A Tale of Two Green FPGA Contests

Written by Jeff Child
What is it about FPGA vendors and environmentally-themed design contests? I don't know, except to say that it's very cool and fun to follow! In the weeks of early July, as we wrapped up production of this issue of Circuit Cellar, one FPGA company was announcing the winners of its contest, while another was announcing the start of its new contest. QuickLogic has revealed the winners of its "Challenge Climate Change" contest. Launched in November last year, the competition tasked participants to create a proof-of-concept of an intelligent IoT edge solution that addresses climate change. QuickLogic conducted the effort along with its subsidiary SensiML and implemented the contest via the Avnet Hackster.io online community. Participates were directed to use the QuickLogic QuickFeather Development Kit and SensiML Analytics Toolkit to create a smart, low-power design running on the EOS S3 MCU + FPGA SoC (included on the QuickFeather development board). The projects were submitted to a highly qualified panel of judges for evaluation. First place went to Pratyush Mallick for his project called "Forest Guardian"—a low-power solar-run device that detects illegal logging of forests at the IoT edge using acoustic data. Such devices aren't new, but most solutions to date have relied on the cloud for postprocessing the data collected from sensors. Those are limited by network bandwidth and make for power-hungry devices. Pratyush's proposed solar-powered device would be capable of classifying three classes of acoustic events: Normal (natural forest sound), Axe (logging of trees using an axe) and Chainsaw (logging of trees using a chainsaw). But the device would only send the classification results and device state over a radio frequency to the base station. The base station receives the data, uploads it to the cloud and generates an SMS text alert to the concerned authority if illegal logging is detected. Second prize was awarded to Mithun Das for "Protect Peatlands
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A Tale of Two Green FPGA Contests

by Jeff Child time to read: 3 min