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Matt Venn’s ASIC Necklace Will get a Blinky Bling Redesign

At {hardware} conferences, it’s common for attendees to point out off their design expertise with custom-made badges. A brilliant-team took that concept to a complete completely different stage. At Hackaday Superconference 2023, Matt Venn confirmed off the ASIC Necklace — a big improve from one worn the previous couple of years.

For a little bit of background, Venn presents an internet course referred to as Zero to ASIC. You learn to design a {custom} utility particular built-in circuit (ASIC) and get it fabricated! The core design features a RISC-V processor and a few help {hardware} blocks. The remainder is as much as you! To this point, 50 of the 330 individuals who have taken the course have submitted designs.

The centerpiece wafer of this ardour challenge serves as a speaking piece concerning the course and built-in circuits usually. Venn had been sporting a less complicated model, which used a comically massive (faux) gold chain. The brand new ASIC Neckless dials the bling as much as 11.

The chain acquired probably the most in depth improve and most consideration. It consists of gold anodized CNC-milled hyperlinks related with blocks of PCB stacks.

Every stack, or sandwich, has a backside board with an APA102 RGB LED. These boards even have connectors to move energy and knowledge across the chain. On high is one other, performing as a diffuser. The PCBs have a distinctively costly look with gold-plated traces and matte-black silkscreen.

Venn wished a placing and significant image on the floor of the diffuser. He selected a MOSFET image because it succinctly represents the core element of the wafer (and all built-in circuits.)

Adam Zeloof and Pat Deegan labored with Venn on the formidable challenge. Zeloof supplied a lot of the CAD design for the {custom} mechanical items. The workforce primarily based the electronics on a minimally viable ASIC board designed by Deegan.

Along with trying nice, the ASIC Necklace serves for instance challenge for Zero to ASIC. The RISC V-based microprocessor driving the LED animation is inside a chip that Venn designed. The processor bit-bangs the patterns since that design didn’t have a devoted LED driver.

Maybe probably the most spectacular feat is the ridiculous schedule wherein the ASIC Neckless got here collectively. The workforce ordered elements solely 24 days earlier than the Superconference 2023 began! So, Venn, Deegan, and Zeloof have been ending the construct on the convention’s first night time! And, amazingly, it functioned as nice because it seemed!

Design course of for ASIC Neckless (📷: Matt Venn)

Take a look at this weblog publish for extra data and photos. There may also be a hyperlink to a repo with the PCB design recordsdata quickly.

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