Papilio Wiki

Welcome to Gadget Factory's Papilio Wiki, Papilio is an open-source FPGA project intended for education, hobbyists, engineers, or anyone interested in learning Digital Electronics in a friendly community. It offers FPGA development boards and add-on application modules called "Wings", that makes a easy to learn platform for beginners, and powerful design and prototyping tool for engineers.

Papilio One FPGA Development Board image


The Papilio provides an easy introduction to FPGA, Digital Electronics, and SOC (System on a Chip) design.


Use the familiar and easy Arduino IDE to run your sketches on the Papilio. Choose from two Arduino compatible Soft Processors:

AVR8 - Clone of the AtMega103 chip with standard AVR peripherals.
ZPUino - Arduino on steroids: 100Mhz, 32-bit, 96Mhz, up to 8MB code space.


Get ideas up and running quickly with simple hardware designed for rapid prototyping.

What is Papilio

Latin for butterfly, Papilio conveys the ability of an FPGA to undergo "digital metamorphosis". FPGA technology allows the Papilio to become any type of digital circuit including microcontrollers and custom chips such as the Commodore 64 audio (SID) chip.

Papilio draws inspiration from the friendly Arduino learning environment. The Arduino has proven that a complicated topic can be packaged into an easy to use format.

Papilio is not intended to replace the Arduino. Although there are many similarities, its purpose is an introduction to the entirely different topic of digital electronics. While Arduino pioneered the format for understanding C++ client-level programming, Papilio adopts the same environment for learning FPGA skills.

Featured Project

VGALiquidCrystal Library

Demo Video

Shows how to convert a LCD sketch to VGA by changing three lines of code using the ZPUino and its VGA library.

Learn New Skills, Use Old Skills

Beginners can accomplish advanced tasks easily and as their skills grow they can define specialized cores that would never be available as a chip. For example, the Papilio has an Arduino core that can be added to a project and allows other cores to be controlled with an Arduino sketch! Arduino C++ skills can still be utilized with the Papilio.

Get Involved

So if you are interested in learning about FPGA's, digital electronics, and Systems on a Chip then join us in building the Papilio community. This community is a work in progress and there is lots of room for people who want to help with documentation, cores, examples, or even formatting web pages.

Top News


Papilio Arcade MegaWing

Demo Video

Take a tour of the Arcade MegaWing and see it in action with Zetris, PacMan, and Frogger.


Commodore 64 SID Player


Inspired by Markus Gritsch's HybridSID project, Alex takes it to the next level by replacing the hard to find SID chip with a soft SID running inside the Papilio FPGA Board!


Jeri Ellsworth shows off the Papilio One!


Jeri Ellsworth takes a look at the Papilio One and recommends it for FPGA beginners.


TV Output Wing


NTSC/PAL TV and audio output using 14 resistors and a low pass audio filter. This design can be built in a couple minutes using parts from Radio Shack. Open Source VHDL code and EAGLE PCB design files are available.


Pong on scrolling display!


Joel Owens put together this awesome video of the Papilio One driving a scrolling LED sign, but its not just driving text, its driving a Pong game! Wicked cool!


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