Sparks to Remember- A Romantic Tale

This story starts as many great and timeless tales do… with the simple desire of someone to get in contact with someone else they saw and became attracted to online.

So settle in gentle readers, for you are about to embark on a timeless tale of great trials and tribulations, of redemption and reboots, one of learning… and love.

It all began when a strapping young FPGA named Arty managed to get his dating profile on the illustrious and remarkably attractive site known as the Digilent Blog.


He contended with four other eligible bachelors for that priceless prize known as love.  And while he did not get the honor of walking away with the title of winner from that round, his advertisement did catch the I (and the /O) of another single young hardware component.

Her name was BeagleBone Black, and she didn’t need her 3D graphics accelerator to see that he was something she was interested in. So she took it upon herself to contact the aesthetically-appealing Artix-7, and from that first fledgling communication they both knew this had the potential to be something special.

After that first encounter, BeagleBone Black was excited. She quickly found herself gushing about this new romantic prospect to her best friend, LabVIEW Home.

BeagleBone Black: “Arty is just so mysterious… I mean despite all that documentation, I feel like I could never get bored!”

LabVIEW Home: “I hope so, and he does sound pretty great! But I mean you know I had better like him too- everyone knows that best friends are basically a package deal in dating 🙂

BeagleBone Black: “Oh LabVIEW, I am so glad to hear you got my back…as usual”

LabVIEW Home: “Hey it no worries- everyone knows how good we work when we are together.”

*touching embrace*


But even from the very beginning, there were compatibility issues.

He was from big city Xilinx, and she had hardly ventured beyond the confines her BeagleBoard family’s local acres. Not to mention, he was an FPGA, she was a microprocessor.

But you know what they say, love knows no operating system.

Their first fight, waged over whose turn it was to power cycle was a vicious declaration of differences.

BBB: “You’re all peripherals. You never see what’s right in front of you.”

Arty: “You really think this is all a ploy just to get you embedded? I can assure you, I am a little bit better at processing that that. I will have you know, I like you for more than just the aesthetic of your PCB layout. Your specifications are what really have me unable to just re-enter the hardware development platform market

BBB: “Well then, how come you can communicate with UARTs, SPIs, IICs, and an Ethernet MAC, but you cannot seem to find the ability to do so with me?”

Arty: “Look I don’t like to be tied down like this. I am a strong, independent FPGA that isn’t bound to NO single set of processing peripherals.”

BBB: “You’re made for makers and hobbyists… and I hate to break it to you but to me dating is not a hobby.”

Arty: “Well I am not leaving. I know for a fact that you have 4GB 8-bit eMMC on-board of flash storage at your disposal, so you have better start packing.”

BBB: “You might be designed for use as a Microblaze Soft Processing System, but now I know at the end of the day your heart is all just cold PCB.”

Arty: “You disgust me… I thought you were different, but you really are bad to the SM335x 1GHz ARM Cortex.”


But alas, the hot fires of love are not so easy to extinguish. Within a few days of the fight, and BeagleBone Black’s eventual storming out to stay with her mother (the lovely BeagleBoard-X15), they found themselves once again wondering what a certain other piece of hardware was doing.


Stay tuned for our next installment, where we see if these two lovebots get back together…or opt to stay apart forever. And comment below your predictions on the outcome of this saga, accurate assumptions will be entered for a chance to win a chipKIT Max32!


Be the 1st to vote.

About Miranda Hansen

I enjoy creative writing, engineering, thinking, building, exploring and sharing with people. Huge aficionado of spending time thinking about things that “don’t matter.” I am very interested in unconstrained creativity. I love cross-discipline ideas and all of their integration into complete original systems. And I like things that do things.

View all posts by Miranda Hansen →

One Comment on “Sparks to Remember- A Romantic Tale”

  1. “Whose turn it was to power cycle”… I don’t know what that means, but I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to.

    I hope they can get back together; it’s sad to see when young love is all exciting and new, but has trouble overcoming and working through communication issues. After all communication is key in any piece of hardware, even the little Pmods need to be able to communicate in order to be loved.

    And I think BB and Arty (sorry, it’s BBB) have a chance to work through it together, it’s not like they’re two north poles of a magnet where you have to force them to even look at each other. Look how far they’ve come!

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