We originally planned to launch ChipWhisperer-Husky a year ago, but supply chain issues and parts shortages made this impossible. This forced delay gave us a lot of time to work on the FPGA code, which has been stable enough for real work for quite some time. This means you’ll already see ChipWhisperer-Husky being used by the OpenTitan team. It’s even begun showing up in some papers. Since their launch several years ago, ChipWhisperer-Lite and ChipWhisperer-Pro have remained in active development. Recent updates and new features include: target debugging, plug-and-play USB drivers, and segmented capture.
So why mess with what’s working well? The main reason is that the FPGA family used in both the Lite and the Pro, Xilinx Spartan6, is getting long in the tooth. The IDE needed to develop for this FPGA is so old that Xilinx moved it to their "archive" section.
The ChipWhisperer-Lite FPGA is full to bursting, which makes adding new features difficult. And there were lots of new features we had been wanting to add to ChipWhisperer-Lite. So, ChipWhisperer-Husky was born.
We had already moved to the Xilinx Artix 7-series FPGA for our PhyWhisperer-USB and liked what we saw, so it made sense to use that here too. We picked a size to give us some room to grow the ChipWhisperer-Lite design with the new features we had planned, including some that were previously available only in ChipWhisperer-Pro. Plus, we made sure to leave some space available for future updates and user customization.
Read more about the campaign and ChipWhisperer-Husky here. We hope you’ll join us while we’ve still got stock and become one of the first people using ChipWhisperer-Husky!