This is an BeMicro MAX 10, an evaluation board equip with a Altera Max 10 FPGA. I have wanted to experiment with a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) for some time. These devices are like liquid logic in a chip—you can make them into a huge number of devices including CPUs. About a month ago I came across a project idea that was a perfect application for a Programmable Logic Device (PLD—and a FPGA is a type of PLD). The project is simple enough that I don't need a complicated device, but I figured I could get a good introduction into FPGAs if I were to use one on this project. After consulting with an electrical engineering coworker I started searching for devices. I found the BeMicro MAX 10 evaluation board had an FPGA far more powerful then I required but was a great price. So I could try my simple project on this board and expand when the project was over.
Unlike Arduinos and Raspberry Pi's, Arrow Electronics doesn't seem tailored to hobbyist. They wanted me to have an account on their web site and tell them about my company. Clearly not designed for people who want to tinker. The development tools form Altera were the same way.