[Oberon] Porting FPGA Oberon to new boards.

Srinivas Nayak sinu.nayak2001 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 6 04:18:17 CET 2014

Dear All,

Collected few points from our last discussions, that we should look at when we 
think of porting FPGA Oberon to a new board.

- Verilog tool chain support needed.
- Need to check native clock speed of board and clock divider code.
- New mapping of names and location of the pins, if needed.
- Small and simple do-it-yourself-daughter boards, for SD-card hard disk, mouse, 
wireless modules, needed if not found in-built on board.
- Minimum 1MByte (2x256Kx16) of extremely fast (10ns) old fashioned static RAM; 
memory interfacing trouble should be minimum.
- USB programability.
- Cheaper.

I am a novice. If missing anything, please add.
Do we have any boards having all this?

With thanks and best regards,

Yours sincerely,
Srinivas Nayak

Home: http://www.mathmeth.com/sn/
Blog: http://srinivas-nayak.blogspot.in/

On 03/04/2014 06:40 PM, Paul Reed wrote:
> Hi all,
>>> I feel sad that Spartan 3 is becoming obsolete.
>> I agree. The more recent Spartan-3E based Nexys-2 board from Digilent
> A few points of background about the Digilent Spartan 3 board which may help.
> First, don't be sad!  ;-)  Everything of course becomes obsolete in our
> world (tech); it's actually useful that Digilent have discontinued this
> board in a rather timely fashion (just after I released the binaries for
> it, bang!) as a reminder that sooner-or-later, they would have done so
> anyway.  As in all things (like Windows XP!) support cannot (of course) go
> on forever.  Around the time I started the project, the board was even
> better value for money at $109, and has gradually been creeping up in
> price ever since. A clue. :(
> Even though I noticed that the silk-screen says copyright 2004, I chose
> this board for the project to replace the Ceres because it is simple, and
> because ETH have over 200 of them which they currently use in several
> courses.  They all seem to be the 200Kgate version, but (depending on
> whether you believe the tools) the current RISC5 machine only just fits.
> Hence I have tended to recommend that people buy the 1000Kgate version if
> they wish to experiment, as the additional cost was marginal, all things
> considered.
> The simplicity of the board means that it is 'just enough' (with the
> addition of a small and simple do-it-yourself-daughterboard for the
> SD-card hard disk, mouse and wireless network module) to implement the
> Oberon system in a nice resource-constrained and understandable way.
> Porting the simplicity, rather than the system, to another board would be
> quite hard.
> (The RISC processor itself is relatively easy to port to other FPGA
> boards.  I have had it running in various guises on Xilinx FPGA boards
> made or not made by Digilent, and also on an Altera FPGA board, for
> example.)
> The real killer feature about the Spartan 3 board is the 1MByte
> (2x256Kx16) of extremely fast (10nS) static RAM (as in, real good
> old-fashioned SRAM, not pseudo-SRAM for example!).  I haven't found a
> board which provides sustained, completely random-access cycles anywhere
> near as fast; anything else I have seen would imply a memory interface
> which would dwarf the rest of the whole design in its complexity.  Of
> course, I'd be delighted to be proved wrong about this. :)
> Paul
> --
> Oberon at lists.inf.ethz.ch mailing list for ETH Oberon and related systems
> https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/oberon

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