[Oberon] Oberon System on the FPGA (was Oberon-1 or

skulski at pas.rochester.edu skulski at pas.rochester.edu
Sat Nov 1 18:14:25 CET 2014

> Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:51:35 +0100
> From: chris <chris at gcjd.org>
> Subject: Re: [Oberon] Oberon System on the FPGA (was Oberon-1 or
> 	Oberon-2?)
> I understand that for your very special application the FPGA is the way
> to go. From what I see at your webpage you have done some impressive
> hardware. What I still not understand is: what is the essential benefit
> of the Oberon System/Compiler in your case. You have ucLinux (I
> believe) running and 600 MHz CPU or so; compared to that the RISC5 is a
> small toy running at 25 MHz, I think.

It is a key question. What is the benefit? Unless there is benefit, there
is no point. So this has to become very clear before going forward.

At this point I can say that the benefit has not been proven yet. There is
hope, but there is no firm evidence. Lack of evidence should not be taken
against the project. Every nontrivial endevour starts this way. The boards
that you are referring to, Raspberry, Banana, or whatever, also started
this way. The vision comes first, the benefit comes later. So lack of firm
proof of benefit should not be taken as a deterrent.

We are running uClinux on a dual core Blackfin, which we mostly use with a
single core. The system is very responsive thanks to adopting Wirth
principles in developing C software under Linux. It is a very good system
and we are moving forward. But there are limitations that we are
struggling with on a daily basis. Realizing these limitations makes us
believe that the deeply embedded Oberon System will address several of
these. The decision to look at the Oberon System is based on experience
gathered from using Linux in the embedded instrument development.


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