[Oberon] Project Oberon Workstation in BRAM

Chris Burrows chris at cfbsoftware.com
Sat Aug 11 08:41:54 CEST 2018

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Oberon [mailto:oberon-bounces at lists.inf.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of
> Skulski, Wojciech
> Sent: Friday, 3 August 2018 12:54 AM
> To: ETH Oberon and related systems
> Subject: Re: [Oberon] NAstrobe for RISC5 on Pepino
> Use case 2.
> A separate use case: it will help performance, if parts of BRAM can
> be designated for the CPU memory. BRAM can run faster then any
> external RAM. Imagine that a core set of modules is specified to be
> loaded to BRAM, both the code and the variables. These modules can
> run faster. The improvement may be substantial for Pepino, which is
> using a slow ASRAM memory. 

It is only a matter of time before an affordable FPGA development board
becomes available that will allow the entire Project Oberon Workstation code
to run in BRAM. The latest Arty A7-100T board from Digilent has 607.5 Kbytes
of BRAM, though it is still a bit pricey at $US 249 ...

Another intriguing product is the Digilent Cora Z7. For $US 99 you get a
Zynq FPGA with 225 KB of BRAM, an integrated 667 MHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor
and Arduino shield and Pmod connectivity. It would make for an interesting
embedded Project Oberon target but I would imagine that adapting Project
Oberon Workstation to that configuration would be a significant challenge.


Chris Burrows
CFB Software


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