ACM SIGDA Technical Committee on FPGAs and Reconfigurable Computing
posted by Andre
on Friday October 01, @08:21AM
from the look-what's-out-there dept.
phwl writes "There are many open-source microprocessor designs available on the web and some of the major ones are briefly reviewed here. The
most comprehensive site is OpenCores
with about a hundred open-source processors of different
A number of commercial-quality designs implementing Sun
Microsystem’s SPARC architecture are available:
- The popular OpenRISC
32/64-bit RISC/DSP processor from the OpenCores
community. Developed using Verilog, this processor
includes open source development tools, operating systems and libraries.
a clean-room implementation of the MIPS-I by Steve Rhoads.
- Acquarius, a complete implementation of the Hitachi SuperH-2 in Verilog
with Wishbone bus by Thorn Aitch.
- Clones of commercial processors such as the Zilog z80, MOS Technology 6502,
and DEC PDP-11.
Not all applications require high performance. Some examples of processors
with small footprint are:
- The LEON
processor, was originally developed by the
European Space Agency and is a 32-bit synthesisable
processor core based on the V8 architecture. The core is written in VHDL,
highly configurable, and particularly suitable for system-on-a-chip (SOC)
- Sun Microsystems's 64-bit T1 and T2 processors
available from the OpenSPARC
site. The T1 processor has 8 cores, each of which can execute 4
simultaneous threads. The T2 also has 8 cores with each being able to
execute 8 threads. Full Verilog source code is
provided and a goal of making it available is "to significantly
increase participation in processor architecture development and
application design by making cutting-edge hardware intellectual property
freely available. "
RISC’s S1 core is simple one derived from OpenSPARC.
It has a single core capable of executing 4 threads, Wishbone/AMBA bridge
and a reset controller.
Various research processors include the following:
PacoBlaze processor which was developed by
Pablo Bleyer Kocik
is a Verilog clone of Xilinx’s PicoBlaze,
a lightweight 8-bit processor for embedded applications. An assembler written
in Java is included.
- Forth is a stack-based programming language and
a number of processors have been made open-source including:
a VHDL clean-room implementation of the Intersil
RTX-2000 processor was developed by MicroProcessor
Engineering and includes Forth and C compilers; the P16 processor was
developed by C.H. Ting and uses a minimal instruction set computer architecture;
finally, Bernd Paysan developed the 4stack and b16 processors which both have
minimal instruction sets and are designed for high performance and small area
Have you had any experiences with these processors? What other open-source processors should
be included in this list?"
- A soft vector processor for
Altera FPGAs written in
Verilog by Jason Yu at the University of British Columbia.
- SPREE, a soft processorrapid exploration environment developed by Peter Yiannacouras
at the University of Toronto.
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