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How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?

Clive Maxfield
10/19/2010 09:49 PM EDT

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122
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
122   10/27/2010 12:30:28 AM
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Currently available FPGAs are big chips with lots of pins and will also consume more power compared to the tiny PICs. So unless you already have to use lots of gates in your project FPGAs just for the sake of running CPUs are not that attractive

Darius Pl.
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
Darius Pl.   10/26/2010 1:43:49 PM
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You are welcome Joe. Yes, definitely there is lack of some good and short descriptions of FPGAs. Even the page in Wikipedia it is not especially friendly in this respect. Here is a better example of such description http://www.andraka.com/whatisan.htm I cannot recommend any books because from my side as I just have briefly read one, and I am still just a beginner. Personally I read on the Internet some peaces, looked at the examples, syntax description and then just combined my programming knowledge with my digital electronics (hobby) knowledge :) But here is one advice. It is better to acquire a book that describes the language that you will use for the FPGA development (Verilog or VHDL or other) and the development tools for particular vendor of the FPGA chips (Xilinx or Altera - most popular) and if possible - even your chosen FPGA development board that you will use. But with the last one there is a chance that there exists some better and more attractive hardware (price/performance) then what is described in the books.

Max The Magnificent
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
Max The Magnificent   10/26/2010 1:19:03 PM
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Hi Joe -- I've heard good things about the book "FPGA Prototyping with Verilog Examples" (http://amzn.to/d4gyRY) -- this uses the Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA development board which is very affordable (unfortunately the book itself isn't cheap) -- Max

Joe_UK
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
Joe_UK   10/26/2010 12:43:38 PM
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Thanks for the very constructive and informative comments everybody. @DarXsaS, I think you've probably summed up in a couple of sentences what I've been trying to grasp from reading pages of blurb... thanks for that. From whatís been said, it looks like my CPU (and itís just a personal project) would do a lot better being hosted in the FPGA world, and thereís no better motivator to do battle with a new technology than personal need, so, can anybody recommend a good book to start with (Iím old fashioned and still like a book in my hand to read)?

Max The Magnificent
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
Max The Magnificent   10/26/2010 11:58:31 AM
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We obey, Master .... :-)

Derek.Rowe
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
Derek.Rowe   10/26/2010 11:48:15 AM
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Writing processors in VHDL is easy and fun. However, writing really neat and efficient ones is another story. Ken Chapman is the Master of the Art. Listen and obey...

colindente
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
colindente   10/26/2010 9:00:29 AM
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If this is a "just for fun" project, then by all means enjoy learning about FPGAs, how to design hardware in Verilog or VHDL, how to drive synthesis tools, etc. If, however, this is a commercial project, then it seems to me that you'd probably be better off buying an off-the-shelf 16-bit microcontroller, and spending your effort in porting your existing code to the new device. Either way - have fun!

paul.moody
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
paul.moody   10/26/2010 5:32:31 AM
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There is an open source version of the Z80 for FPGA see www.opencores.org in the projects area as well as many more classic CPUs and goodies. As for the PicoBlaze this small cpu can be dropped multiple times into the same chip to essentially remove the stack swapping and realtime machine code headaches of PIC programming. As an ex-PIC user I never went back after discovering Xilinx FPGAs and the Free WebPack ISE development IDE. (Shameless plug ) However other vendors like Altera etc are probably just as good.

Veronica.Merryfield
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
Veronica.Merryfield   10/26/2010 5:29:21 AM
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Check out xsoc at www.fpgacpu.org

Darius Pl.
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re: How fast will a fictitious 8-bit micro run in an FPGA?
Darius Pl.   10/24/2010 11:52:25 AM
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Hi Joe. Think of the FPGA chip as of a PCB that is full of all kind of basic and a bit more complex logic units (and, or, not, xor, triggers, lookup tables, sum etc.) - from a 10000 to about a half a million of them (depending on the FPGA chip). Then add to this picture a matrix of connections between all of these blocks. All these connections in this matrix can be configured ("programmed") to be on or off (instead of using a soldering iron in a real PCB). This is a very simplified picture, but I hope it gives the general impression...

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