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Moxie SoC Progress

Time for a quick update!

"Marin" is the name of my test SoC consisting of a wishbone wrapped 75Mhz big-endian MoxieLite bus master, along with two slave devices: embedded ROM and the Nexys3's 7-segment display. So, right now I can write some code into FPGA embedded ROM to manipulate the display. For example...

    .p2align        1
        .global MarinDisplayTest

        .equ BIG_ENDIAN,1

        # This is where 7-segment display is mapped to memory
        .equ DISPLAY_ADDR,0x00100000

        ldi.l   $r1, 0x1234
        ldi.l   $r3, 0x0
loop:   sta.s   DISPLAY_ADDR, $r1
        dec     $r1, 1
        ldi.l   $r2, 5000000
delay:  dec     $r2, 1
        cmp     $r2, $r3
        bne     delay
        jmpa    loop

This displays a countdown on the hex display starting at 1234.

Here's what I think will be next:

  • I need to be able to access RAM, which means implementing a module to support the Nexys3's CellularRAM device and wrapping that up as a wishbone slave.
  • Once I can access RAM, I can test C compiler output, but only small code that I can embed into the FPGA's ROM.
  • Next comes a UART wishbone slave so I can talk to it over the microusb serial port from my Linux host. I'll need to hack up libgloss to map I/O to my memory-mapped UART.
  • One of the annoying things about this Xilinx toolchain is that AFAICT Digilent doesn't provide the tool you need for programming memory (Flash, RAM, or otherwise) from your Linux host. So I plan on writing some ROMable firmware to download code (srecords?) over the UART (xmodem?) to program memory. This is the point at which we should be able to run larger programs. I already have a u-boot port, so I think that will be first on my list.

It's great to have Brad Robinson's MoxieLite implementation for Marin. It's very small but can still run at quite a clip. Once the surrounding infrastructure is working, however, I'm going to get back to Muskoka, which is my 4-stage pipelined moxie SoC to see if I can crank up the MHz.

As usual everything is in github. However, the HDL cores and SoC designs are no longer embedded in the moxiedev tree. They're in a new top-level git repo called moxie-cores. Check it out here:

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