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Open-source CPU-core for standard-cell ASIC?

 
 
news.la.sbcglobal.net
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      03-27-2007
Forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death.
Are there any *production-quality* open-source embedded CPU cores,
that are suitable for a standard-cell (0.18u) ASIC implementation?

I see lots of CPU-projects on www.opencores.org, some with obviously
amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")

In my limited search (opencores.org and basic google search), I've only
found a handful of candidates:

32-bit:
OpenRISC 1000 (from opencores.org)
Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)

8-bit/16-bit:
many 805x clones
a Z80 clone on www.opencores.org
various PIC micro-controller clones (of questionable legality...)

From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
certified), and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
devtools can target it. (Is that right?)

OpenRISC 1000 is an original RISC ISA, with gcc/gdb port. A
few press releases suggest it's been used in commercial ASICs.

What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


 
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John McGrath
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      03-27-2007
On Mar 26, 11:25 pm, "news.la.sbcglobal.net" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
> Forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death.
> Are there any *production-quality* open-source embedded CPU cores,
> that are suitable for a standard-cell (0.18u) ASIC implementation?
>
> I see lots of CPU-projects onwww.opencores.org, some with obviously
> amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
> CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")
>
> In my limited search (opencores.org and basic google search), I've only
> found a handful of candidates:
>
> 32-bit:
> OpenRISC 1000 (from opencores.org)
> Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)
>
> 8-bit/16-bit:
> many 805x clones
> a Z80 clone onwww.opencores.org
> various PIC micro-controller clones (of questionable legality...)
>
> From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
> certified), and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
> devtools can target it. (Is that right?)
>
> OpenRISC 1000 is an original RISC ISA, with gcc/gdb port. A
> few press releases suggest it's been used in commercial ASICs.
>
> What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


Sun Open-Sourced the SPARC T1, with full verilog source, compiler,
simulation files, the works. I beleive the processor is quite advanced
with multiple cores and multi-threading all options. I believe the
latest version is more FPGA friendly, with lots of configurable
options. This is all from memory, but there is more info here:

http://www.opensparc.net/

Have Fun!

 
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Jim Granville
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      03-27-2007
news.la.sbcglobal.net wrote:

> Forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death.
> Are there any *production-quality* open-source embedded CPU cores,
> that are suitable for a standard-cell (0.18u) ASIC implementation?
>
> I see lots of CPU-projects on www.opencores.org, some with obviously
> amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
> CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")
>
> In my limited search (opencores.org and basic google search), I've only
> found a handful of candidates:
>
> 32-bit:
> OpenRISC 1000 (from opencores.org)
> Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)
>
> 8-bit/16-bit:
> many 805x clones
> a Z80 clone on www.opencores.org
> various PIC micro-controller clones (of questionable legality...)
>
> From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
> certified), and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
> devtools can target it. (Is that right?)
>
> OpenRISC 1000 is an original RISC ISA, with gcc/gdb port. A
> few press releases suggest it's been used in commercial ASICs.
>
> What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


You don't say what you need, but did you look at the Mico32 from Lattice?

That is opensource, and proven on their silicon, and others have
compiled it onto X and A.

Maybe someone can give numbers for Mico32 on the Cyclone III ?

-jg


 
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Jim Granville
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      03-27-2007
Jim Granville wrote:

> news.la.sbcglobal.net wrote:
>>
>> What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


I should also mention pacoblaze
http://bleyer.org/pacoblaze/

and also the Mico8 from Lattice

and Eric5 (not open source, but is small and supported)
http://www.entner-electronics.com/index_eng.html


-jg

 
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Colin Paul Gloster
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      03-27-2007
Someone asked:
"[..]

I see lots of CPU-projects on www.opencores.org, some with obviously
amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")

[..]
Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)

[..]
a Z80 clone on www.opencores.org
[..] (of questionable legality...)"


You missed the Z80 clone for an Amstrad clone on WWW.Symbos.De/trex.htm


"From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
certified),"

Have you ever read the many problems people talk about on one of its
Yahoo! email lists? Many are due to people not reading the
documentation, but not all.


" and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
devtools can target it. (Is that right?)

[..]"

Very expensive commercial tools do legally target Leon processors.
 
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Stephen Williams
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      03-27-2007
Colin Paul Gloster wrote:

> " and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
> devtools can target it. (Is that right?)
>
> [..]"
>
> Very expensive commercial tools do legally target Leon processors.


Are you implying that gcc targeting SPARC is not legal?

--
Steve Williams "The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
steve at icarus.com But I have promises to keep,
http://www.icarus.com and lines to code before I sleep,
http://www.picturel.com And lines to code before I sleep."
 
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mmihai
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      03-27-2007
On Mar 26, 11:25 pm, "news.la.sbcglobal.net" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> I see lots of CPU-projects onwww.opencores.org, some with obviously
> amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
> CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")


I kind of agree with that.

> What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


Depends what you're looking for (what do you want to do with your this
CPU?).
I have my own core (http://www.delajii.net/proc4) which is optimized
for control applications. It can be an 8b core, 16b, 24b, 32b, etc.

Without more info I can not say if it's suitable for you.
--
mmihai

 
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