Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jul 2005 19:33 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The same principals that brought the Linux operating system to the computer world are helping to propagate a new generation of computer hardware. Numerous processor designs are now being made open for anyone to modify and use. Examples are organizations such as Power.org, OpenCores.org and SPARC International.
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open vhdl/verilog
by butters on Fri 29th Jul 2005 22:22 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

I see no reason why VHDL or Verilog code can't spread across the internet as fast as C code can. If anything, HDL code is easy to understand and collaborate on. A bunch of knowledgable (CE grad students) people work on low-level blocks (adders, shifters, register files, etc.), a crew of less knowledgable people (right out of intro to CE) stuff them together into functional blocks (execution units, decoders, etc.), and a few motivated experts looking for a good PhD thesis design the pipeline, architecture, and instruction set.

They have these things called simulators. They interpret and simulate the HDL code, so the community can test the resulting design iterations in preparation for a production release. Send it off to a contract foundry (TSCM, UMC, Chartered, etc.), and sell the chips for just enough to recoup the manufacturing costs.

The only thing missing (when compared to open source software) is the instant gratification of compiling and running the code at various points during the development process. Our hypothetical "OSH" community would make 1-2 production runs annually.

Interesting?

Reply Score: 2

RE: open vhdl/verilog
by on Fri 29th Jul 2005 23:39 in reply to "open vhdl/verilog"
Member since:

"They have these things called simulators. They interpret and simulate the HDL code, so the community can test the resulting design iterations in preparation for a production release. Send it off to a contract foundry (TSCM, UMC, Chartered, etc.), and sell the chips for just enough to recoup the manufacturing costs. "

Better sell a lot of chips then, because even the big boys don't always get it right the first time, or even second. e.g. Intel's DIV bug. A couple rounds can quickly eat up your money.

Remember designing hardware, be it digital or analog (especially analog), isn't like designing software.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: open vhdl/verilog
by Wrawrat on Sat 30th Jul 2005 01:35 in reply to "open vhdl/verilog"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Interesting? Yeah, sure. I would be interested. The problem is getting enough competent people and keeping them to work together for long enough. This kind of project needs a minimal level of dedication and coordination, especially since optimisation and simulation are extremely important. People would not be as 'expendable' as in many open-source projects, where they can come and go as they want.

Reply Parent Score: 1