[oshug] Help - Newbie
jeremy.bennett at embecosm.com
Thu Mar 21 07:34:49 UTC 2013
On 21/03/13 03:15, Plug Gulp wrote:
> Hello All,
> I am an Software Engineer. I am comfortable with device drivers,
> low-level embedded software frameworks etc using C/C++. I am trying to
> learn the lower level stack of system development i.e. SoC
> development, so please forgive if the questions and the goal sounds
> How and where do I start to achieve the following? What learning
> approach do you recommend? My goal is as follows:
> 1. Use the IPs available on opencores.org.
> 2. Integrate the IPs to create a simple SoC.
> 3. Add features (as a learning exercise) to the IPs in the SoC.
> 4. Create a Linux or OpenBSD BSP for the SoC.
> 5. Get the OS to boot upto the terminal.
> 6. Port DirectFB to the platform.
> In short, I want to develop a platform that will have 32bit or 64bit
> processor at atleast 800Mz, HDMI, WiFi, Eth, SD card, USB and atleast
> 256MB RAM support.
> To achieve the above, what hardware (and software) will I need and
> where to purchase it? This is my hobby project hence my budget is
> £50-£60. Is it possible to get all the stuff required to achieve the
> above in that price range?
> Thanks and regards,
Hi Plug Gulp,
I encourage you to use OpenCores, and particularly the OpenRISC
processor core, which is well supported. I suggest you follow Sven-Åke
Andersson's blog, which is a comprehensive guide to building OpenRISC
for complete newbies from a very experienced engineer.
You are pushing your luck on the specs. You'll be hard pressed to get
800MHz on anything purely in FPGA, particularly low-end FPGA's. I think
you can get around 100MHz with the latest OpenRISC implementations.
As far as I'm aware not all the IPs you want have open source
implementations, but that is a better question to ask on the OpenCores
If you want more, you'll need to look at using a proprietary processor
on something like a ZedBoard (Xilinx FGPA alongside a dual-core 660MHz
ARM). But then you are looking at £300, and much more restricted open
source support on the hardware side.
The OpenRISC community portal is at
http://opencores.org/or1k/OR1K:Community_portal, and there is an active
IRC group on channel #openrisc at freenode.net.
It is possible to run OpenRISC on a DE0-nano, which is just under £60.
However something a little larger will give you more flexibility - there
are boards for around £150 that are suitable.
We'll be showing how to bring up an OpenRISC SoC on a DE0-nano at Chip
Hack (www.chiphack.org). That's now full, but it will be videoed, so
you'll be able to see it online (on the Embecosm YouTube channel) in
Tel: +44 (1590) 610184
Cell: +44 (7970) 676050
Email: jeremy.bennett at embecosm.com
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