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5) And after, what’s going next?

A project log for A2Z Computer

A computer invented, designed and built from scratch. Custom CPU on FPGA.

f4hdkf4hdk 12/17/2017 at 07:171 Comment

One year has passed without any blog post...

Several people asked me what I plan to do next on this A2Z project.

Probably nothing, I will explain why. 

Porting Linux ? Retargeting a compiler?

What A2Z is not:

This question was asked several times. Some people consider A2Z as a 100% open source platform which could run a 100% open source Linux. They are wrong, I will explain that.

There is a misunderstanding.

I’m afraid, Linux and a C compiler is totally not feasible.

A2Z lacks many things to achieve the goal of C retargeting and Linux porting.

What A2Z is :

A2Z is “just” a very simple and didactic project. The DIDACTIC aspect is the most important.

I started this project in my mind 3 years ago, the goal was to make things very simple, and start from a blank page. I didn’t want to copy other CPU architectures.

I didn’t want to take the constraints of “being compatible”, or using one existing compiler / language. I wanted a lot of freedom in this project.

Therefore, A2Z is compatible with… nothing.

I don’t think that lots of people have made such usable computer starting really from scratch, from a blank page.

I’m very proud of the result.

Anyway, What’s going next?

I consider A2Z totally finished, so there will be nothing more on A2Z project.

Of course, I have several ideas to improve the A2Z, with the same principle, the same CPU architecture. There is a list:

BUT… I will not make any of these improvements. I simply don’t have time, and I have already moved to other projects. Robotics and amateur radio projects (F4HDK is my amateur radio callsign).  Even if I come back to CPU architecture study sooner or later, it will be with a brand new project.  

Your turn!

But I remind you that all the source code is freely available for download, everythink is open source. So you can play with it, improve it. I will be very happy if someone proposes improvements for A2Z. Of course, I can bring support about topics that I have not well documented.

Discussions

R Morgan wrote 04/20/2018 at 21:19 point

Where can we get the files for your project? I while I realize the limitation of the A2Z computer, I believe it would be a great tool for a series of class I will be giving at our local maker group on how to get from hardware to software. I have considered many designs including the Hack, MIPS, etc. but would prefer something a bit different.

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