I recently got an Artix-7 development board: the Digilent Cmod for my memristor project. But I realized I could try to implement my architecture in this board to give it a whirl in hardware. It has a UART interface and an on-board SRAM just like the one I plan on using. Well, it has ONE ram chip and my design needs two.
I got thinking that maybe I don't need two RAM chips. It would be an easy way to cut down on my chip count. But it would take 3 clock cycles to execute an instruction instead of two. That's not a terrible tragedy. It's also a lot less wiring. Each chip will have an 8-bit bus hooked up to it. And then I would only need one ROM chip as well. And if I got creative with the controller, I could still execute in two clock cycles for operations which don't need to access the memory. Then I could implement the whole thing very easily on my Artix board. I could check to make sure the timing is all correct, and I could implement the UART chip on there as well. I think I can do the ROM inside there as well for a simple bootloader. I could even pass the buses out the pins of the module and into my logic analyzer for debugging. Then I'll make it old-school and use the real chips.