09/05/2017 at 02:57 •
Since I decided to submit my Kestrel-2DX sub-project for the 2017 Hackaday Prize (5th category), I created this project to facilitate submission. This means that all future Kestrel-2DX logs will appear here (at least until such time as the contest is over).
So, let's recap where I currently am:
- The KCP53000 CPU is up and running at 25MHz. It's not pipelined, though, so its only getting roughly 5 to 6 MIPS performance. No, it will not play Crysis.
- 48KB of block RAM is up and running.
- MGIA is generating video (as the project's picture illustrates).
- I managed to get software development in C working for my needs. It's not elegant; but, it does work. The system firmware handles text output only. Notably lacking is keyboard and SD card support. I wanted to put a full-on programming language into ROM too, but I'm worried that doing so will ruin timing so badly that I cannot get timing closure on the CPU at 25MHz. So, instead, I'm currently pondering adding the absolute bare minimum to the ROM necessary to get it to boot from SD card.
So, what's next? My current road-map is:
- Synthesize a KIA core and update firmware to get the PS/2 keyboard interface working.
- Implement a very simple interactive monitor that will let me debug the SD card driver as I develop it. The final step would eventually be a command that boots a "real" OS from the SD card into block memory and runs it.
This will bring the Kestrel-2DX to MVP status; from there, I'll re-evaluate populating the rest of ROM with a built-in programming language of some kind.