An SPI flash and iCE40UP FPGA programmer

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Before designing my iCE40UP development board, I knew I would need some kind of programmer for the SPI flash memory that would hold the design it ran. I’d already discounted the idea of using an off-the-shelf programmer: it would add more cost to the project, and it was a far too “easy” solution. Therefore I was going to build my… Read more »

The restoration of two Amiga 1200s

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As a brief interlude, and before getting back to FPGAs, I wanted to document something I consider to be tremendously important: the restoration of my beloved Amiga 1200. I own two of these machines: the original one I bought in the summer of 1993 just before starting university, and a “spare” I bought off eBay about 10 years ago. As… Read more »

Design and build of a Lattice iCE40UP development board

It’s been another nine months since the last post. I will not dwell on the reasons for the lack of updates, except to say I have been busy with my projects; I just haven’t had the enthusiasm to post here until now. However the next post will go over some smaller projects I’ve completed recently, but this post is dedicated… Read more »

A status update and playing with Home Assistant

It’s been eight months since I last wrote in this blog. To my regular readers, should I happen to have any, I’m really sorry about that. The main reason for the large gap is I had a full time job and therefore had a massively reduced amount of free time. I say had because it’s no longer the case for… Read more »

The beginnings of an LLVM backend

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I’ve been very busy for the last few months, with many different things. This post will therefore be a bit of a mess, unfortunately. I’m at a place where I’ve been before a few times: not knowing the most interesting road to explore, since there are so many, and they are all fascinating and rewarding in their own way. First… Read more »

Designing a 32 bit ISA

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As mentioned at the bottom of the previous post, I’ve been designing a new 32 bit processor, and this post is concerned with the design of that processor’s Instruction Set Architecture. The objectives for this project are as follows: To learn as much as possible from the experience To leverage what I learned making my previous 16 bit processor To… Read more »

Further progress on the Linux port for MAXI030

Since the last post I have added functionality necessary to make it possible to use the computer from a directly connected keyboard and screen. This required two things: Making the already written PS/2 controller VHDL implementation available to the Linux kernel by adding a PS/2 driver. Modifying the existing, and somewhat hacky, VGA controller for my video card and writing… Read more »

Building the MAXI030

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While working on the design for MAXI030 I completed another project: a new workbench microscope. After watching various videos on the topic, I came to the conclusion that a setup with just a camera and large TFT screen would be best for me, ie. one without eye pieces. I have various things wrong with my eyes, including poor stereoscopic vision,… Read more »

The design of a 68030 based expandable computer

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Though the 68020 based MIDI020 computer is a workable design, it suffers from a few problems: The main one is the board is not 100% reliable. Very occasionally it will fail to start. I’ve tried to diagnose this problem but without success I can only run the processor at half the rated speed, 12.5MHz if the SIMM slot is used… Read more »