Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Examples section

I just added a new "Examples" section to the website (http://www.alvie.com/zpuino/examples.html).

There's a single demo there for now, which is meant for S3ESK board only.

I'll notify you all when I add some more examples (like the so awaited WAV player).


Monday, April 25, 2011

Alpha 4 is out

ZPUino Alpha 4 is out.

Release Notes

* Changed the reset method to BREAK + low speed transfer. This hopefully will allow reset even when RS232 signals are noisy.
* Fix bootloader for simulation, was using deprecated methods.
* Small update for new interrupt controller
* Remove unused syscall file for bootloader


* Refactor interrupt controller. New controller uses edge interrupts, and has two external interrupt lines. Also interrupts are now masked by default.
* GPIO: allow disabling PPS on some GPIO pins, such as those who map directly on board devices.


* Clock speed was being defined as unsigned long long. This might break inline computations, so changed to unsigned long.
* Place memreg[] in lower memory, so it can be used by bootloader/sketch. Interrupts should work perfectly now (and sketches should be slightly smaller)

Papilio One

* Reorganize papilio one directory to hold different FPGA
* New bitfile for Papilio One based on S3E500

Spartan 3E Evaluation Board

* Add some more IO pins to design, to support accessing LCD and rotary encoder.

Full release notes: Release Notes
Download: Download

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ZPU core comparison

I believe I forgot to share this one: It's a comparison between the older core (zpu_core_small), the current core (ZPUino Premium) and the on-the-forge ZPUino Extreme:

Nice, no ?

ZPUino Extreme also features a completely different architecture, but it's not very suitable for multitasking. But falls perfecly in ZPUino niche.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Request for examples

Can you provide me what you believe would be good examples to include in ZPUino core ?

I've a few I might publish soon:

* Simple AES256 benchmark
* WAV player from SD card

I'll be expecting your comments (or alternatively, send them to zpuino@alvie.com)


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Preparing for Alpha 4

Alpha 4 is on the forge now. I decided to release it as soon as possible, due to eventual problems with programmer (which was not updated on last images, might require you to build your own).

Also a bug related to how compiler handles 64-bit values was fixed: again, it might break some computations, like baud rates, delays, and others.

I don't think win32 port will be ready by then, but other features will make it. The most prominent one is a new interrupt controller, and two external interrupt lines you can use (edge-triggered, high or low level, using PPS). Auto-cleanup of interrupt is also working for the latter, you still need to clear interrupt bits for internal devices for now.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Alpha 3 is out

I'm proud to announce Alpha 3 release of ZPUino.

As usual, you can find it in http://www.alvie.com/zpuino/

Here are the release notes:


* Programmer now uses a dual-speed transfer. It starts at 115200 baud for identification, then ramps up speed if required.
* Some bugfixes and refactoring.
* Preliminary direct memory upload. Still untested.


* New main ZPU core: ZPU Premium. You should expect almost a 3x performance increase, when compared with old core.
* New PPS implementation. Things should have become clearer now. See more information on PPS page
* IO selection is now clearer, so to ease adding new devices. See Implementing or porting IO devices document for more information
* Fixed RAM indexing, which caused synthesis warnings


* Added per-board SPI clock dividers for bootloader

Spartan 3E Evaluation Board

* First prebuilt image for this board
* Design was not being properly built, fixed that.
* Changed clock speed to 96MHz, instead of 100MHz. This helps meeting timing and give accurate baud rate dividers
* Fixed GPIO mappings
* Added proper IO pads


* Added IO device tutorial: Implementing or porting IO devices
* Added Advanced IO: Advanced IO
* Added PPS documentation for users: Peripheral Pin Select

Known Issues

* There is still no Win32 port. Some dificculties arose so I'm delaying to next release. But good news is that compiler is now built, but other parts of the toolchain still need some tweaking, as well as the IDE set up.
* Resetting the serial port sometimes fails when using a real RS232 cable. This is probably due to ringing - I'll address this on next release (this only affects S3E evaluation board, but since there's a manual reset button you can get it to work)
* S3E P&R is having difficulties due to both DCM used, but it does meet timing. However I'll address that on next release, to speed up the implementation process.