Friday, March 16, 2012

Preparing release 1.0

I think it's time now to wrap up all bits and release a 1.0 version, which hopefully will be before the end of March.

What to expect from this release ? well, basically:
  • The new improved extreme core (things will go faster)
  • Smaller generated code for sketches
  • Upload-to-RAM feature
  • New timer infrastructure (means, PWM on steroids)
  • Easier to tailor to your own needs
  • New VGA interfaces
  • Optional I2C (integration from OpenCores)
  • Faster SmallFS implementation
  • Arduino 1.0 IDE
  • Eventually more memory... this depends on the board itself.
  • Per-board variants (like I2C, VGA)
  • Audio chips!! YM2149, Pokey and SID. Note that due to these "chip" sizes, it might not fit your FPGA.
  • Papilio Plus support (S6LX4 for now)
For the hardcore details:
  • New DMA interface (not controller). It's used for VGA, so it can use regular memory as framebuffer.
  • Better external memory integration. This one is still under test, but might make it.
  • PWM have now 2 comparators (low and high). Also you can add as much PWM as you wish per timer.
  • Decreased serial FIFO: means, more block ram memory available.
  • Other goodies. See official repo branch for more details.
Other stuff is in the forge, but might not make it for this release. I think I've delayed it for too long now. Release early, release often.

As always, feel free to send in your comments to

PS: Did I told you I will also publish a ZX-Spectrum VGA compatible output, and that it will be accompanied by a "arduino sketch" Jet Set Willy game engine implementation (not a 100% implementation, but close) ? Yes, it's true. And you can have fun making your own maps, sprites and variants!. I'm just finishing some documentation, so you can go and make it a 100% implementation if you wish.


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