FPGA VAX update
bdwheele at indiana.edu
Wed Nov 2 13:54:46 CST 2005
On Wed, 2005-11-02 at 14:42 -0500, Sridhar Ayengar wrote:
> Brian Wheeler wrote:
> > On Wed, 2005-11-02 at 14:16 -0500, Sridhar Ayengar wrote:
> >>der Mouse wrote:
> >>>>>I guess nobody even considers building a computer from scratch. :(
> >>>>Wasn't there an article a looong time ago about a fellow who built
> >>>>his own CPU from TTL parts in BYTE or Microcomputing?
> >>>I dunno about that, but I once did just that. I took a digital
> >>>hardware design course, and as a term project I breadboarded a little
> >>>4-bit computer. (I think the whole class did likewise, but it was long
> >>>enough ago that memory is fuzzy.) Only 16 words of memory, and 4-bit
> >>>words at that, with 4-bit opcodes - not a terribly powerful machine,
> >>>but an extremely instructive one to build. All TTL; the most
> >>>complicated building block was a 4-bit ALU chip, a 74181 I think.
> >>We had to do something similar in our hardware design course. We had a
> >>choice. We could actually etch boards and solder sockets, breadboard it
> >>or simulate it. We had sixteen banks of sixteen locations, four bits
> >>each. And we didn't have branch instructions. Only relative jumps.
> >>Most (all but 5?) students simulated it. I breadboarded. (I hadn't yet
> >>learned soldering then.) One guy soldered it. Probably made a pretty
> >>good souvenir.
> >>Peace... Sridhar
> > I took a hardware class where we (each team of 2 students) had to build
> > a PDP-8 using PALs, some 74xx chips, a bit of Static RAM, and a ton of
> > wire wrapping. The final exam consisted of the instructor breaking each
> > machine in 5 different ways and we 3 hours to fix it. That was a pretty
> > cool class.
> > I hear they use FPGAs now in the class...kids these days.
> Do they still use the -8 architecture?
> Peace... Sridhar
Yes. That was one of the few courses where I kept the book :) It was
still listed last year:
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