FPGA VAX update

Brian Wheeler 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:
http://www.cs.indiana.edu/classes/b441/index.html





Brian




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