ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)

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Hi,

I am the author of the Gihub project ZAP ( https://github.com/krevanth/ZAP ). It is a 10-stage pipelined ARMv4T compatible soft processor core with cache and memory management support. I developed it during my final semester in university.

Would like your feedback/criticism of the project.

Thanks,
K Revanth

  

ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
Awesome.  I look forward to looking at your work.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 8:45:44 AM UTC-4, Revanth Kamaraj wrote:
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What can you advise me to do / look at for testing your core?

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 10:45:20 PM UTC+5:30, Rick C. Hodgin wrote:
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Hi,

More test cases could be added to the core to thoroughly test it. See the sw/tests directory. Test cases may be easily added (the documentation describes how to add test cases).

One of the main things left to do is to build a basic Wishbone SoC around the core consisting of some simple peripherals (UARTs, GPIO, Interrupt Controller) etc.  

Thanks,
Revanth

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote on 5/28/2017 8:45 AM:
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I am curious.  Has this been up long?  I remember some years ago, maybe as  
far back as 2002 ballpark, someone wrote code for an ARM7 I think.  He  
posted the code on opencores if I recall correctly.  It was only up a month  
or so and he received an invitation from ARM to discuss his code.  That  
means he got a call from an ARM lawyer.  Seems there are parts of the ARM  
architecture that are patented.  At that time it would have been very hard  
to design around the patent.  I think it was related to interrupt  
acknowledgement.

Again, if I recall correctly, ARM asked him to remove his code, but included  
a sweetener, they offered him a job!  So the code is gone.  I'm sorry I  
never downloaded a copy, but it is unlikely I would have bothered to build  
it, so no great loss.

That particular patent may have expired.  But you can be sure there are  
others that are still in force.  Otherwise, what would stop companies from  
writing their own ARM processors and not paying ARM a royalty?

I just looked up ARMv4T and that is the same instruction set as the ARM7T.  
With a 10 stage pipeline I guess your design is more like the ARM9T.  If  
this is the same instruction set, it must have the same interrupt  
acknowledge design, no?  If the patent has expired you may be home free.

Hmmm, while researching my facts for this I found a reddit page where you  
talk about patents and other things last December.  So I guess none of this  
is news to you.  :)   But that conversation was for the ARMv4 instruction  
set, not the ARMv4T.  Any patent surprises there?  I guess the ARMv4T is  
also beyond patent expiration dates, no?

--  

Rick C

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Monday, May 29, 2017 at 11:14:25 AM UTC+5:30, rickman wrote:
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Hi Rick,

The interrupt handling mechanism of ZAP is generic and the interrupt acknowledgement is implementation defined. Since Thumb has been around since at least 1994, I guess patents on it might have expired?  

Thanks,
Revanth  

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
Revanth Kamaraj wrote on 5/29/2017 10:20 AM:
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I suppose.  That's why they have new designs that work better, faster,  
cheaper and have new patents.

So is your processor like the ARM9T?

--  

Rick C

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
The closest thing the design might resemble is an xscale machine by Intel.

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 2:16:23 PM UTC+5:30, Revanth Kamaraj wrote:
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*partially, not as complex as XScale.

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 2:23:24 PM UTC+5:30, Revanth Kamaraj wrote:
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The project was done at my final semester in University (2016 MS(EE) grad). My intentions for ZAP are purely non commercial and academic. However, if this project might give me problems legally, is it wise to put it on Github as open source?

Regards,
Revanth.

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
Den tirsdag den 30. maj 2017 kl. 17.53.36 UTC+2 skrev Revanth Kamaraj:
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unless you got some secrets from ARM that you at not allowed to show others I  
don't see how it could get you in trouble

patents are not secrets




Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 12:23:25 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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Agree.  Worst case they'll ask you to take it down and prohibit you
from using those algorithms in future projects.

I'm very impressed by your work.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 10:12:48 PM UTC+5:30, Rick C. Hodgin wrote:
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Thanks.

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
Revanth Kamaraj wrote on 5/30/2017 11:53 AM:
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That's why I brought up the issue.  I don't think ARM is malevolent.  They  
are only interested in protecting their intellectual property.  As you point  
out their work is over 22 years old it is unlikely they have any current  
patents.  Since these are CPU designs that have been superseded by a number  
of newer designs, they likely have no more financial interest in them.

Wanna code up an ARM CM7?  ;)

--  

Rick C

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On Monday, May 29, 2017 at 1:44:25 AM UTC-4, rickman wrote:
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I would just like to state how damaging patents and intellectual property
rights are to the advancement of mankind.  They are nice for the private
advancement of a few, but they do not serve mankind well in any way,
shape, or form.  Even the incentive for profit they might bring for the
hard workers is not sufficient to override the loss to humanity when the
ability to learn and alter freely the cumulative knowledge of man is
suppressed by artificial means, such as by legal erections around otherwise
unencumbered concepts.

Patents, copyrights, and "intellectual property" rights are all evil,
of the devil, and serve to enslave us rather than free us.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

PS - Revanth, I only post this to address these systems.  I think your
     offering is not only fantastic, but exactly what we, as people,
     should be doing.  It is the best of us given over to others to
     then use as raw materials for their creation atop your prior work.
     Please allow me to say, "Thank you, Revanth," for your contribution
     to mankind.

Re: ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)
On 5/29/17 10:40 AM, Rick C. Hodgin wrote:
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Rick, as I have said before, if you truly believe this then your only  
real option is to cease IMMEDIATELY using anything covered by current IP  
restrictions (and that would include any open source products with  
restrictive licenses like the GNU licenses). Anything short is  
hypocrisy, which is sinful.

I realize this is basically impossible.

One key factor you refuse to acknowledge is that most of the resources  
you want to use only came about BECAUSE of the existing IP laws allow  
companies to be willing to spend money on research and development  
knowing that they will be able to earn money on the results.


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