Using an FPGA to drive the 80386 CPU on a real motherboard

I recognize that the industry today works a particular way, and that it has established itself in a particular manner. However, I also recognize that there are alternate ways of doing things, and that were we to regroup around a focused and purposed relationship with God (one-on-one, each of us, to Him, and then to one another), then He would be guiding the entire operation by His sight, which is to be able to orchestrate people world- wide toward the goals we're pursuing in this world which are given over to Him.
The Bible states that whatever we do in word or in deed, we should do all for the glory of God the Father in Heaven. We are also told in the Lord's Prayer that His will should be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
That means we, as people, individually and collectively, must acknowledge Him as He is while we are here in this world going about our daily affairs. He can make us prosper in helping one another, in being the strength in other people's weaknesses, in giving of our gifts, and in love and charity with our labor.
It's a different way of looking at things, but it's the one I am committed to, and to the best of my knowledge, it's the one which is correct as per the guidance God's given us to be one to another here in this world: Each of us operating in love for one another, loving one's neighbor even as our own self.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
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I read this earlier this morning, but I didn't understand it, and still don't. What does it mean?
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
To sum up my entire reply:
I want to build a complete hardware and software stack that is based on a purposeful "considering God first" effort, so that we can have a tool that, every time we use it, is founded upon that base, giving it a different type of foundation than one simply bought and paid for, for He is a foundation unlike any other, and those who found the things they do upon Him are building this correctly, and their efforts will bear much fruit.
Even shorter:
We are here because God made us and put us here in this universe He made. We are here to love one another, and be part of a family of man, loving our neighbor as ourself, and serving God in all we do.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
Ok, but I don't understand how working with the obsolete 386 CPU design has anything to do with God. What is your goal that is related to God? Why does working with this chip relate to God any more than working with a $5 ARM chip?
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Rick
Reply to
rickman
Ok, so you are trying to do *something* of value to God, but you don't know what value that is. If you want to get help from people, you need to explain to them how it will be a good thing in ways they can understand. You can't explain it and you need the help of others to make it happen. I think you are screwed.
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Rick
Reply to
rickman
I can do all that without making an obsolete 386 CPU clone for $100,000.
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Rick
Reply to
rickman
It has to do with beginning with an offering that is based on this ongoing personal offering to God.
Think of it this way: You're given a house. Great. You have a house. But you find out that the house was built by slave labor, or there were people killed in the house during its construction, etc. The house carries with it that history, and no matter what you do in terms of paint and wallpaper, the house has that history, and it does affect things with regards to it.
On the other hand, you're given a house. Great. You have a house. :-) It comes from volunteers who heard about your need, and out of the love of their heart built you a house. It's a gift, and the house will carry with it that history. Every time you consider something about that house, there will be that original offering given to you.
When I go buy a $5 ARM CPU, or a $100 ARM device, what am I buying? I don't know? I hear all kinds stories about Chinese workers being exploited in the manufacturing of this thing, the assembly of it, etc.
I don't want to be a part of that industry. I want to create from the ground up an industry that has the purpose of giving to people from their talents, their skills, with that being the foundation of everything done on the project. I want it to be the origination that goes along with the hardware and software.
I don't particular want to have ONLY an obsolete 80386 clone. As you can seem from the designs I've made, I've upgraded it to 40-bits, and to more than the standard eight registers, etc. I've also included not only an 80386 ISA, but also an ARM-32 ISA, which will also be extended to 40-bits. And I have my own personal ISA in there as well.
On top of that, I have my own kernel, my own operating system, my own assemblers, compilers, developer tools, all of which can be designed to create our own apps, etc.
It is the foundation of knowledge given unto me by God, that I acknowledge as coming from Him, and I desire to build from the ground up all of these things in giving back to Him from that which He first gave me.
Make sense?
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
My explanation is given. It's inherent in the work, and in the various pages associated with my work, but more than that it comes from His Holy Spirit living inside of me.
The explanation I give probably won't make much sense to anyone who is not born again, or in pursuit of truth with their life. If they place no value on these things I'm outlining here, then it won't mean anything. The value to them would come from a $5 multi-GHz part, and not from a foundation given over to God.
But for the born again believer, that foundation given over to God is a real thing, and the believer desires to do everything in his/her life to please God, and to bring honor and glory to His name.
It's not a hobby. It's not a membership in a church roster. It's an inner and fundamental change of the person's makeup and nature. And from within that inner change comes these outward expressions of that change, such that the desire to serve God in all areas is manifested.
For me, that means hardware and software. For the farmer, that means in using organic seeds. For the bricklayer, it means something else, etc.
Each of us decides why we do the things we do, and then we do them for those reasons. For me, it is because God has saved me, and gifted me with these talents and abilities, and I desire to serve Him with the labor of my life, the ideas of my mind, and the creativity He's given me.
I want my life to serve and honor Him, both inwardly, and outwardly, and I want to encourage others also to be part of this living act of giving back to Him that which He first gave us. And for those who are born again, this will resonate as it is founded in scripture, but more importantly, it's founded in the born again nature as by His Holy Spirit.
We are brothers and sisters, and we should be there for each other in these ways, looking up to God, and looking out to one another, in that order, in and for everything we do. It's how it will be in Heaven. Forever.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
I haven't made a CPU yet. I am in pursuit of these things, giving the designs, ideas, labor, etc., to Him, and to other people. Somebody may come along and enable me to produce a product which competes with bleeding edge technology. I don't know, but I do trust in God. So long as I am moving in my life toward Him, in all I do, with all I possess (inwardly, and outwardly, then I'm moving rightly.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
Hmmm... Fred was continually asked why he was doing the research and each time he was told what he thought was his purpose (the reason for doing the project) was really his goal (what he hoped to accomplish by doing this, not the same thing really). So his abstraction continued to be elevated until it reached his ultimate reason for doing anything... to enter heaven... which really had nothing to do with the research project in a meaningful way.
You seem to be making a connection between this project and God in a way that no one else understands. I suspect that is because you are seeing an irrational connection founded in an emotional context. If there was a logical connection you would be able to explain it. So far the only thing I get is that there is something you don't like about Richard Stallman. Look him up on xkcd. That site is a hoot!
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Rick
Reply to
rickman
Well, the Spartan 3A is a very good price, if you don't need ultimate speed or vast density. It seems to work very well in the relatively modest projects I've been working on.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Well, that sounds like Habitat for Humanity. A good organization. Maybe you will be CPUs for Humanity? But, wasn't that what the Raspberry Pi was all about, initially? And, it is a LOT more computer than a '386, and no slave labor involved in Linux.
As for making chips in your garage, besides the part about how difficult it will be to get the yield above 0.000%, once the EPA or the neighbors find out you are using Arsine, Phosphine and DiBorane in there, you will be doign very well if you can keep yourself out of a jail cell. Especially if you happen to be in California.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I'm not doing this to enter into Heaven. I'm doing this because God has saved me, and I am changed, and the things in my life I desire to do go back to Him as a source, and as a destination, because what I possess He first gave me, and I desire, of my own free will, because of who He is, to give back to Him.
The other possible explanation is the one given in the Bible, which says there are things the non-born-again person cannot understand, because they don't come from a flesh-based understanding, but from the spirit, and until a person is born again, they don't have the spirit or spiritual discernment to be able to understand it
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There are many people who are creative, clever, funny, have amazing abilities, etc., but they do not honor God with their life, acknowledging Him as He is, and they have no future, no hope, only the things of this world which is perishing to seek.
The efforts I give in these areas of labor are unto God, an ongoing sacrifice offered unto Him of my life
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It is not just in these areas where I do this, but it is in my life, in all areas. God is God to me, and that means something, and I seek to serve Him here on this Earth, as it is done in Heaven ... with everything we possess.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
So by including the ARM ISA, aren't you back to the problem you are trying to get away from? That house was built with slave labor I thought??? Even the 386 was designed with slave labor according to your thinking, no?
No, you are still using house designs that were designed with slave labor. If you want to do something for God, you should design your own and forget the 386, the ARM and even the FPGA for that matter. Heck how are you going to get PCBs made that aren't related to the same slave labor you want to eschew?
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Rick
Reply to
rickman
You seem to think I don't understand your answer, but it's more of a case of you not understanding the question.
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Rick
Reply to
rickman
That is quite amazing, and I find it VERY hard to believe that is in the US. If going offshore, you may well end up with Chinese or Malaysian practically-slave labor making the parts.
Yes, I got this part, but I think you are massively underestimating costs that will be hard to push down. I make electronic stuff for some VERY niche markets, and have some idea what various things cost to have done. Also, since working with having some custom chips made, I have some idea of the processes required, and the insane levels of clean room procedures, etc. to make stuff work at all. There are truck-movable clean room packages that you can buy, they roll it off the truck and slide it into your facility. So, there are outfits that are making various semiconductor products in house. I think a lot of them are diode laser manufacturers, however.
Jon
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I look at things like Stallman and Torvalds and their behavior, and that means something to me. It reflects the inner man, which is why I am in pursuit of these endeavors. That's all.
The term "garage" was metaphorical. It would be me and a small consortium of people working to produce these chips ourselves using equipment which is, by industry standards, antiquated, but still viable, rather than having them made through GlobalFoundries, for example.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
In summary, it's the emperor's new clothes. For those that "understand" the "truth", your explanation will all make sense - to everyone else (including other Christians - both "born again" Christians and "born once" Christians), it's total nonsense.
I can fully understand the idea of wanting to do something meaningful with your life, using the skills that you have (or think you have). I can fully understand a dislike of the kind of extreme capitalism and amoral (and sometimes even immoral) practices of many large corporations. I can even understand the point of some of your projects, such as CAlive, even though I disagree with it technically, practically, and philosophically. But I just cannot comprehend how you think a weird extension to a badly designed and long outdated cpu architecture is of any conceivable use to man or god, and trying to make it physically compatible to ancient hardware is even crazier.
Of course, you are free to make your own choices here - just as I am free to show you how they appear to others. And I'll still offer technical advice to technical challenges when I am able - as long as you are not harming anyone with your projects, and you are committed to continuing them, then a little advice from people like me might help you get on slightly faster.
Reply to
David Brown
I have people ask me this question regularly. I have no answer to give that would make sense as people always try to push me back further into creation, as you have done here ... "Well why don't you just start with dirt and wood and rock and hay and build up from there. Surely if you want to give something to God, you must start with the true fundamentals," or other such form of expression.
I have continued in the station I was in when I became a Christian in 2004. I do not have conviction over my work, but I have great peace, in that I am giving this labor over to Him, and to other people.
My goal is to create the entire industry, from design to manufacturing. I would be perfectly content to have someone step forward with a fab given over to that purpose. Until such a fab is created, which may only come from me creating such a fab, I have to use what's there. But as I have told many people, once I'm able to bootstrap these efforts, I will do so, and never look back. The same is true with software, hardware, and manufacturing.
But, we have to begin somewhere, and this is where I'm beginning... taking what's here, and turning it around and giving it to God, desiring to build the solid foundation upon an offering unto Him, and in all areas that are involved. It's more than I can do alone, but I continue to pray that He will send others, or that He will move me away from these endeavors and put me at the place He would have me be, so that I am well within His will.
It's my desire: to serve Him, and in the capacity He's provided for me. I am doing that to the best of my ability, and pray I continue to do so.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
I can't remember who it was. I have an email. Most of the companies I sought were unwilling to entertain a run of a single wafer. But a couple of them pointed me to smaller firms which specialize in one-off wafers. I contacted them asking for pricing of an approximately 200 mm^2 chip on 250nm to 500nm process technologies. That was the information I was given. Nothing formal. No contracts or an examination of any type of design. But, just a ball-park figure.
I have spent some time researching this industry, and the clean room requirements of 3,000 to 10,000 nm process technologies are significantly different than modern fabs' needs. But, I hear what you are saying, and I appreciate the information. I have been content to produce products which run in FPGA form on a little board which plugs in to my system, though I ultimately would like to create a completely integrated system with all components to have a fully functional real computer made atop this protractive effort.
And, when I speak of these things, I always reference James 4:15, which is about acknowledging that the Lord may have other plans for me, and if so then I will follow Him.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin

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