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

Hi, David. The born again nature is real. You can see the way people change when they are born again. The fact that you can't understand the change is, as I've said many times, because you do not pursue the truth.
You are willing to continue on believing you have the answers, and you are in possession of the definitive knowledge base. Until you are willing to set aside yourself, and say honestly, "I want to know the truth, even if it shatters everything about my world view and turns my life upside down," you will never find it.
Jesus Christ is only found when we come to the end of ourselves, which is why He eludes you.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
Loading thread data ...
If you understood the answer, you would see value in it. The fact that you think I don't yet understand the question, indicates you do not yet understand my answer, and cannot because the place from which I proceed in this effort stems from a place unknown to you: the spirit, and in a manifestation of the invisible things at work in our lives, rather than merely the visible things.
Love exists, but you cannot see love, only the effects of love in a person's life, in their behavior, their speech, their drives, desires, and so on.
It's the same for the born again believer pursuing spiritual things. But this differs from love, because all people can experience love. But for the spiritual person, the born again believe, those things they are in pursuit of cannot be known to someone without the born again nature, so there is disconnect, a lack of understanding, and a conclusion as to the wrongness of the born again person as by the assessment of the not- born again flesh-based reasoning mind.
It is the result of original sin, and is the consistent battle Christians face when reaching out to the lost. It's why it requires an act of God in a person's life before they can be saved, or even be led to Jesus Christ to repent, ask forgiveness, and be saved.
It's why God deserves all of the credit, and we who are born again choose to honor Him with all of the things of our lives.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
Not trying to argue, but I don't see how they are at a good price. You can get many FPGAs at the same price range with *much* more capacity. The AN parts seem to have a price premium of around 20% and the flash parts from Lattice can be had a lower prices. Further, the AN flash parts are available in a lot fewer packages and none of them very small.
A number of the Lattice parts can hold multiple configurations and switch in just a very few milliseconds. This sort of thing takes 100's of milliseconds in the Xilinx parts. That is the sort of difference you get when the parts are designed with flash in mind. The program memory in a Xilinx part is literally an afterthought.
--

Rick
Reply to
rickman
But those were *your* words, that you can't live in a house made with slave labor, your metaphor. If a commercial MCU you can buy today is not suitable because of its origins, how is any of this suitable? It's all from the same commercial, not founded in love of god, basis. Why reject one and not the other?
So far I haven't seen any sign God is involved. It seems to be all about you.
Ok, I have money. Let's say I am happy to devote some of it to a fab that will build a chip for the purposes of God. Why *this* chip? Why an obsolete design with little redeeming qualities? What is the justification of this design over all others?
Ok, so you offer your design to Him. Will He then go out and have it fabbed? Then what happens? Who will use a 15 year old computer design? What value will it give to anyone other than you?
--

Rick
Reply to
rickman
You don't need a wafer to get a chip. There are foundries that will batch your design onto a shared wafer. You likely can't use a 500 nm process, but you can get a decent process that will be inexpensive. I recall the minimum price for a small chip would be in the low 10's of thousands.
Plans are great, but does He have funding?
--

Rick
Reply to
rickman
I have no answer to give that would make sense to people as the people who ask these questions are not in pursuit of the truth to begin with, but are rather pointing fingers and making accusations to discredit me. From within that very spirit they cannot understand my answer.
But, here it is:
To describe it: When I was saved in 2004, I held every thing in my life up to the Lord for scrutiny. I changed most everything about my life, but some things remained because they survived that scrutiny. I didn't feel convicted over them. This is one of them.
I don't know what to tell you, Rick.
It's the one I have experience on, and have interest in. However, I do desire to move it to 40 bits.
I also have other interests. I believe there is an encoding in DNA which conveys data and a processor ISA. I call it the "Butterfly CPU," and it was something I was given which, to me at the time, was surprising. You can read about it here:
formatting link

I have several ideas. And one of my prayers has been to be shown the fundamental microprocessor. I've laid that desire before the Lord, and left it there, continuing on in motion, knowing that as I am in motion, He is able to use me, and then move me to where He needs me to be.
There are also several witnesses throughout my life. Things which have happened to me that I can't just explain away, and even couldn't explain away at that time.
In short: I am a sinner, saved by grace, and that grace has extended throughout my life, even before I was a believer, and I have seen multiple witnesses of His hand at work in my life, even before I received Him as Lord and Savior.
I don't have those answers. I will lift my effort up to Him with my life and labor and prayer. He will then move me, and it, in the direction He sees fit, and I would not presume to guess the future.
My personal goals for the future are part of a timeline of labor:
(1) By the end of this year, having my assembler and low-level C compiler completed for my kernel, and (2) have my kernel booting on real hardware using my own dev tools. (3) In 2017, to rewrite part of my kernel in my low-level C language, and to complete my RDC framework and CAlive compiler (a higher level C-like compiler). (4) Also in 2017, begin coding my Logician tool, which is a semiconductor design tool. (5) In 2018, have my kernel solid with several core apps and a well-debugged RDC framework and CAlive compiler tool chain, and also Visual FreePro, Jr. (5) In 2019, have my ISA completed and working in simulation, and on FPGAS, and begin working on other hardware devices, and the whole system design (mainboard, form factor, features, etc). (6) In 2020, 2021, and 2022, continue developing these things which I have to get to the point where I have a complete system. (7) In 2022, have my CPU and other hardware devices ready to be manufactured in a fab.
(And there are a few more things in there at various stages, but those are the big bullet points)
Will any of it come to pass? These are my goals. If the Lord is willing, yes. If not, then I'll move to the next thing.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
I don't know how it would come to fruition, if it does. These are my goals. And I am prepared to yield to His goals for my life. And if these are part of His plans for my life, I look forward to seeing how they will come to fruition. The DNA Butterfly CPU idea, for example, started from a dream I had. In that dream I saw mated circles connected in a cross pattern that is as the images I've posted about it convey. It was a strange dream to me, and one which later took on meaning through another "revelation" given to me when I was sitting at a co-worker's desk looking at a butterfly's wing pattern. It looked to me like UV-unwrapped texture data for a 3D model. I thought to myself, "How interesting it would be if God had put some 3D story in the DNA of the various species, beginning with the Monarch Butterfly (as it looks like it has a candle on its back, and the Bible begins with "And God said, let there be light.")
I've told the DNA Butterfly CPU idea to many people. They all think I'm daft. Nonetheless, I could see how God could do that knowing that only in the end-most times, when we had this technology, would we be able to decode the message He placed in there from the very beginning of His creation of life on this planet.
We'll see though. So far it has yielded no fruit, though I haven't spent a lot of time on it, just a few dozen hours. It's outside of my field of expertise, so I just leave the idea and information out in the public so the person who's supposed to come across it can do so, and make the actual discovery themselves ... assuming it even exists. :-)
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
No one is trying to discredit you. I am trying to understand you. You keep repeating that you can't explain what you are talking about.
I'm not sure what you mean by "this".
That part is clear.
So this *is* about *you* then? Even so, I don't have any idea how working on this project has any benefit for God or anyone else. It seems like a hobby project you have tied into God for your own reasons.
The processor that executes DNA is life. Living organisms are the machine that executes the code in DNA/RNA. No mystery there.
I think you need to be more motivated to explore alternate architectures to the 386. Let me motivate you to the MISC style of computing. If you follow that path and combine it with useful peripherals and I/O, I think you can find a design that will have value in both this world and the next.
--

Rick
Reply to
rickman
You attempt to discredit me below. You say, "So, it is about you," which is a comment designed to belittle my efforts in giving this work over to God, and to man. You try to translate it from my real attempts into something the world could understand, rather than accepting that it might really be an offering from within, one given in this way to God in the same way someone who feels love for another person might do something for that person because that love is real. For the born again person, the desire to serve God in this way is real, and it's more powerful than love, though it is also a form of love, it's just of and toward God, which makes it something more fundamental.
Working with the 80836, my operating system, software in general, the things which have led me to continue on in those endeavors.
:-)
I desire to move it to 40-bits, but that's to bring the aging 32-bit limited design to more modern needs. The overall offering is the part given to God, including the migration to 40-bits, using the creativity and resourcefulness He gifted me with.
I have mapped out several cores for my design (the oppie*.png files):
formatting link

It wasn't until late 2014 that I found out about Verilog, and that hardware was something that was really within my grasp. Until then I always thought of it as this entirely nebulous thing that other people understood.
I'm saying that there's digital data encoded in the portion that is not used for protein generation, of the kind that when converted from the base-4 form in DNA would reveal its own logical CPU, and data, something that would convey that story I'm talking about, and in a full 3D form, probably with audio and some type of narration as well, but that's all a guess.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
So anyone who does not fully and complete agree with you and understand you and your motives, is not seeking "the truth" or following God? Don't you see how egoistic, even megalomaniac, that is? I know you will deny it, but you appear to consider yourself to be the sole judge and interpreter of "the truth" and God's will and plans. As Rick says, it is all about /you/, and what /you/ want to achieve - God is just the excuse you give. (I know you are not actively or intentionally doing this - it's clear that you truly believe that this is all part of God's plan for you. But what comes over to others is that this is /your/ plan.)
You are not asking people to believe in God, or trust in God. You are asking them to believe in /you/ and trust in /you/.

From a technical and practical viewpoint, the 40-bit idea is far worse than useless. It destroys the only vague benefit of using the 386 ISA, which is compatibility with existing software (an odd requirement, given that you want to re-write everything). I have seen what happens when a design tries to add a bit onto a cpu, without doing it fully (such as moving to 64-bit) - it's a mess. I know you believe that the number 40 is somehow special and holy, but you are again asking people to forget all their technical knowledge and experience and instead trust fully in /your/ ideas about divine plans.
Reply to
David Brown
I appreciate your input, David. Your knowledge and experience serve many people well. They are assets to be sure.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
I have had plenty experience with "born again" Christians, and "born once" Christians. Most have been friendly and pleasant people, with realistic ideas on life and how their beliefs fit together with their life. They are often enthusiastic about spreading their beliefs - but do so in terms of listening to others and when appropriate, giving ideas and encouragement about finding out more about God. They try to show how their beliefs affect them by trying to be as good people as they can - they do not try to tell you all about what strong faith /they/ have, or what great plans God has for /them/, and they do not intrude their evangelism out of context. The best evangelist waits for the agnostic to come to /them/, asking why is it that they are so content, peaceful and loving - they don't tell others how sinful they are, and how God is so loving and merciful that he will condemn you to burn in hell for eternity if you don't renounce all of reality around you and believe the Bible as the complete and unabridged factual reference of the universe.
But I expect you don't consider such people as "real" Christians, since they do not act and talk like you.
Reply to
David Brown
David, Jesus came to this Earth to meet men at the point of forgiveness rather than judgment and condemnation. He offers to set us free from our sin debt, freeing us from the punishment that comes from sin, re- storing us to eternal life, which is what gives us the born again nature.
That new nature is one which aligns with our true nature, which is as He is (Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and we are soul, body, spirit). When we died in original sin, we are only soul and body, as our spirit was dead because of sin. Only when Jesus takes our sin away are we then alive again in the spirit. And because of that new part of our nature is then alive and active, we are in tune again with God, and with the things which are of His Kingdom, and not merely the things of this Earth.
The born again person is not like other people. Their interests are not like those of this world. They are in business for God, going about His business, and doing this as an ongoing matter of course in their lives. It's not about them, but it's about Christ living in them.
We are the light of the world, as He is living inside us spiritually, and He is guiding us in our lives in the things we do as we go. We are dead to self, and alive to Him, which is why we change.
It's up to you to reject Him and all He's offering you, David. But if you take the time to learn about who He is, and pursue that knowledge honestly, you'll find out that He is love, and what He is sending to Hell is sin, and all those who embrace sin and will not turn from sin. Everyone else will be saved.
As I've advised you many times, David, be one who is saved. Do not let the draws and pulls and lies of this world keep you from coming to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You'll be forever grateful that you did.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
Really, nobody will do a single wafer (even if that is what is supposed to be delivered) as so many things can go wrong. So, they run a couple wafers and give you the best one. And, the cost of the wafer disappears into the noise of the entire effort. The masks are the huge expense, and then once they are set up to run a specific process, it only costs a tiny bit of extra time to run a couple more through all the same steps. Many of the steps are done by pushing a boat of 25+ wafers through an oven all at the same time.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
MOSIS is still running the AMI (now ON Semi) C5N process, with 500 nm feature size. Now, we use it for mixed signal stuff that is very heavy on the analog side, but the process is CMOS with some high res poly. It is one of the cheaper processes they offer.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Makes sense. Good information. Thank you.
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
For my needs, it will be a long time before I'm ready to go to a fab. My desire would be by July 12, 2022, which would be 10 years after I started this project, but that's just a target.
I think if I was going to create a semiconductor fab, I would call it Sand Castles. :-)
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
Yes, but in fact the smallest Spartan 3A or 3AN has been enough for a number of projects I am doing. So, I do not NEED the higher density, and certainly, the later rev Spartans go up to insane capacity, but I just don't need that.
And, I don't really need multiple configs in most of the things I'm doing. I prefer to be able to mail a new config to people and have them plug in a chip, if that is necessary.
So, Xilinx is working for me. And, yes, after going to the trouble of getting comfortable in the Xilinx tools, the last thing I want to do is learn somebody else's tools' quirks.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
What tool quirks. I think that is mostly a Xilinx domain. Altera tools just work and I've yet to find much in the way of problems with the Lattice tools. They never tried to roll their own, so I guess that is a plus.
I'll be finding out how good Microsemi tools are soon. I've got a Smartfusion2 kickstart board and want to play with it. But the Avnet site is no working this week because of a massive upgrade. They actually made the board and I've not yet found much in the way of getting started info. I guess I should just rely on Microsemi to get me started on the tools and figure out the kickstart board specifics once I'm up with the tools.
--

Rick
Reply to
rickman
I think I'd like to design this board, but without the plugs into the 386 motherboard.
Would you still be willing to help me with design? I'll get the pinouts and work up a circuit and wiring diagram proposal in multi-layer image format for inspection.
Do you know what part number I'd need for the level converters?
Best regards, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin

ElectronDepot website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.