ZAP : An open source ARM processor (feedback)

Hi,
I am the author of the Gihub project ZAP (
formatting link
). 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

Reply to
revanth91kamaraj
Loading thread data ...
Awesome. I look forward to looking at your work.
Thank you, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
What can you advise me to do / look at for testing your core?
Thank you, Rick C. Hodgin
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
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
Reply to
Revanth Kamaraj
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote on 5/28/2017 8:45 AM:
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
Reply to
rickman
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
Reply to
Revanth Kamaraj
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.
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
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
Reply to
rickman
The closest thing the design might resemble is an xscale machine by Intel.
Reply to
Revanth Kamaraj
*partially, not as complex as XScale.
Reply to
Revanth Kamaraj
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.
Reply to
Revanth Kamaraj
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
Reply to
lasselangwadtchristensen
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
Reply to
Rick C. Hodgin
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
Reply to
rickman
Thanks.
Reply to
Revanth Kamaraj
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.
Reply to
Richard Damon

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.