[fpc-devel] Bounty for MIPS
mschnell at lumino.de
Mon Jan 30 15:13:08 CET 2012
On 01/30/2012 02:51 PM, Mark Morgan Lloyd wrote:
> I remember mentioning NIOS as a MIPS variant in earlier discussion.
> Did you ever conclude just how close they were, i.e. could one backend
> target both?
Not really. This is what the FAE told me when he did an introduction on
NIOS. I understand that the register structure is very similar and most
the instructions can be translated 1:1 regarding some dedicated MIPS
variant (supposedly the most simple one). As I never did any work with
MIPS, I can't be more specific. At the time I got this lesson, there was
no MMU enable NIOS design yet. But now, IMHO, the way to go with NIOS on
Linux is to use the MMU enhanced variant.
> it would be interesting to have input from somebody who's actually
> used that technology e.g. to tell us why a high-level language such as
> Pascal can contribute.
I did bring up a Linux system on the NIOS hardware and did some research
on what we can do with that. Of course it's great to have a combination
of a Linux enabled CPU and very fast custom-"hardware" in a single chip,
even though the CPU is not very fast. But at least it can happily do
TCP/IP on a 100MBit line.
If we would have decided to do a project on NIOS, I might have started
trying to do an FPC compiler for same, to allow for porting some of the
currently used Pascal based PC software. But here, all NIOS activity has
died. The cause that there now is the TI 335x chip that has a ten times
faster (ARM Cortex A8) CPU for Linux plus two Cortex M3 cores that -
independently of the main CPU - can do most of what we would require an
FPGA form. ARM-Linux, of course, is a lot more "Standard" than
NIOS-Linux, and FPC is no problem either.
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