Open-source CPU-core for standard-cell ASIC?

Discussion in 'VHDL' started by news.la.sbcglobal.net, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death.
    Are there any *production-quality* open-source embedded CPU cores,
    that are suitable for a standard-cell (0.18u) ASIC implementation?

    I see lots of CPU-projects on www.opencores.org, some with obviously
    amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
    CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")

    In my limited search (opencores.org and basic google search), I've only
    found a handful of candidates:

    32-bit:
    OpenRISC 1000 (from opencores.org)
    Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)

    8-bit/16-bit:
    many 805x clones
    a Z80 clone on www.opencores.org
    various PIC micro-controller clones (of questionable legality...)

    From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
    certified), and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
    devtools can target it. (Is that right?)

    OpenRISC 1000 is an original RISC ISA, with gcc/gdb port. A
    few press releases suggest it's been used in commercial ASICs.

    What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?
    news.la.sbcglobal.net, Mar 27, 2007
    #1
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  2. news.la.sbcglobal.net

    John McGrath Guest

    On Mar 26, 11:25 pm, "news.la.sbcglobal.net" <>
    wrote:
    > Forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death.
    > Are there any *production-quality* open-source embedded CPU cores,
    > that are suitable for a standard-cell (0.18u) ASIC implementation?
    >
    > I see lots of CPU-projects onwww.opencores.org, some with obviously
    > amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
    > CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")
    >
    > In my limited search (opencores.org and basic google search), I've only
    > found a handful of candidates:
    >
    > 32-bit:
    > OpenRISC 1000 (from opencores.org)
    > Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)
    >
    > 8-bit/16-bit:
    > many 805x clones
    > a Z80 clone onwww.opencores.org
    > various PIC micro-controller clones (of questionable legality...)
    >
    > From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
    > certified), and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
    > devtools can target it. (Is that right?)
    >
    > OpenRISC 1000 is an original RISC ISA, with gcc/gdb port. A
    > few press releases suggest it's been used in commercial ASICs.
    >
    > What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


    Sun Open-Sourced the SPARC T1, with full verilog source, compiler,
    simulation files, the works. I beleive the processor is quite advanced
    with multiple cores and multi-threading all options. I believe the
    latest version is more FPGA friendly, with lots of configurable
    options. This is all from memory, but there is more info here:

    http://www.opensparc.net/

    Have Fun!
    John McGrath, Mar 27, 2007
    #2
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  3. news.la.sbcglobal.net wrote:

    > Forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death.
    > Are there any *production-quality* open-source embedded CPU cores,
    > that are suitable for a standard-cell (0.18u) ASIC implementation?
    >
    > I see lots of CPU-projects on www.opencores.org, some with obviously
    > amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
    > CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")
    >
    > In my limited search (opencores.org and basic google search), I've only
    > found a handful of candidates:
    >
    > 32-bit:
    > OpenRISC 1000 (from opencores.org)
    > Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)
    >
    > 8-bit/16-bit:
    > many 805x clones
    > a Z80 clone on www.opencores.org
    > various PIC micro-controller clones (of questionable legality...)
    >
    > From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
    > certified), and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
    > devtools can target it. (Is that right?)
    >
    > OpenRISC 1000 is an original RISC ISA, with gcc/gdb port. A
    > few press releases suggest it's been used in commercial ASICs.
    >
    > What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


    You don't say what you need, but did you look at the Mico32 from Lattice?

    That is opensource, and proven on their silicon, and others have
    compiled it onto X and A.

    Maybe someone can give numbers for Mico32 on the Cyclone III ?

    -jg
    Jim Granville, Mar 27, 2007
    #3
  4. Jim Granville, Mar 27, 2007
    #4
  5. Someone asked:
    "[..]

    I see lots of CPU-projects on www.opencores.org, some with obviously
    amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
    CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")

    [..]
    Leon2/3 SPARC (www.gaisler.com)

    [..]
    a Z80 clone on www.opencores.org
    [..] (of questionable legality...)"


    You missed the Z80 clone for an Amstrad clone on WWW.Symbos.De/trex.htm


    "From what I can tell, Leon2/3 is the most robust candidate (SPARC V8
    certified),"

    Have you ever read the many problems people talk about on one of its
    Yahoo! email lists? Many are due to people not reading the
    documentation, but not all.


    " and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
    devtools can target it. (Is that right?)

    [..]"

    Very expensive commercial tools do legally target Leon processors.
    Colin Paul Gloster, Mar 27, 2007
    #5
  6. Colin Paul Gloster wrote:

    > " and since it implements a well-known ISA, commercial
    > devtools can target it. (Is that right?)
    >
    > [..]"
    >
    > Very expensive commercial tools do legally target Leon processors.


    Are you implying that gcc targeting SPARC is not legal?

    --
    Steve Williams "The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    steve at icarus.com But I have promises to keep,
    http://www.icarus.com and lines to code before I sleep,
    http://www.picturel.com And lines to code before I sleep."
    Stephen Williams, Mar 27, 2007
    #6
  7. news.la.sbcglobal.net

    mmihai Guest

    On Mar 26, 11:25 pm, "news.la.sbcglobal.net" <>
    wrote:

    > I see lots of CPU-projects onwww.opencores.org, some with obviously
    > amateurish documentation/legal-disclaimers ("I copied company X's
    > CPU, so I don't know you can legally use my core in your project, enjoy!")


    I kind of agree with that.

    > What about the 8-bit and 16-bit cores?


    Depends what you're looking for (what do you want to do with your this
    CPU?).
    I have my own core (http://www.delajii.net/proc4) which is optimized
    for control applications. It can be an 8b core, 16b, 24b, 32b, etc.

    Without more info I can not say if it's suitable for you.
    --
    mmihai
    mmihai, Mar 27, 2007
    #7
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