Idea/Proposal: ROM Headers for emulation

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By Grauw

Ascended (9899)

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11-01-2021, 19:35

Vampier wrote:

FPGA can't do pre-processing as it doesn't work like an emulator where you load a blob of data - dissect it and have nice small chunks. FPGA is byte by byte processing and making decisions tight there.

Yes, but for the same reason it can not load ROM files from an SD card, FPGA can and does not interact with the contents of a ROM file without microprocessor. So a non-binary format does not preclude use on FPGAs because either way the header will be interpreted by a processor.

I assure you I understand how FPGA works Smile, and I’m saying the argument does not apply.

By tfh

Prophet (2895)

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11-01-2021, 19:35

ren wrote:

(And ah, @tfh does react in this topic.. Striking as well?)

What are you implying here?

By Kitrinx

Supporter (6)

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11-01-2021, 19:35

The way data is fed to an FPGA, on mister platform and I imagine most others, is one byte at a time, and the core must make decisions at this time. It has no capacity to compare text, unzip things, or anything else. Immediately this would require separate specially made code on a microcontroller or arm chip to pre-process the rom into a useable format. At this point, why even bother with this format at all rather than making it in the useable format to begin with.

By Grauw

Ascended (9899)

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11-01-2021, 19:38

What is “feeding” the FPGA?

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5776)

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11-01-2021, 19:39

I'm a bit with Grauw here... I mean... Carnivore2 is based on FPGA design... also Gr8net is FPGA stuff... Both of them can load and save text files just fine from memory card.

By Vampier

Prophet (2384)

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11-01-2021, 19:42

Carnivore runs in the MSX which has a BIOS etc. etc. yes the de10nano has an OS that runs on a single core ARM chip - but the cores are pure FPGA.

By ren

Paragon (1811)

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11-01-2021, 19:44

(prv: @tfh: I'm under the impression you're kinda avoiding me (since that 2019 Xmas quiz 'incident')? But please correct me if I'm mistaken Smile)

By Kitrinx

Supporter (6)

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11-01-2021, 19:45

Grauw wrote:

What is “feeding” the FPGA?

Data is provided to the fpga via a set of signals from the HPS bridge, so it gives one byte or one word, depending on HPS_IO module settings in the case of this framework. But maximum it can provide 16 bits of data at a time. This is the HPS core reading data from the SD card, USB, or Network and providing it to the core in a measured way so it can be properly loaded into bram, sdram, or ddram as applicable for the particular core. This framework of course accommodates over 100 cores, so it semi-generic in nature.

By Grauw

Ascended (9899)

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11-01-2021, 19:49

Vampier wrote:

Carnivore runs in the MSX which has a BIOS etc. etc. yes the de10nano has an OS that runs on a single core ARM chip - but the cores are pure FPGA.

So there you have it, no issue interpreting text-based metadata files.

I can’t imagine a pure FPGA implementation that would process metadata headers, neither binary nor text based.

OCM has processor on the FPGA itself. It is even more bare bones than the de10nano in that sense. In turboR mode, before booting up the turboR BIOS ROM is read from the SD card by the Z80 and loaded into its memory. But still this is all done on a CPU.

By Vampier

Prophet (2384)

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11-01-2021, 19:50

Grauw - see Kitrinx' reply - she knows heck of a lot more than me what is going on - I might have jumped the gun with that answer

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