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Microwatt: A Tiny Open Power ISA Softcore Written in VHDL 2008 (github.com)
73 points by protomyth 50 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments



From Wikipedia, for people like me:

The Power ISA is an instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by the OpenPOWER Foundation, led by IBM. It was originally developed by the now defunct Power.org industry group. Power ISA is an evolution of the PowerPC ISA, created by the mergers of the core PowerPC ISA and the optional Book E for embedded applications.

VHDL (VHSIC-HDL) (Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language) is a hardware description language used in electronic design automation to describe digital and mixed-signal systems such as field-programmable gate arrays and integrated circuits.


For a software engineer's view of the POWER ISA, I found Raymond Chen's blog series informative.

https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20180806-00/?p=99...


Power is a great ISA for simple FPGA development because its instruction set is generally fixed width and well organised. So you can fit it to a nice look up table, the case statements are a thing of beauty. Whereas x86 style instructions are variable length and more difficult to work with.

I hope to see a lot more like this with the open sourcing. I'm not sure it's very competitive, but it's a great education tool at the very least.




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