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Re: Various size of (Project) ideas for NetBSD and pkgsrc


From: Yann Sionneau <>, Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2013 
19:37:14 +0200

> Hi Ryo,
> Le 29/09/13 03:09, Ryo ONODERA a écrit :
>> Hi,
>> (8) Porting NetBSD to some FPGA CPU board
>> OpenCores' OpenRISC 1200, Xilinx's MicloBlaze, Altera NIOS II is
>> available for FPGA board.
>> At least OpenRISC 1200 and MicroBlaze have Linux support.
>> Supporting these architecture is interesting for NetBSD.
>> (I have no idea about NetBSD/nios2 status.)
> I am in the process of adding support for LatticeMico32 (LM32)
> architecture to NetBSD 6 kernel.
> Last year a MMU (memory management unit) has been added to the LM32
> softcore which makes it able to run Linux or NetBSD.
> LM32 already had a uCLinux (noMMU) working port.
> This year I started the project to port NetBSD 6 kernel on MMU-enabled
> LM32 CPU in general and on the Milkymist open source System-on-Chip in
> particular.
> Today I had my first result on this project:
> -> NetBSD 6 kernel immediately panics and dies. Even though this might
> -> seem like a poor result, there have been a lot of work behind it.
> This is a first step which looks very promising :) (at least console
> driver works ;))

Great work!
I am not kernel developer, but I want to know the following questions.

How about status of NetBSD current?
According to NetBSD development process, porting to current is essential,
if I understand correctly.

And how about bus support?
According to MiklyMist wiki, MilkyMist uses wishbone like bus, and
I understand correctly, wishbone or similar bus support are not
implemented in current NetBSD.

> The Milkymist System-on-Chip runs on various FPGAs (Spartan 3, Spartan
> 6, Virtex 4 etc) from various FPGA vendors (Xilinx, Lattice, Altera)
> It has been ported on numerous boards (Milkymist One, ML401, De0-nano,
> Nexys3 etc...)
> It uses LatticeMico32 (open source softcore) as it's CPU softcore.
> If you want more information about Milkymist and it's NetBSD porting
> work status do not hesitate to e-mail me or the Milkymist mailing list
> :)

I think FAGA based hardware needs setup of hardware, so
NetBSD developer should write CPU softcore etc to FPGA chip.
Maybe developers not familiar with this kind of works.

For example, MilkyMist for DE0 namo is attractive for me.
It is low price FPGA hardware.
But I am completely newbie to FPGA device, and I cannot imagine
what is needed to start MilkyMist on DE0 nano.
And I want to know performance information about FPGA board.
Microsoft Windows PC is needed? Additional hardware?
Writing how to setup hardware is needed, and it may be
another NetBSD project idea or homework for MilkyMist people.

By the way, what is your target? MilkyMist SoC? MilkyMist-ng?
And How to get the hardware that is exactly as same as yours?
This question is how to start NetBSD/milkymist question.
What hardware/software should I buy to follow your work?

And I have noticed some open source SPARC CPU sotfcore is available for
FPGA board (T1, S1, LEON, etc.).

> FYI MicroBlaze CPU is not open source, even though there are a few
> open source clones out there (aeMB and others)
> Nios II is not open source neither.
> OpenRISC is open source and has a MMU and a Linux port, it's a nice
> project as well :)

I am not sticky to open source hardware.
Of course, if CPU softcore is open source, I am more happy.
And do not forget NetBSD/emips.

> All of this being said, I agree with you that having NetBSD running on
> FPGA would be a really cool achievement, especially on OpenSource
> hardware (PCB and FPGA design) which allows for deep understanding of
> hardware, digital design and low level software as well as tweaking
> the CPU (cache size, TLB size, instructions, pipeline configuration
> etc).

Thanks for your information.

I think the following idea is shown in this thread by you and me.

(a) Porting NetBSD to MilkyMist SoC/MilkyMist-ng open source hardware (status: 
in progress)
(b) Porting NetBSD to OpenRISC 1200 (target board is not specified)
(c) Porting NetBSD to MIcroBlaze (target board is not specified)
(d) Porting NetBSD to FPGA board with SPARC CPU softcore (target CPU and board 
is not specified)
(e) Writing how to start NetBSD/milkymist with a certain board (target board 
should be specified)

Thank you.

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