[time-nuts] Controlling FEI 5680A

David davidwhess at gmail.com
Sun Jan 15 14:43:25 EST 2012

I would just use a PIC, AVR, or ARM even if I had to use more than one
with some discrete logic on the side but I like solder, assembly, and
low level coding in that order.  If I find a small, cheap, easy to
use, and general purpose FPGA, I may look into that as well.

MIPS may be a special case for implementation.  The original Loongson
design (Chinese) lacked 4 instructions that MIPS still had IP
protection on.

On Sun, 15 Jan 2012 16:45:56 +0100, Magnus Danielson
<magnus at rubidium.dyndns.org> wrote:

>A short notice on embedded CPU/MPUs into FPGAs. Using PIC or AVR might 
>be tempting, but I consider any clone "dirty" from a rights perspective, 
>MIPS for instance have been very protective on their side, so has ARM. 
>So far has the SPARC been the only big one being accepted in their 
>LEON-x variants that I know of. We be sad to see the cotton industry 
>level being smashed by the big firm lawyers.
>So, either using the OpenRISC variants or similar. There is loads of 
>CPUs on the OpenCores website, but just because they are there do not 
>think they are free to use if they are clones of commercial stuff.
>I would either use one of the FPGA vendors CPUs and then write the core 
>in C, or use a free CPU.
>I could also roll my own CPU, as I have already done before, but 
>building a tool-chain including GCC is a bit of home-work. For my 
>application I haven't bothered, but it is tempting to get C capabilities.
>Then again, if someone could show that the PIC and/or AVR is free to 
>clone in FGPA, by showing a clear statement from the respective 
>technology holders, then that would be a way forward.
>I've done this analysis before, and so far I have not seen any 
>comprehensive open analysis covering these aspects.
>I fear that this is way off topic for this list, so I propose that this 
>aspects is continued on another list, such as the FPGA-Synth list, which 
>faces essentially the same problems.

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