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Emulation

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Blecki

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Last time, I designed the instruction set for the IN8 CPU. This time, I'm going to emulate it. This thing is so incredibly easy to animate that this is going to be very short. I'm writing this in C#, but that is mostly irrelevant. Basic stuff first: I need to store the registers, and the contents of ram.
public byte[] MEM = new byte[0x10000];public byte A, B, C, D, E, H, L = 0;public ushort IP, SP = 0;public byte O = 0;public uint CLOCK = 0;
And there is a step function, which reads the next instruction and executes it. Now since there are only 256 possible instructions, all I need is a big switch statement...
switch (N){ case 0x00: /* CAL */ { CLOCK += 4; CHECK_MEM(SP - 1); CHECK_MEM(SP - 2); MEM[(ushort)(--SP)] = (byte)IP; MEM[(ushort)(--SP)] = (byte)(IP >> 8); IP = HL; break; } case 0x01: /* MTA A B */ { CLOCK += 1; A = B; break; } case 0x02: /* MTA A C */ { CLOCK += 1; A = C; break; } case 0x03: /* MTA A D */ { CLOCK += 1; A = D; break; } case 0x04: /* MTA A E */ { CLOCK += 1; A = E; break; } case 0x05: /* MTA A H */ { CLOCK += 1; A = H; break; } case 0x06: /* MTA A L */ { CLOCK += 1; A = L; break; } case 0x07: /* MTA A N */ { CLOCK += 1; var X = N; A = X; break; } case 0x08: /* MTA B A */ { CLOCK += 1; B = A; break; } ...
Yeah I'm not going to copy and paste the whole thing. You already get the idea.

I wrote a host program so I can start messing around with this thing. I'm using Monogame to implement some of the hardware, like a display. Details of how hardware is implemented is beyond the scope of this, as I'm more interested in the design of the hardware I'm emulating. The host is pretty fantastic. I can use it to step through code running on the emulator, and it can be configured by the command line to add hardware to the virtual desktop. It will also let me specify, in machine language, some code to run on the emulator. Eventually I'd like to emulate a disc drive, and will probably be giving the emulator some kind of ROM with a bootloader in it. For now, though, it's easy to test bits of code.

To test out hardware, I'll start with something simple. Say, a seven segment display. You know what this is, even if you've never heard it called that. It has seven parts that can be lit up, and by illuminating specific pieces it can display numbers.

Hardware communicates with the IN8 by binding ports. So we'll create a seven segment display that binds to one port, and displays whatever is written to that port. The display can show one number, and the data sent to it is a bitfield indicating if each segment is illuminated or not.

When I run the emulator, I get two windows. One is blank, and contains a visual representation of the hardware I bound. The other is a console window and contains information about the cpu.

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:6480]
I'm not sure what number that seven-segment is meant to display. The command line to run that simple program looks like this"X 07 05 0F 03 F8 CA" "H7SGM 16 16 05"
Writing programs at this stage is very, very difficult. Programs have to be prepared in machine language. I want to display something on a series of seven-segment displays, so I'll go ahead and get an array of them ready. First I'm going to display each segment by itself.
Byte Number Assembly Machine Language;Loop from 0 to 7 inclusive;A is our counter and port number for writing.00 MTA A N 0701 0x00 00:BEGIN02 LLT BF03 &END 0004 1405 MTA B N 0F06 0x08 0807 BEG D4;Output to display A08 MFA A C 1209 MTA B A 080A MTA A N 070B 0x01 010C SSL 100D MTA B A 080E MTA A C 020F OUT F8;Increment A10 ADD A N 2711 0x01 0112 JPL CF13 &BEGIN 0014 02:END15 STP CA
The machine language: 07 00 BF 00 14 0F 08 D4 12 08 07 01 10 08 02 F8 27 01 CF 00 02 CA

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:6481]
I invented two new instructions: SSL and SSR, which do bit-wise shifts. Writing code this way is down right painful. But I'm going to have to write a functioning assembler this way before I can do anything about it. This is going to be fantastic. Next time, I'll emulate disc hardware, so that the assembler has a place to read code from and write machine language to. Fun!

The code so far is on github (Yay!) at https://github.com/Blecki/IN8

Two little asides: First, here is a program that does something
07 00 0F 7F F8 07 01 0F 3F F8 07 02 0F 3F F8 07 03 0F 7F F8 07 04 0F 06 F8 07 05 0F 79 F8 07 06 0F 6D F8 CA
Hehe. Hehehe.

Second, I am displeased with my instruction set. It is quite likely that I will remove some instructions to add others. Instructions like adding the value at the top of the stack to A, which seems more useful than adding H to A. I shall see.
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