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Switching to Hardware (Again)

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Caitlin

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So I have decided to start designing hardware again. I like a lot of the threads here at GameDev and would like to continue to offer what little help I can to people here, so I will pretty much keep visiting and posting.

My current project is a more powerful version of a Z80 based multitasking GPC that I helped a guy I work with design and build. I will also be designing an 8085 version. Both will have support for plug and go (plug and play sounds silly considering the thing is not for playing games) using eight AT-esque expansion slots.

Why use CPU that are so old you ask? Because theyre simple to design systems for and hobbyests still use 8 bit systems quite often.
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ohh yeah... there's no feeling quite like watching the first instruction execute is there?

For a class I worked on a reduced version of the m68k chip - basically fewer registers and only capable of word-size instructions, not byte or long word - but it was still cool.

How are you going about this? Simulation(in that case, what tool?), FPGA(cool), discrete TTL gates(if you're a glutton for punishment) or god forbid actually getting it fabbed?

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Ya know, it's always interesting reading about people's projects with different things like working with thier own hardware, I read Ben Ryves' journal regularly for much the same reason.

I don't really have anything specific to say about what you've been posting, but I just thought I'd let you know that I've found most of it to be an interesting read. [wink]

Good luck with the new hardware project, and do let us know how it goes, it's good to read something other than the usual coding and/or design talk.

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Quote:
How are you going about this? Simulation(in that case, what tool?), FPGA(cool), discrete TTL gates(if you're a glutton for punishment) or god forbid actually getting it fabbed?


I don't do simulation, or at least the "proper" way by using a computer. Pretty much how everything will work is inside my head. Most of the designing is still done with pencil and paper until I get to the point where I design the curcuit board. Then I use the computer. The process is relatively easy because I have a "library" of circuits that I have designed in the past to draw info from.

I don't care for FPGAs even though theyre useful so I use TTL and microcontrollers. Custom ICs would be nice to use but not worth the trouble unless you are going for production.

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