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Next186 COM port bounty.. - Printable Version

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Next186 COM port bounty.. - Fleasystems - 11-12-2014 08:27 PM

Hello fellow tinkerers!

I have received a number of requests of late around the possible inclusion of a PC compatible COM port into the Next186 soft-core as used on FleaFPGA. Because Next186's author has been busy with work-related projects for a while now, I had then decided to attempt the work myself. However, due to personal commitments my own effort will now not be ready for a while yet.. Undecided

In light of the above, I am considering putting up a bounty as a reward for someone to successfully integrate either Lattice's 16450 UART IP module or some other 8250/16450 UART (16650 solution is Ok *provided* it doesn't occupy more than a 200-300 LUTs on the MachXO2).

Next186's bus interface is neither wishbone-based nor is it asynchronous, which makes the job a wee bit harder though not impossible by any means.

Needless to say, the inclusion of a PC-compatible serial port would make Next186 even more capable and useful. I for one would very much like the prospect of connecting up those cheap WiFi serial modules up to the flea for some retro-x86-based networking action! Of course, that would require a custom network packet driver (or perhaps even modification of the ESP8266's firmware to behave like a standard Hayes-AT modem!), but let's deal with one problem at a time.. Smile

I would like to pledge an initial amount as a starting point and anyone who is interested in seeing this happen are welcome to make their own kind contributions towards the cause. Thoughts?

Regards Valentin