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x86 SoC pre-release now available
05-05-2014, 04:15 PM (This post was last modified: 05-20-2014 02:38 AM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #1
x86 SoC pre-release now available
Hello everyone!

I'm happy to announce the availability of a pre-release port of Nicolae Dumitrache's excellent Next186 SoC from opencores for the FleaFPGA platform! Big Grin

Some early screenshots:
http://www.fleasystems.com/images/galler...GA_x86.jpg
http://www.fleasystems.com/images/galler...6_sGEM.jpg
http://www.fleasystems.com/images/galler...6_sW3D.jpg

While this is still very much a work-in-progress, I will (hopefully in the next day or two) put together a how-to on getting FleaFPGA users up and running with this. Stay tuned as there's definitely more to follow.. Smile

Regards Valentin

PS: This thread is something of a continuation from an old discussion
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05-06-2014, 02:50 AM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2014 02:51 AM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #2
RE: FleaFPGA x86 SoC
As promised, here is a link to the pre-release bitfile:

http://www.fleasystems.com/source/FleaFP...l_2014.zip

I've added a bootable FreeDOS Hard-disk image to give folks something to boot with the x86 core. Please refer to the included readme file for instructions and post any questions that you may have about it here. Enjoy! Smile

Regards Valentin
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05-06-2014, 08:01 PM
Post: #3
RE: FleaFPGA x86 SoC
It works great!
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05-09-2014, 07:00 PM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2014 07:02 PM by TimMcD0n41d.)
Post: #4
RE: FleaFPGA x86 SoC
(05-06-2014 02:50 AM)Fleasystems Wrote:  As promised, here is a link to the pre-release bitfile:

http://www.fleasystems.com/source/FleaFP...l_2014.zip

I've added a bootable FreeDOS Hard-disk image to give folks something to boot with the x86 core. Please refer to the included readme file for instructions and post any questions that you may have about it here. Enjoy! Smile

Regards Valentin

Working great for me also. Cant wait for its release. How many LUTs does this consume?
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05-11-2014, 03:58 PM
Post: #5
RE: FleaFPGA x86 SoC
(05-09-2014 07:00 PM)TimMcD0n41d Wrote:  How many LUTs does this consume?

I do not have the final LUT count in as yet. However, it's looking like it will weigh in at just under ~80% of FleaFPGA's capacity.

Regards Valentin
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05-20-2014, 02:35 AM (This post was last modified: 05-20-2014 02:36 AM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #6
RE: FleaFPGA x86 SoC
Just a few quick updates on this.

I've updated the Next186 FleaFPGA bitfile download link at the beginning of this thread to include the following:

basic 320x200 EGA and VGA planar support.

Also, Next186 Project's author (Nicolae Dumitrache) has kindly provided the source files for the FleaFPGA port of his x86 softcore, which is now available from the downloads section of his Next186 project page on Opencores

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicolae for his hard work - both in the realisation of his excellent Next186 project as well as porting it to the FleaFPGA platform. Thankyou Nicolae! Smile

Sincerely,
Valentin Angelovski
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09-26-2014, 03:10 PM (This post was last modified: 09-26-2014 03:17 PM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #7
RE: x86 SoC pre-release now available
Hello everyone!

I believe I have found one of the major reasons for PS/2 keyboard problems with Next186 and FleaFPGA. It appears that not all keyboards appear to support scancode set 1, which the Next186 system BIOS appears to need and use. This would potentially rule out a portion of PS/2 keyboards, particularly those that are also USB compatible.

There may be also some state-related issues there as well, since reverting to scancode set 2 does not necessarily even enable keyboard response, let alone fix the problem..

For the record, not all keyboards I have here work with Next186 SoC, though they ALL work with the Pong example.. Smile

I encountered a similar issue when developing my Flea86 project - my work-around that time was (at great time and expense) to rewrite my keyboard handler to support Scancode set 2 and get that handler to execute within 4 microseconds of 8051 CPU every VGA horizontal line period...

I will now inform the Next186's author know about the issue. Thankyou!

Regards Valentin
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09-27-2014, 01:08 AM (This post was last modified: 09-27-2014 01:08 AM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #8
RE: x86 SoC pre-release now available
Just a quick update on the Next186 keyboard issue.

I have since discovered there was infact some support for Scancode set 2 included in the Next186 BIOS assembly source file. However, unlike real IBM AT+ computers Next186 does not perform scancode set 2 -> 1 translation in hardware. This explains why Next186 attempts to put any connected PS/2 keyboard into using scancode set 1.

Now, while going to scancode set 2 isn't a problem when staying within the DOS console, it would be a problem for any DOS application that hooks into INT9 and expects to see set 1 scancode data..

For the purposes of testing only, I have assembled a TEST ONLY Next186 BIOS binary image which uses the keyboard default scancode set 2.
If anyone has a free moment, if you could try out the test image and see if it fixes those previously unresponsive PS/2 keyboards that you may have had trouble with.. Thanks!

Regards Valentin
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09-29-2014, 12:25 AM
Post: #9
RE: x86 SoC pre-release now available
Just a note on Keyboard/Mouse combo port on the board.

While experimenting the Next186, I had no problem (even with the FreeDOS "keyb fr" command) ... until I tried to use also a mouse. Naturally, I used an Y cable to find that my keyboard wasn't working any more.
Further investigations and I found that with an Y cable the keyboard port becomes port2 instead of port1.
The Next186 driver doesn't handle that. I didn't find my way to correct it, yet.

Hope this help.

FleaFPGA Rev2.6 9/2014
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10-01-2014, 02:27 PM (This post was last modified: 10-01-2014 02:54 PM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #10
RE: x86 SoC pre-release now available
(09-29-2014 12:25 AM)mpcour Wrote:  Just a note on Keyboard/Mouse combo port on the board.

While experimenting the Next186, I had no problem (even with the FreeDOS "keyb fr" command) ... until I tried to use also a mouse. Naturally, I used an Y cable to find that my keyboard wasn't working any more.
Further investigations and I found that with an Y cable the keyboard port becomes port2 instead of port1.
The Next186 driver doesn't handle that. I didn't find my way to correct it, yet.

Hope this help.

There are several iterations/implementations of the split-PS/2 scheme. What you describe appears to be a Y-splitter suited for general laptop use. For the record, I simply made my own cable (because I wanted to ;-) based on the existing Next186 port wiring. I should ask the Next186 author what PS/2 Y-splitter cable he used in his project development sometime..

I could swap the ports in the Next186 project, but that would mean you could no longer simply plug a keyboard into FleaFPGA's PS/2 port by default, only a mouse. So it makes sense to leave the design as-is. The laptop y-splitter should still work, but the keyboard and mouse ports will be swapped as you described, but that's all AFAICT.

Regards Valentin
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