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Messages from 155500

Article: 155500
Subject: Re: VHDL syntheses timestamp
From: Kolja Sulimma <ksulimma@googlemail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 02:58:43 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Am Montag, 23. April 2012 18:28:20 UTC+2 schrieb Rob Gaddi:
> It can't be done in native VHDL,=20

It can, but the tools don't synthesize it.
In VHDL you can write code that is run once at the beginning of a simulatio=
n. It would be rather easy for a tool vendor (compared to the other complex=
 tasks done during synthesis) to evaluate the results of these one time pro=
cesses by simulation and use the results in synthesis.=20
These one time processes could be used to read /dev/time, to compute comple=
x constants (sine tables, etc.) or to read look up tables from files.

I would be great if vendors implemented this. The language supports it.

Have fun,

Kolja

Article: 155501
Subject: Re: FPGA board with 4 channel 500Msps ADC?
From: Kolja Sulimma <ksulimma@googlemail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 03:33:27 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Hi,

we have 4 channels boards with 250Msps at 14 bits and 1250Msps at 10 bits.
They are not exactly cheap, though:
http://www.cronologic.de/products/digitizer/

Regards,

Kolja

Am Dienstag, 16. April 2013 23:09:38 UTC+2 schrieb wzab:
> I'm looking for possibly cheap FPGA based board with 4 channel 500
> Msps ADC (at least 8bit).
> The board should allow preprocessing of acquired data and transmission
> of results to the PC (via
> PCIe, Ethernet or USB - the amount of data after preprocessing will be
> significantly reduced).

 

Article: 155502
Subject: Re: VHDL syntheses timestamp
From: "jt_eaton" <84408@embeddedrelated>
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2013 10:52:33 -0500
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
I am curious as to why everyone seems to think that putting timestamps
in binaries is such a good idea? Whenever I inherit a design that I need to

modify then the first thing I do is recreate the original development
environment to the point where I can compile and produce the original
binary.

You can't do that when you stuff in timestamps.


John Eaton

 	   
					
---------------------------------------		
Posted through http://www.FPGARelated.com

Article: 155503
Subject: Re: VHDL syntheses timestamp
From: Rob Gaddi <rgaddi@technologyhighland.invalid>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 10:15:39 -0700
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On Mon, 08 Jul 2013 10:52:33 -0500
"jt_eaton" <84408@embeddedrelated> wrote:

> I am curious as to why everyone seems to think that putting timestamps
> in binaries is such a good idea? Whenever I inherit a design that I need to
> 
> modify then the first thing I do is recreate the original development
> environment to the point where I can compile and produce the original
> binary.
> 
> You can't do that when you stuff in timestamps.
> 
> 
> John Eaton
> 

And yet the first thing I do when my programmer tells me there's a
problem with the FPGA he's talking to is ask him to confirm for me that
he's using the same timestamped build I think he is.

I update my binary timestamps using a TCL script; I can always disable
that script if I need to force a given timestamp.  But on some level,
binary reproducibility is dead.  All the FPGA vendors are forcing us
into complicated licensing schemes, even for the free versions of the
software, that pretty much guarantee that you won't be able to run a 5
year old version of the tools simply because no one will be willing to
generate you a license file for it.

But hey, who ever wanted repeatability anyhow?  FPGA design is only fun
if you have to spend as much time playing "What stupid new thing did the
tools do today?" as you do actually designing logic.

-- 
Rob Gaddi, Highland Technology -- www.highlandtechnology.com
Email address domain is currently out of order.  See above to fix.

Article: 155504
Subject: Re: VHDL syntheses timestamp
From: rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2013 22:23:26 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 7/8/2013 1:15 PM, Rob Gaddi wrote:
> On Mon, 08 Jul 2013 10:52:33 -0500
> "jt_eaton"<84408@embeddedrelated>  wrote:
>
>> I am curious as to why everyone seems to think that putting timestamps
>> in binaries is such a good idea? Whenever I inherit a design that I need to
>>
>> modify then the first thing I do is recreate the original development
>> environment to the point where I can compile and produce the original
>> binary.
>>
>> You can't do that when you stuff in timestamps.
>>
>>
>> John Eaton
>>
>
> And yet the first thing I do when my programmer tells me there's a
> problem with the FPGA he's talking to is ask him to confirm for me that
> he's using the same timestamped build I think he is.

That doesn't absolutely require a timestamp.  I have used a version 
number that I manually set, negative values for development versions and 
positive values for releases.  Of course, this is a register to be read 
by an MCU so if you don't have the MCU there is no easy way to read the 
version number.

How was the timestamp read or verified again?


> I update my binary timestamps using a TCL script; I can always disable
> that script if I need to force a given timestamp.  But on some level,
> binary reproducibility is dead.  All the FPGA vendors are forcing us
> into complicated licensing schemes, even for the free versions of the
> software, that pretty much guarantee that you won't be able to run a 5
> year old version of the tools simply because no one will be willing to
> generate you a license file for it.

I am still running the last version I got from my paid for (ultra low 
end) license that expired some four years ago.  I have to remember to 
request a new license and so far they have not had a problem with new 
computers and I'm currently on my third or maybe fourth one.  I hope 
they don't crap me out at some point, but I'm not sure it would be a 
huge problem.  As long as the HDL code works with the newer free tools 
it shouldn't be a problem.


> But hey, who ever wanted repeatability anyhow?  FPGA design is only fun
> if you have to spend as much time playing "What stupid new thing did the
> tools do today?" as you do actually designing logic.

I found a long time ago that it is a *lot* of work to verify that the 
tools give you the hardware you expect.  Mostly I have to code very 
small modules and build up.  I try to do that even when I don't need to 
verify tool efficiency because it also makes test benches simpler to 
write.  I write more of them as I build up, but each one only has to 
test the new functionality of the combined structure.  Then when I need 
to verify that the tool is doing a decent job, I can synthesize on the 
same small modules I verified and vice versa.

-- 

Rick

Article: 155505
Subject: Re: USB Download Cable for Lattice Devices
From: rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2013 22:26:46 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 7/1/2013 12:58 AM, rickman wrote:
> I am looking to incorporate the download capability for the Lattice USB
> download cable into a design. I found an app note on this but it uses a
> slightly old chip the FT2232D. FTDI refers to this chip as "Please note
> that the FT2232D is not an new generation of device." I assume they are
> indicating that you shouldn't start a new design with this chip, but I'm
> not sure.
>
> Looking at the XP2 development kit they seem to use the FT2232H with a
> slightly different schematic. They omit an analog switch which is used
> as a multiplexer to use the same pins for two different functions, JTAG
> and I2C. I guess in the XP2 design they don't need the I2C interface.
>
> Does anyone know which design is in the Lattice HW-USBN-2A cable?
>
> I also followed a number of links I found in the searches on this and
> found several projects for open source debugging cables using FTDI
> devices. One is OOCDLink with not so much documentation. Another is
> usbjtag which seems to be nothing but dead links at this point. There
> are others also.
>
> Looks like this FTDI chip could be a useful tool for JTAG debugging, but
> it is a little hard to corral the hardware.

I took the dare and opened the case on my current HW-USBN-2A and it is 
not an FTDI chip at all.  It is a Cypress chip!  So if I want to try 
using an FTDI chip it won't be duplicating the existing factory cable at 
all.  I'm a little confused as I thought the FT2232D was what they said 
the USB cable had in it and the FT2232H was on the XP2 eval board.

No worries.  I still want to look into the FT2232x cable once I get the 
current shipment out of the way.

-- 

Rick

Article: 155506
Subject: How to Use Spartan 6 Ethernet Port
From: Zinabu Haile <zinabuhaile26@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2013 05:21:33 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>


Hi all

   I need your help.I met a problem when I use the SPARTAN-6 FPGA board (xc6slx45-csg324c).I'm currently working on a project that I need to send data from my PC to FPGA board using Ethernet port.
  1. How can I assign IP to the FPGA board,if possible.
or
  2. How can I communicate with the FPGA board from my PC with some LED indicator 


Thanks 

Article: 155507
Subject: Re: VHDL syntheses timestamp
From: KJ <kkjennings@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2013 17:50:57 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On Monday, July 8, 2013 1:15:39 PM UTC-4, Rob Gaddi wrote:
> > On Mon, 08 Jul 2013 10:52:33 -0500 "jt_eaton" <84408@embeddedrelated> >=
 wrote: > I am curious as to why everyone seems to think that putting times=
tamps=20
> > in binaries is such a good idea? Whenever I inherit a design that I nee=
d to=20
> > modify then the first thing I do is recreate the original development=
=20
> > environment to the point where I can compile and produce the original=
=20
> > binary. You can't do that when you stuff in timestamps.=20

> And yet the first thing I do when my programmer tells me there's=20
> a problem with the FPGA he's talking to is ask him to confirm for me that=
=20
> he's using the same timestamped build I think he is.=20

This is a version control (or lack thereof) problem.  Simply use a tool suc=
h as Subversion, Sourcesafe, Git, etc. and you won't need to ask your first=
 question either.  The programmer should be able to provide you with his ve=
rsion controlled build script that links in your FPGA file into the bigger =
picture...after first providing you the trace file that was captured from t=
he system that identified the software version number in the first place.

> I update my binary=20
> timestamps using a TCL script; I can always disable that script if I need=
 to=20
> force a given timestamp.

The value there is that you can in theory walk up to a system, query it and=
 then get that binary timestamp read back.  The cost is that this process s=
hould be more work and effort (and therefore cost) then verifying version n=
umbers with the version control system.  The big word in that sentence thou=
gh is 'should'.  If you're working with folks who don't like (or understand=
) version control, or don't like to check things in until they are 'done' a=
nd queue up a huge pile of unrelated changes into a check-in then it may be=
 easier to walk up to that system after all...assuming it's accessible.

But even in that situation, the better course is to shame them into this by=
 simply asking how did they verify that they are using your latest FPGA?  H=
opefully that brings up a discussion on version control where they will loo=
k rather foolish if they choose to defend the out of control method.

There is more to this then version control, but using version control is a =
huge start.

Kevin Jennings

Article: 155508
Subject: Re: Problems with Spartan6 CRC calculation
From: Neil Steiner <neil.steiner@east.isi.edu>
Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2013 23:21:08 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
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If anybody is interested, this is the code that I inferred from the 
simulation model.  The rest of the code will be available in Torc.  From 
the testing that I've done it seems to work correctly.  One interesting 
deviation in Spartan6 compared to other architectures:  The Auto-CRC 
after the FDRI write does not reset the CRC.

         /// \brief CRC class for the Spartan6 architecture.
         struct CRC {
             /// \brief Length of the CRC calculation.
             enum { eLen = 22 };
             /// \brief CRC calculation bits.
             uint8_t mBits[eLen];
             /// \brief CRC calculation value.
             uint32_t mValue;
             /// \brief Default constructor.
             CRC(void) { reset(); }
             /// \brief Function to clear the CRC calculation.
             void reset(void) { for(int32_t i = 0; i < eLen; i++) 
mBits[i] = 0; mValue = 0; }
             /// \brief Update the CRC with new data.
             void update(uint32_t inAddress, uint32_t inWord) {
                 uint8_t input[eLen];
                 uint8_t next[eLen];
                 // initialize the input with the current register 
address and data word
                 for(int32_t i = 21, mask = 0x20; i >= 16; i--, mask >>= 1)
                     input[i] = (inAddress & mask) ? 1 : 0;
                 for(int32_t i = 15, mask = 0x8000; i >= 0; i--, mask 
 >>= 1)
                     input[i] = (inWord & mask) ? 1 : 0;
                 // update the CRC
                 for(int32_t i = 21; i >= 16; i--) next[i] = mBits[i - 
1] ^ input[i];
                 next[15] = mBits[14] ^ input[15] ^ mBits[21];
                 for(int32_t i = 14; i >= 13; i--) next[i] = mBits[i - 
1] ^ input[i];
                 next[12] = mBits[11] ^ input[12] ^ mBits[21];
                 for(int32_t i = 11; i >= 8; i--) next[i] = mBits[i - 1] 
^ input[i];
                 next[7] = mBits[6] ^ input[7] ^ mBits[21];
                 for(int32_t i = 6; i >= 1; i--) next[i] = mBits[i - 1] 
^ input[i];
                 next[0] = input[0] ^ mBits[21];
                 // copy the updated bits into place
                 mValue = 0;
                 for(int32_t i = 0, mask = 1; i < eLen; i++, mask <<= 1) {
                     mBits[i] = next[i];
                     mValue |= mBits[i] ? mask : 0;
                 }
             }
             /// \brief Index operator.
             uint8_t& operator[] (int i) { return mBits[i]; }
             /// \brief Cast operator to return the CRC as an integer.
             operator uint32_t (void) const { return mValue; }
         };

Neil Steiner wrote:
> Someone pointed out to me that the necessary information can be 
> inferred from either of these files:
>
>     ISE/verilog/src/unisims/SIM_CONFIG_S6.v
>     ISE/vhdl/src/unisims/primitive/SIM_CONFIG_S6.vhd
>
> Neil Steiner wrote:
>> I am unsuccessfully trying to update Spartan6 CRC checksums after I 
>> make packet modifications.  This is not a problem for 
>> Virtex/E/2/2P/4/5/6/7 or for Spartan3E, but Spartan6 is a different 
>> story altogether.  I posted this same question on Xilinx Forums, but 
>> there have been no responses.
>>
>> I know that Spartan6 packets consist of 16-bit words, unlike the 
>> 32-bit words of the other architectures listed above.  UG380 also 
>> states that "The Cyclic Redundancy Check register utilizes a standard 
>> 32-bit CRC checksum algorithm."  My perhaps incorrect assumption is 
>> that the polynomial is the same CRC-32C (Castagnoli) polynomial as 
>> for Virtex4/5/6/7 families.  I am also assuming that only "payload 
>> words" (after the packet header) factor into the calculation, just as 
>> with the other architectures, and UG380 explicitly shows the address 
>> length as 6 bits.
>>
>> Does anybody know how to calculate this correctly for Spartan6? If 
>> anyone cares to see the logic I'm trying to use, it's quite similar 
>> to what works correctly for all the other Xilinx architectures:
>>
>>     // begin CRC calculation
>>     uint32_t address = 0;
>>     iterator p = begin();
>>     iterator e = end();
>>     // CRC-32C (Castagnoli) polynomial for Virtex4/5/6/7 families
>>     boost::crc_basic<32> crc32(0x1edc6f41, 0, 0, false, true);
>>     while(p < e) {
>>         // look up the current packet
>>         const Spartan6Packet& packet = *p++;
>>         // only process write packets with non-zero payload length
>>         if(!packet.isWrite()) continue;
>>         address = packet.getAddress();
>>         uint32_t wordCount = packet.getWordCount();
>>         if(wordCount == 0) continue;
>>         // CRC register write (this is what compares the expected and
>>     supplied CRC values)
>>         if(address == crcRegister) {
>>             printf("Expected CRC32:   %8.8x\n", (uint32_t(packet[1])
>>     << 16) | packet[2]);
>>             printf("Calculated CRC32: %8.8x\n", crc32.checksum());
>>             *(p-1) = Spartan6Packet::makeType1Write(crcRegister,
>>     crc32.checksum());
>>             crc32.reset();
>>         // reset CRC command
>>         } else if(address == cmdRegister && wordCount >= 1 &&
>>     packet[1] == rcrcCommand) {
>>             crc32.reset();
>>         // process packet contents
>>         } else {
>>             uint32_t j;
>>             uint32_t mask;
>>             for(uint32_t i = 1; i <= wordCount; i++) {
>>                 uint32_t word = packet[i];
>>                 //printf("Address: %4.4x\n", address);
>>                 //printf("Word: %8.8x\n", word);
>>                 for(j = 0, mask = 1; j < 16; j++, mask <<= 1) {
>>                     crc32.process_bit((word & mask) ? 1 : 0);
>>                 }
>>                 for(j = 0, mask = 1; j < addressLength; j++, mask <<=
>>     1) {
>>                     crc32.process_bit((address & mask) ? 1 : 0);
>>                 }
>>             }
>>             // process the Auto CRC
>>             if(autoCrc && address == fdriRegister) {
>>                 printf("Expected Auto CRC32:   %8.8x\n",
>>     (uint32_t((*p)[0]) << 16) | (*p)[1]);
>>                 printf("Calculated Auto CRC32: %8.8x\n",
>>     crc32.checksum());
>>                 *p = Spartan6Packet(crc32.checksum()); // current
>>     packet is FDRI, next is Auto CRC
>>                 crc32.reset();
>>             }
>>         }
>>     }
>>
>>
>


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    <div class="moz-cite-prefix">If anybody is interested, this is the
      code that I inferred from the simulation model.&nbsp; The rest of the
      code will be available in Torc.&nbsp; From the testing that I've done
      it seems to work correctly.&nbsp; One interesting deviation in Spartan6
      compared to other architectures:&nbsp; The Auto-CRC after the FDRI
      write does not reset the CRC.<br>
      <br>
      <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief CRC class for the
          Spartan6 architecture.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; struct CRC {</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief Length of
          the CRC calculation.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; enum { eLen = 22 };</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief CRC
          calculation bits.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint8_t mBits[eLen];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief CRC
          calculation value.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint32_t mValue;</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief Default
          constructor.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; CRC(void) { reset(); }</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief Function to
          clear the CRC calculation.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; void reset(void) { for(int32_t i = 0; i &lt;
        eLen; i++) mBits[i] = 0; mValue = 0; }</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief Update the
          CRC with new data.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; void update(uint32_t inAddress, uint32_t
        inWord) {</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint8_t input[eLen];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint8_t next[eLen];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // initialize the
          input with the current register address and data word</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(int32_t i = 21, mask = 0x20; i &gt;=
        16; i--, mask &gt;&gt;= 1) </tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; input[i] = (inAddress &amp; mask) ? 1
        : 0;</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(int32_t i = 15, mask = 0x8000; i
        &gt;= 0; i--, mask &gt;&gt;= 1) </tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; input[i] = (inWord &amp; mask) ? 1 :
        0;</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // update the CRC</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(int32_t i = 21; i &gt;= 16; i--)
        next[i] = mBits[i - 1] ^ input[i];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; next[15] = mBits[14] ^ input[15] ^
        mBits[21];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(int32_t i = 14; i &gt;= 13; i--)
        next[i] = mBits[i - 1] ^ input[i];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; next[12] = mBits[11] ^ input[12] ^
        mBits[21];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(int32_t i = 11; i &gt;= 8; i--)
        next[i] = mBits[i - 1] ^ input[i];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; next[7] = mBits[6] ^ input[7] ^
        mBits[21];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(int32_t i = 6; i &gt;= 1; i--)
        next[i] = mBits[i - 1] ^ input[i];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; next[0] = input[0] ^ mBits[21];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // copy the updated
          bits into place</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; mValue = 0;</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(int32_t i = 0, mask = 1; i &lt; eLen;
        i++, mask &lt;&lt;= 1) {</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; mBits[i] = next[i];</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; mValue |= mBits[i] ? mask : 0;</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief Index
          operator.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint8_t&amp; operator[] (int i) { return
        mBits[i]; }</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /// \brief Cast
          operator to return the CRC as an integer.</tt></font><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; operator uint32_t (void) const { return
        mValue; }</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; };</tt><tt><br>
      </tt><br>
      Neil Steiner wrote:<br>
    </div>
    <blockquote cite="mid:51D44DFD.8020505@east.isi.edu" type="cite">
      <meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"
        http-equiv="Content-Type">
      <div class="moz-cite-prefix">Someone pointed out to me that the
        necessary information can be inferred from either of these
        files:<br>
        <blockquote>ISE/verilog/src/unisims/SIM_CONFIG_S6.v<br>
          ISE/vhdl/src/unisims/primitive/SIM_CONFIG_S6.vhd<br>
        </blockquote>
        Neil Steiner wrote:<br>
      </div>
      <blockquote cite="mid:51D21B66.5010105@east.isi.edu" type="cite">
        <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;
          charset=ISO-8859-1">
        I am unsuccessfully trying to update Spartan6 CRC checksums
        after I make packet modifications.&nbsp; This is not a problem for
        Virtex/E/2/2P/4/5/6/7 or for Spartan3E, but Spartan6 is a
        different story altogether.&nbsp; I posted this same question on
        Xilinx Forums, but there have been no responses.<br>
        <br>
        I know that Spartan6 packets consist of 16-bit words, unlike the
        32-bit words of the other architectures listed above.&nbsp; UG380
        also states that "The Cyclic Redundancy Check register utilizes
        a standard 32-bit CRC checksum algorithm."&nbsp; My perhaps incorrect
        assumption is that the polynomial is the same CRC-32C
        (Castagnoli) polynomial as for Virtex4/5/6/7 families.&nbsp; I am
        also assuming that only "payload words" (after the packet
        header) factor into the calculation, just as with the other
        architectures, and UG380 explicitly shows the address length as
        6 bits.<br>
        &nbsp;<br>
        Does anybody know how to calculate this correctly for Spartan6?&nbsp;
        If anyone cares to see the logic I'm trying to use, it's quite
        similar to what works correctly for all the other Xilinx
        architectures:<br>
        <blockquote><font color="#006600"><tt>// begin CRC calculation</tt></font><br>
          <tt>uint32_t address = 0;</tt><br>
          <tt>iterator p = begin();</tt><br>
          <tt>iterator e = end();</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>// CRC-32C (Castagnoli) polynomial
              for Virtex4/5/6/7 families</tt></font><br>
          <tt>boost::crc_basic&lt;32&gt; crc32(0x1edc6f41, 0, 0, false,
            true);</tt><br>
          <tt>while(p &lt; e) {</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // look up the current packet</tt></font><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; const Spartan6Packet&amp; packet = *p++;</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // only process write packets
              with non-zero payload length</tt></font><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; if(!packet.isWrite()) continue;</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; address = packet.getAddress();</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint32_t wordCount = packet.getWordCount();</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; if(wordCount == 0) continue;</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // CRC register write (this is
              what compares the expected and supplied CRC values)</tt></font><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; if(address == crcRegister) {</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; printf("Expected CRC32:&nbsp;&nbsp; %8.8x\n",
            (uint32_t(packet[1]) &lt;&lt; 16) | packet[2]);</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; printf("Calculated CRC32: %8.8x\n",
            crc32.checksum());</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *(p-1) =
            Spartan6Packet::makeType1Write(crcRegister,
            crc32.checksum());</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; crc32.reset();</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // reset CRC command</tt></font><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; } else if(address == cmdRegister &amp;&amp; wordCount
            &gt;= 1 &amp;&amp; packet[1] == rcrcCommand) {</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; crc32.reset();</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // process packet contents</tt></font><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; } else {</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint32_t j;</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint32_t mask;</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(uint32_t i = 1; i &lt;= wordCount; i++) {</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; uint32_t word = packet[i];</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; //printf("Address:
              %4.4x\n", address);</tt><br>
            <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; //printf("Word: %8.8x\n", word);</tt></font><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(j = 0, mask = 1; j &lt; 16; j++, mask
            &lt;&lt;= 1) {</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; crc32.process_bit((word &amp; mask) ? 1 :
            0);</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for(j = 0, mask = 1; j &lt; addressLength;
            j++, mask &lt;&lt;= 1) {</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; crc32.process_bit((address &amp; mask) ? 1
            : 0);</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</tt><br>
          <font color="#006600"><tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; // process the Auto CRC</tt></font><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; if(autoCrc &amp;&amp; address == fdriRegister) {</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; printf("Expected Auto CRC32:&nbsp;&nbsp; %8.8x\n",
            (uint32_t((*p)[0]) &lt;&lt; 16) | (*p)[1]);</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; printf("Calculated Auto CRC32: %8.8x\n",
            crc32.checksum());</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *p = Spartan6Packet(crc32.checksum()); <font
              color="#006600">// current packet is FDRI, next is Auto
              CRC</font></tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; crc32.reset();</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</tt><br>
          <tt>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</tt><br>
          <tt>}</tt><br>
        </blockquote>
        <br>
      </blockquote>
      <br>
    </blockquote>
    <br>
  </body>
</html>

--------------020603020404000300040405--

Article: 155509
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: Tom Gardner <spamjunk@blueyonder.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 17:06:54 +0100
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 30/06/13 16:36, Les Cargill wrote:
> Tom Gardner wrote:
>> On 29/06/13 17:58, Les Cargill wrote:
>>> Tom Gardner wrote:
>>>> On 29/06/13 03:15, Eric Wallin wrote:
>>> <snip>
>>>>
>>>> Speedy installation: I get a fully-patched installed
>>>> system in well under an hour. Last time MS would
>>>> let me (!) install XP, it took me well over a day
>>>> because of all the reboots.
>>>>
>>>> Speedy re-installation once every 3 years: your
>>>> files are untouched so you just upgrade the o/s
>>>> (trivial precondition: put /home on a separate
>>>> disk partition). Takes < 1 hour.
>>>
>>> And things like virtualbox make running a
>>> Windows guest pretty simple. I'm stuck with a
>>> Win7 host for now because of one PCI card, but
>>> virtualbox claims to be able to publish PCI cards to
>>> guests presently but only on a Linux host.
>>
>> I'm not going to comment on Win in a VM,
>> because I only use win98 like that :)
>>
>> But shortly before XP is discontinued (and MS shoots
>> its corporate customers in the foot!), I'll be
>> putting a clean WinXP inside at least one VM.
>>
>
> It works well.
>
>> Does MS squeal about putting its o/s inside a VM?
>
> Not in my experience. Even OEM versions can be activated.
>
>> They certainly stop me re-installing my perfectly
>> legal version of XP on a laptop, even though I have
>> the product code for that laptop! They sure do make
>> it difficult for me to use their products, sigh.
>>
>
> That's bizarre. I know the activation process is unreliable;
> that's why you may have to call the phone number on some
> reinstalls.

Completely bizarre and ridiculous. MS said it was
Samsung's problem (even after 25 mins spent explaining
what was on the screen), Samsung said it was MS (correctly
IMHSHO) Only possible solution was to get a replacement
disk from Samsung - for the same price as the WinXP!
Why MS was insisting that I have a Samsung-specific
disk to install on a Samsung computer is beyond me.

Linux installation was, of course, trivial and fast,
and the machine became much more responsive too!



Article: 155510
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: Tom Gardner <spamjunk@blueyonder.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 17:19:33 +0100
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 01/07/13 00:32, rickman wrote:
> On 6/29/2013 5:14 AM, Tom Gardner wrote:
>> On 29/06/13 02:02, rickman wrote:
>>> On 6/28/2013 5:11 PM, Tom Gardner wrote:
>>>> On 28/06/13 20:06, rickman wrote:
>>>>> I think the trick will be in finding ways of dividing up the programs
>>>>> so they can meld to the hardware rather than trying to optimize
>>>>> everything.
>>>>
>>>> My suspicion is that, except for compute-bound
>>>> problems that only require "local" data, that
>>>> granularity will be too small.
>>>>
>>>> Examples where it will work, e.g. protein folding,
>>>> will rapidly migrate to CUDA and graphics processors.
>>>
>>> You are still thinking von Neumann. Any application can be broken down
>>> into small units and parceled out to small processors. But you have to
>>> think in those terms rather than just saying, "it
>>> doesn't fit". Of course it can fit!
>>
>> Regrettably not. People have been trying different
>> techniques for ~50 years, with varying degrees of
>> success as technology bottlenecks change.
>> The people working in those areas are highly
>> intelligent and motivated (e.g. high performance
>> computing research) and there is serious money
>> available (e.g. life sciences, big energy).
>>
>> As a good rule of thumb, if you can think of it,
>> they've already tried it and found where it does
>> and doesn't work.
>
> So you are saying that multiprocessors are dead on arrival?

No I'm not - I'm saying what I wrote.

Don't invent strawman arguments.


> I don't think so.  No one I have seen has started the design process from scratch thinking like they were designing hardware.
>
> How does a bee hive work?  How about an ant farm?  How do all the cells in your body work together?  No, the fact that the answer has not been found does not mean it does not exist.
>
>
>>>>> Consider a chip where you have literally a trillion operations per
>>>>> second available all the time. Do you really care if half go to waste?
>>>>> I don't! I design FPGAs and I have never felt obliged (not
>>>>> since the early days anyway) to optimize the utility of each LUT and
>>>>> FF. No, it turns out the precious resource in FPGAs is routing and you
>>>>> can't do much but let the tools manage that anyway.
>>>>
>>>> Those internal FPGA constraints also have analogues at
>>>> a larger scale, e.g. ic pinout, backplanes, networks...
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> So a fine grained processor array could be very effective if the
>>>>> programming can be divided down to suit. Maybe it takes 10 of these
>>>>> cores to handle 100 Mbps Ethernet, so what? Something like a
>>>>> browser might need to harness a couple of dozen. If the load slacks
>>>>> off and they are idling, so what?
>>>>
>>>> The fundamental problem is that in general as you make the
>>>> granularity smaller, the communications requirements
>>>> get larger. And vice versa :(
>>>
>>> Actually not. The aggregate comms requirements may increase, but we
>>> aren't sharing an Ethernet bus. All of the local processors talk to
>>> each other and less often have to talk to non-local
>>> processors. I think the phone company knows something about that.
>>
>> That works to an extent, particularly in "embarrassingly parallel"
>> problems such as telco systems. I know: I've architected and
>> implemented some :)
>>
>> It still has its limits in most interesting computing systems.
>
> Well, the other approaches are hitting a wall.  It is clearly time for a change.  You can say this or that doesn't work, but they have only been tried in very limited contexts.

The solutions you were proposing have been studied in
considerable detail by many people since the 1970s.
And those people were highly motivated, highly intelligent,
and not constrained by pre-existing commercial
considerations. In some cases there are good theoretical
reasons why they were unlikely to be successful.

Those that do not understand history are condemned to
repeat it.

If you want to go off down a blind alley, fine.
I prefer to go down alleys that are poorly explored.

>
>
>>>> I'm sort-of retired (I got sick of corporate in-fighting,
>>>> and I have my "drop dead money", so...)
>>>
>>> That's me too, but I found some work that is paying off very well now.
>>> So I've got a foot in both camps, retired, not retired... both are fun
>>> in their own way. But dealing with international shipping
>>> is a PITA.
>>
>> Or even sourcing some components, e.g. a MAX9979KCTK+D or +TD :(
>
> Yes, actually component lead time is a PITA.  The orders are very "lumpy" as one of my customer contacts refers to it.  So I'm not willing to inventory anything I don't have to.  At this point that
> will only be connectors.
>
>
>>>> I regard golf as silly, despite having two courses in
>>>> walking distance. My equivalent of kayaking is flying
>>>> gliders.
>>>
>>> That has got to be fun!
>>
>> Probably better than you imaging (and that's recursive
>> without a terminating condition). I know instructors
>> that still have pleasant surprises after 50 years :)
>>
>> I did a tiny bit of kayaking on flat water, but now
>> I wear hearing aids :(
>
> One of my better kayaking friends has a cochlear implant with an external processor.  She either wears her older back up processor or none at all.
>
>
>>> I've never worked up the whatever to learn to fly.
>>
>> Going solo is about as difficult as learning to drive
>> a car. And then the learning really starts :)
>
> Yes, but it is a lot more training than learning to drive and a lot more money.

Over here most clubs have a fixed-price-to-solo scheme
including membership and up to 100 flights for around $1000.

That cost is not too dissimilar to the cost of learning
to drive a car.

> It is also a lot more demanding of scheduling in that you can't just say, "Dad, can I drive you to the store?"

That's very true. Gliding is a social activity:
you can't just turn up and fly, everybody helps
everybody get airborne.


>>> It seems like a big investment and not so cheap overall.
>>
>> Not in money. In the UK club membership is $500/year,
>> a launch + 10 mins instruction is $10, and an hour
>> instruction in the air is $30. The real cost is time:
>> club members help you get airborne, and you help them
>> in return. Very sociable, unlike aircraft with air
>> conditioning fans up front or scythes above.
>>
>>
>>> But there is clearly a great thrill there.
>>
>> 0-40kt in 3s, 0-50kt in 5s, climb with your feet
>> above your head, fly in close formation with raptors,
>> eyeball sheep on a hillside as you whizz past
>> below them at 60kt, 10-20kft, 40kt-150kt, hundreds
>> and thousands of km range, pre-solo spinning at
>> altitudes that make power pilots blanche, and
>> pre-solo flying in loose formation with other
>> aircraft.
>>
>> Let me know if you want pointers to youtube vids.
>
> Not at this time.  I'm way too busy with other things including getting a hip replacement.

Good luck with the replacement. As far as I can
tell the key points are to get implants that
have a proven long-term success rate (not easy
since manufacturers frequently introduce new
types with minimal testing), and a surgeon that
that specialises in this operation (i.e. isn't
increasing their CV/resume)

Article: 155511
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 14:23:07 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 7/12/2013 12:19 PM, Tom Gardner wrote:
> On 01/07/13 00:32, rickman wrote:
>> On 6/29/2013 5:14 AM, Tom Gardner wrote:
>>> On 29/06/13 02:02, rickman wrote:
>>>>
>>>> You are still thinking von Neumann. Any application can be broken down
>>>> into small units and parceled out to small processors. But you have to
>>>> think in those terms rather than just saying, "it
>>>> doesn't fit". Of course it can fit!
>>>
>>> Regrettably not. People have been trying different
>>> techniques for ~50 years, with varying degrees of
>>> success as technology bottlenecks change.
>>> The people working in those areas are highly
>>> intelligent and motivated (e.g. high performance
>>> computing research) and there is serious money
>>> available (e.g. life sciences, big energy).
>>>
>>> As a good rule of thumb, if you can think of it,
>>> they've already tried it and found where it does
>>> and doesn't work.
>>
>> So you are saying that multiprocessors are dead on arrival?
>
> No I'm not - I'm saying what I wrote.
>
> Don't invent strawman arguments.

I'm trying to understand what you are saying.  You wrote a bunch of 
general stuff.  Any application to the conversation?


>>>> Actually not. The aggregate comms requirements may increase, but we
>>>> aren't sharing an Ethernet bus. All of the local processors talk to
>>>> each other and less often have to talk to non-local
>>>> processors. I think the phone company knows something about that.
>>>
>>> That works to an extent, particularly in "embarrassingly parallel"
>>> problems such as telco systems. I know: I've architected and
>>> implemented some :)
>>>
>>> It still has its limits in most interesting computing systems.
>>
>> Well, the other approaches are hitting a wall. It is clearly time for
>> a change. You can say this or that doesn't work, but they have only
>> been tried in very limited contexts.
>
> The solutions you were proposing have been studied in
> considerable detail by many people since the 1970s.
> And those people were highly motivated, highly intelligent,
> and not constrained by pre-existing commercial
> considerations. In some cases there are good theoretical
> reasons why they were unlikely to be successful.
>
> Those that do not understand history are condemned to
> repeat it.
>
> If you want to go off down a blind alley, fine.
> I prefer to go down alleys that are poorly explored.

There is the fallacy to your argument.  The fact that some 30 or more 
years ago, things were tried using existing technology and A was found 
to be a better path than B.  That is not the same as saying path B is a 
"blind alley".

Path A has been followed and has shown great promise, but that path is 
coming to an end of easy travel.  Technology has changed and now Path B 
is starting to look better all the time.

-- 

Rick

Article: 155512
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: tammie_eric@verizon.net
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 16:35:58 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Hey all,

Here's a short demo of HIVE running at 160MHz and one core doing some PWM with the Cyclone FPGA board LEDs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL6e-QtsRRs

Eric W.

Article: 155513
Subject: Low cost board with built-in USB for fast data transfer and lots of gates
From: Ronin <gauravwadkar@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 01:49:07 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
hi Guys,

I would like to get started in the FPGA world. 
I intend to use the board to perform computations. Hence connectivity to and from the PC should be good and via usb.

Am looking for a low cost fpga board with:
1. Inbuilt USB
2. Good to have - Ethernet port

Can I use low cost Papillon board for this purpose without soldering ( if there are any cables to facilitate data transfer )?

Thanks in advance.

Cheers


Article: 155514
Subject: Re: Low cost board with built-in USB for fast data transfer and lots of gates
From: Theo Markettos <theom+news@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
Date: 13 Jul 2013 15:34:31 +0100 (BST)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Ronin <gauravwadkar@gmail.com> wrote:
> hi Guys,
> 
> I would like to get started in the FPGA world. 
> I intend to use the board to perform computations. Hence connectivity to
> and from the PC should be good and via usb.
> 
> Am looking for a low cost fpga board with:
> 1. Inbuilt USB
> 2. Good to have - Ethernet port

When you say 'USB', are you intending to have a full USB stack on the board,
so you can be an arbitrary USB endpoint (eg keyboard, mass storage, printer,
camera)?  Or will something like a USB-serial adaptor work - you talk to
what you think is a UART, but it's converted by an additional chip to
serial-over-USB.

The latter is much simpler, but imposes restrictions - you only show up as a
serial port and you may be limited in speed (1 Mbps or so).

JTAG over USB is slightly different, but often has similar constraints.

> Can I use low cost Papillon board for this purpose without soldering ( if
> there are any cables to facilitate data transfer )?

Papilio One appears to be USB over serial (FT232).

Do you have a particular preference of FPGA vendor?

Theo

Article: 155515
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 21:52:53 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 7/1/2013 9:26 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
> rickman wrote:
>> On 7/1/2013 8:59 AM, Les Cargill wrote:
>>> rickman wrote:
>>>> On 6/30/2013 12:03 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
>>>
>>> I am examining the "isn't practical" premise, and trying to do that
>>> without any preconceptions. I've seen ... high levels of integration
>>> in real life before - stuff you wouldn't normally think of
>>> as practical.
>>>
>>> Of *course* i don't know for sure - I wasn't there when
>>> it wasn't done... :)
>>
>> I'm not saying you *can't* combine SDRAM and an x86 CPU. This may have
>> been done by someone at some point. I'm saying it isn't practical for
>> mainstream uses. It won't show up at Best Buy in the next five years.
>> But who knows beyond that? I think the PC market is headed for a
>> dramatic change within the next five years. Handhelds are taking
>> computing in a very new direction and the momentum is reaching the
>> critical point.
>>
>>
>
> We'll see. The problem I see now is connectivity. FireWire is ebbing
> out. Perhaps USB3.0 will be the bus of choice, or Thunderbolt.

That's a very different system level problem.  It has nothing to do with 
the actual computing.


>>>>> Phones and tablets are and will always be cheezy little non-computers.
>>>>> They don't have enough peripheral options to do anything
>>>>> besides post cat pictures to social media sites.
>>>>
>>>> Ok, another quote to go up there with "No one will need more than 640
>>>> kBytes" and "I see little commercial potential for the internet for the
>>>> next 10 years."
>>>>
>>>
>>> Both of those are also true, given other constraints. I would say
>>> the commercial potential of the internet has been more limited
>>> than people would perhaps prefer.
>>
>> What?? We left 640 kB behind before we left MS-DOS behind!!!
>
> To an extent. I found it unusual to need more than
> realmode levels of memory prior to Windows.

Ok, if you don't want to use Windows, then don't.  But the market is for 
GUI OS and apps.  That is what drives processor design.


>> The
>> Internet is the biggest commercial opportunity since the baby boom!
>>
>
> I must respectfully disagree. 90% of of it is noncommercial for one.
> Compared to the PC Revolution, it's just not one.

You can disagree all you want.  But the Internet is big business, has 
created huge *new* markets and has changed the way nearly *all* 
businesses operate.  It is irrelevant if it is used for other purposes 
and the PC revolution BI (before Internet) was nothing compared to what 
it is with the Internet.  I think it will prove to be bigger than the 
telephone or the TV in terms of impacting our lives.  In fact, it is 
well on the way to replacing both.  As evidence, I submit that the 
states are all clamoring for a new Federal law allowing them to tax 
Internet sales and making vendors collect the state tax even if they are 
only in other states.  Clearly they feel the Internet has become a major 
commercial presence and this is only the retail impact.  When was the 
last time you got a data sheet delivered to you by a salesman?


> It's Facebook, Twitter and Google plus online retail.

I don't know what you mean.  What is "it" in this context?


> I dunno - some friends of mine are doing quite well in that general
> arena ( not in Web stuff, and I don't want to say who they are ) but
> I just couldn't see doing it.
>
>>
>>>> I'll bet you have one of these things as a significant computing
>>>> platform in four years... you can quote me on that!
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> We'll see - I can't find that today, and I have looked. Gave up in a
>>> fit of despair and bought a netbook.
>>
>> You can't find what today?
>>
>>
>
> A tablet I want to buy.

I'm the same way, I need a laptop.  But I use my girlfriend's tablet 
from time to time because it is there when my laptop isn't and it comes 
on instantly while my laptop takes a couple of minutes to fire up and 
shut down.


>>> We'll see. FWIW, the people that made this machine I am typing on now
>>> no longer make desktops, so I see something coming. Not sure what,
>>> though.
>>
>> That is the point. No one knows for sure or they would already be
>> there. As they push on the technology they make changes like DNA
>> evolving. Some survive some pass on. But with each generation we get
>> adaptation. When there is more severe pressure, there is greater
>> change. The change in technology provides fertile ground for mutations
>> and the change in computing happens faster giving use things we didn't
>> know we wanted. But we do want and we will change what we buy.
>>
>
> I know what I want to do with one. It's not there today. And the
> audience for mobile devices doesn't appear to me to want to do any heavy
> lifting with them.
>
> You can, for example, do recording with an iPad, but the "dock" for it
> is $3000. I don't think I can write 'C' programs to do signals
> processing with one. I've yet to see a Tcl interpreter for one.
>
> There is Python at least.

That is your personal preference, not the real market.


>> I just want a big screen and a keyboard... or so I think. I've been
>> thinking for the last few years a big flat TV would do nicely as my
>> screen
>
> We do that now with the netbook.

Yeah, a netbook is just a tablet with a built in keyboard and screen, 
both nearly unusable.  I'd be willing to bet that netbooks were a flash 
in the pan, popular at first but sales either flatlining or falling off.


>> and I can have a keyboard with me even more easily than my 17"
>> laptop. So why wouldn't a tablet with say a 128 GB flash drive make my
>> day? Right now the only limitation is the lack of support for Android
>> by the FPGA software vendors. I can't imagine that isn't going to
>> change soon.
>>
>>
>
> We'll see. I am not sure how much of Linux is missing
> from Android; other than that it shouldn't be too bad. You will
> need a big ole screen, though.

Any flat screen TV will be much better than my laptop or desktop.


>>>> I am pretty much a Luddite when it comes new technology.
>>>
>>> Skepticism != Luddism.
>>
>> Ok, I'm also a curmudgeon.
>>
>>
>>>> I think most
>>>> of it is bogus crap. But I have seen the light of phones and tablets
>>>> and I am a believer. I have been shown the way and the way is good.
>>>>
>>>> Here's a clue to the future. How many here want to use Windows after
>>>> XP? Who likes Vista? Who likes Win7? Win8?
>>>
>>>
>>> They're all fine, so far. No trouble with Win7 or Win8 here. Win8 is
>>> far too clever but it works.
>>
>> Ask around, very few here like anything after XP.
>>
>
> I've seen that and I don't see the problem. You can still buy XP if
> you don't have it.

I'm very resistant to paying Microsoft any more money than I have to.  I 
may get a new laptop soon.  One thing holding me back is that I have to 
pay Bill Gates another $50 for the latest OS I really don't want.


>>>> Is your new PC any faster
>>>> than your old PC (other than the increased memory for memory bound
>>>> apps)?
>>>
>>> Yes. But my old PC is a 3.0GHz monocore.
>>>
>>> The only reason I upgraded was that Silverlight stopped utilizing
>>> graphics cards.
>>
>> Silverlight was one of the first things I turned off! What does it do
>> that you or I need?
>>
>
> Netflix. When I was working remote, that's how I consumed Netflix.

You can't use Netflix without Silverlight?  wow.


>>>> PCs are reaching the wall while hand held devices aren't.
>>>
>>> There is more than one wall.
>>
>> Uh, what?
>>
>>
>
> I/O.

I can't see that as important.  How does I/O impact PCs significantly? 
Where is the bottleneck?


>>>> Handhelds will be catching up in six years and will be able to do all
>>>> the stuff you want from your computer today. Tomorrow's PC's,
>>>> meanwhile, won't be doing a lot more. So the gap will narrow and who
>>>> wants all the baggage of traditional PCs when they can use much more
>>>> convenient hand helds? I/O won't be a problem.
>>>
>>> Uh huh. Right :)
>>>
>>>> I think all the tablets
>>>> plug into a TV via HDMI and you can add a keyboard and mouse easily.
>>>
>>> That's true enough. But that isn't all the I/O I would need. It isn't
>>> even the right *software*.
>>
>> Ok, what software do you need? It will be available on tablets running
>> either Android or who knows, MS may be able to throw their 600 pound
>> gorilla Windows into the tablet market.
>
> Maybe.

What do you think Windows 8 is about?  Getting the OS to look like 
tablets and users used to the look and feel they will get on tablets 
when MS starts pushing Windows into that market.


>> I mean, if the hardware keeps
>> pumping up and the market pressures squeeze Windows down to something
>> more like 2000 or XP in a couple more years it won't be the worst match
>> ever.
>>
>
> that is true. I don't believe we'll see that though.

How can MS *not* follow this route?  They put out paired down versions 
of Windows for netbooks.  They will continue to improve and streamline 
the product until they can provide a decent version of Windows for 
tablets and then it will be a footrace with Android.


>>>> So
>>>> there you have all the utility of a PC in a tiny form factor along with
>>>> all the advantages of the handheld when you want a handheld.
>>>>
>>>> If the FPGA design software ran on them well, I'd get one today. But I
>>>> need to wait a few more years for the gap to close.
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Ironically, I expect Apple to sell desktops for quite some time. Other
>>> than that, here's to the gamers.
>>
>> Some years ago when the fortunes of Apple was less certain I predicted
>> that my friend who worked at a newspaper would be switching to a PC
>> because Apple would be going under. Then they came out with I guess the
>> iPod... wow! Then the iPhone, more wow! So my predictions of their
>> demise was a bit premature... The point though is that the newspaper
>> was full of Macs because the software was so much better for their needs
>> than anything on the PC.
>
> Right.
>
>> Newspapers, etc will be running desktops for
>> some time because they need the BIG screens. But the software gap has
>> closed. So the PC is suitable for graphic arts now.
>
> Except that Adobe threw a cow in the Photoshop well...
>
>> Once they learn
>> that they don't need the hunk of iron to power their 26" screens
>> anymore, they will be changing. In fact, they may "get it" before the
>> rest of us.
>>
>
> That's entirely possible.
>


-- 

Rick

Article: 155516
Subject: Re: Low cost board with built-in USB for fast data transfer and lots
From: chris talsma <catalsma@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 22:01:31 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
I didn't see a cost requirement but I would take a look at a zedboard if yo=
u can swing the cost... This Zynq chip blows me away with the features vers=
us size and cost.  The chip has both the features you mention, USB (OTG) an=
d Ethernet however they both run in the embedded ARM side of the chip.  IMH=
O this is the right place for those two peripherals anyhow.  The FPGA side =
of things is an artix-7 on the zedboard which is a very good sized amount o=
f logic to play around with too.  I bought a zedboard for $400ish, but I re=
member seeing a $100 discount for students if that fits you.

One fun thing I did with mine is run a reference design with full Ubuntu Li=
nux running.  I connected to my network then a keyboard and mouse to the US=
B and surfed the web on it... Totally blew me away.

I am guessing there is an analogous Altera soc too if you swing that way.  =
I do not know of an analogous Altera board like the zedboard though.

Article: 155517
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: Les Cargill <lcargill99@comcast.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 09:33:31 -0500
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
rickman wrote:
> On 7/1/2013 9:26 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
<snip>
>>
>> We'll see. The problem I see now is connectivity. FireWire is ebbing
>> out. Perhaps USB3.0 will be the bus of choice, or Thunderbolt.
>
> That's a very different system level problem.  It has nothing to do with
> the actual computing.
>
>

But it remains as the most significant issue with things like
handhelds and tablets.

>>>>>> Phones and tablets are and will always be cheezy little
>>>>>> non-computers.
>>>>>> They don't have enough peripheral options to do anything
>>>>>> besides post cat pictures to social media sites.
>>>>>
>>>>> Ok, another quote to go up there with "No one will need more than 640
>>>>> kBytes" and "I see little commercial potential for the internet for
>>>>> the
>>>>> next 10 years."
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Both of those are also true, given other constraints. I would say
>>>> the commercial potential of the internet has been more limited
>>>> than people would perhaps prefer.
>>>
>>> What?? We left 640 kB behind before we left MS-DOS behind!!!
>>
>> To an extent. I found it unusual to need more than
>> realmode levels of memory prior to Windows.
>
> Ok, if you don't want to use Windows, then don't.  But the market is for
> GUI OS and apps.  That is what drives processor design.
>
>

No, I went in for Windows just like everybody else... I mean
that the real justification for all that power and memory was
the GUI.

I was using DOS machines for Real Work(tM) first, then as a
home computing appliance.

>>> The
>>> Internet is the biggest commercial opportunity since the baby boom!
>>>
>>
>> I must respectfully disagree. 90% of of it is noncommercial for one.
>> Compared to the PC Revolution, it's just not one.
>
> You can disagree all you want.  But the Internet is big business, has
> created huge *new* markets and has changed the way nearly *all*
> businesses operate.


I just don't see that. outside of the models more or less spread
by Amazon, nothing's changed. And that is a dynamic Sears Roebuck 
Catalog enabled by credit card payment and shipped by a FedEx style
shipper rather than by rail.

Enterprise apps are still trench warfare, when they work at all.

>  It is irrelevant if it is used for other purposes
> and the PC revolution BI (before Internet) was nothing compared to what
> it is with the Internet.  I think it will prove to be bigger than the
> telephone or the TV in terms of impacting our lives.  In fact, it is
> well on the way to replacing both.

It *has* replaced the telephone, but with an almost identical thing. 
Those who say it can replace TV are rather missing the point.

Content development has converged around cable. There are still two
planes of content - DOCSIS and IP. There's still over the air TV,
but is rather limited.

There's a little cross pollination - the show "Children's Hospital"
transitioned from  purely online to cable on Cartoon Network, but
Rob Cordry was on a cable show before.

> As evidence, I submit that the
> states are all clamoring for a new Federal law allowing them to tax
> Internet sales and making vendors collect the state tax even if they are
> only in other states.  Clearly they feel the Internet has become a major
> commercial presence and this is only the retail impact.  When was the
> last time you got a data sheet delivered to you by a salesman?
>
>

Earlier this year.

>> It's Facebook, Twitter and Google plus online retail.
>
> I don't know what you mean.  What is "it" in this context?
>
>

The internet.

>> I dunno - some friends of mine are doing quite well in that general
>> arena ( not in Web stuff, and I don't want to say who they are ) but
>> I just couldn't see doing it.
>>
>>>
>>>>> I'll bet you have one of these things as a significant computing
>>>>> platform in four years... you can quote me on that!
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> We'll see - I can't find that today, and I have looked. Gave up in a
>>>> fit of despair and bought a netbook.
>>>
>>> You can't find what today?
>>>
>>>
>>
>> A tablet I want to buy.
>
> I'm the same way, I need a laptop.  But I use my girlfriend's tablet
> from time to time because it is there when my laptop isn't and it comes
> on instantly while my laptop takes a couple of minutes to fire up and
> shut down.
>
>



Dunno about that - the lappie we use is up in less than a minute. It's 
not stored in a cold-down state - it's suspended.


>>>> We'll see. FWIW, the people that made this machine I am typing on now
>>>> no longer make desktops, so I see something coming. Not sure what,
>>>> though.
>>>
>>> That is the point. No one knows for sure or they would already be
>>> there. As they push on the technology they make changes like DNA
>>> evolving. Some survive some pass on. But with each generation we get
>>> adaptation. When there is more severe pressure, there is greater
>>> change. The change in technology provides fertile ground for mutations
>>> and the change in computing happens faster giving use things we didn't
>>> know we wanted. But we do want and we will change what we buy.
>>>
>>
>> I know what I want to do with one. It's not there today. And the
>> audience for mobile devices doesn't appear to me to want to do any heavy
>> lifting with them.
>>
>> You can, for example, do recording with an iPad, but the "dock" for it
>> is $3000. I don't think I can write 'C' programs to do signals
>> processing with one. I've yet to see a Tcl interpreter for one.
>>
>> There is Python at least.
>
> That is your personal preference, not the real market.
>


A market is nothing more than an aggregation of individual
preferences. I would say that a preference for tablets
indicates that the ... preferr-er does very little with the thing.

This being said, a tablet makes a fine touchscreen remote
for real computers, but that's got problems as well.

>
>>> I just want a big screen and a keyboard... or so I think. I've been
>>> thinking for the last few years a big flat TV would do nicely as my
>>> screen
>>
>> We do that now with the netbook.
>
> Yeah, a netbook is just a tablet with a built in keyboard and screen,
> both nearly unusable.  I'd be willing to bet that netbooks were a flash
> in the pan, popular at first but sales either flatlining or falling off.
>
>

I expect that then we'll go without.

>>> and I can have a keyboard with me even more easily than my 17"
>>> laptop. So why wouldn't a tablet with say a 128 GB flash drive make my
>>> day? Right now the only limitation is the lack of support for Android
>>> by the FPGA software vendors. I can't imagine that isn't going to
>>> change soon.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> We'll see. I am not sure how much of Linux is missing
>> from Android; other than that it shouldn't be too bad. You will
>> need a big ole screen, though.
>
> Any flat screen TV will be much better than my laptop or desktop.
>
>

This has its challenges as well.

<snip>
>>
>> I've seen that and I don't see the problem. You can still buy XP if
>> you don't have it.
>
> I'm very resistant to paying Microsoft any more money than I have to.  I
> may get a new laptop soon.  One thing holding me back is that I have to
> pay Bill Gates another $50 for the latest OS I really don't want.
>
>

Understood.

>>>>> Is your new PC any faster
>>>>> than your old PC (other than the increased memory for memory bound
>>>>> apps)?
>>>>
>>>> Yes. But my old PC is a 3.0GHz monocore.
>>>>
>>>> The only reason I upgraded was that Silverlight stopped utilizing
>>>> graphics cards.
>>>
>>> Silverlight was one of the first things I turned off! What does it do
>>> that you or I need?
>>>
>>
>> Netflix. When I was working remote, that's how I consumed Netflix.
>
> You can't use Netflix without Silverlight?  wow.
>

Right. It's kind of disgusting.

>
>>>>> PCs are reaching the wall while hand held devices aren't.
>>>>
>>>> There is more than one wall.
>>>
>>> Uh, what?
>>>
>>>
>>
>> I/O.
>
> I can't see that as important.  How does I/O impact PCs significantly?
> Where is the bottleneck?
>


What is your printer connected to? what on a tablet does data collection 
- whether SCADA, audio, video? Can you do graphics on a tablet? Basic 
signals processing? FPGA development?

Wifi isn't all that good for this - it's fine for lowerish bandwidth
file dragging but you can't do real work with it.

<snip>
>>> Ok, what software do you need? It will be available on tablets running
>>> either Android or who knows, MS may be able to throw their 600 pound
>>> gorilla Windows into the tablet market.
>>
>> Maybe.
>
> What do you think Windows 8 is about?  Getting the OS to look like
> tablets and users used to the look and feel they will get on tablets
> when MS starts pushing Windows into that market.
>
>


They don't think of it that way. They think in terms of
"what do we have to do to unhorse Apple."


>>> I mean, if the hardware keeps
>>> pumping up and the market pressures squeeze Windows down to something
>>> more like 2000 or XP in a couple more years it won't be the worst match
>>> ever.
>>>
>>
>> that is true. I don't believe we'll see that though.
>
> How can MS *not* follow this route?  They put out paired down versions
> of Windows for netbooks.  They will continue to improve and streamline
> the product until they can provide a decent version of Windows for
> tablets and then it will be a footrace with Android.
>

But they've shown again and again that they cannot
get out of their own way. Anything that runs Windows has to
support third party peripherals, so they can't nail
down things in the same way Apple has.

<snip>

--
Les Cargill

Article: 155518
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 11:26:56 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 7/14/2013 10:33 AM, Les Cargill wrote:
> rickman wrote:
>> On 7/1/2013 9:26 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
> <snip>
>>>
>>> We'll see. The problem I see now is connectivity. FireWire is ebbing
>>> out. Perhaps USB3.0 will be the bus of choice, or Thunderbolt.
>>
>> That's a very different system level problem. It has nothing to do with
>> the actual computing.
>>
>>
>
> But it remains as the most significant issue with things like
> handhelds and tablets.

I can't say I understand.  How does a desktop or notebook have any 
better connectivity?  Firewire is easy to add to any tablet or even a 
phone.  They don't include it because it is not of interest to tablet or 
phone users.  Ethernet is done over Wifi.  So what is missing?


>>>>>>> Phones and tablets are and will always be cheezy little
>>>>>>> non-computers.
>>>>>>> They don't have enough peripheral options to do anything
>>>>>>> besides post cat pictures to social media sites.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Ok, another quote to go up there with "No one will need more than 640
>>>>>> kBytes" and "I see little commercial potential for the internet for
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> next 10 years."
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Both of those are also true, given other constraints. I would say
>>>>> the commercial potential of the internet has been more limited
>>>>> than people would perhaps prefer.
>>>>
>>>> What?? We left 640 kB behind before we left MS-DOS behind!!!
>>>
>>> To an extent. I found it unusual to need more than
>>> realmode levels of memory prior to Windows.
>>
>> Ok, if you don't want to use Windows, then don't. But the market is for
>> GUI OS and apps. That is what drives processor design.
>>
>>
>
> No, I went in for Windows just like everybody else... I mean
> that the real justification for all that power and memory was
> the GUI.
>
> I was using DOS machines for Real Work(tM) first, then as a
> home computing appliance.

I think you are making a rather arbitrary distinction with no value. 
First, I have any number of apps that require memory far beyond 640 kB. 
  Anything manipulating images which goes in spades for video.  Most of 
my technical programs can't run in 640 kB.  Even my editor is using 9 MB 
of memory at the moment.  I often open files in it that are MBs large.

Sure, needing 4 GB of memory is because of the OS, but your implied 
usability of DOS is simply absurd.  DOS could be used in the early days 
because no one dreamed of what we would be able to do.


>>>> The
>>>> Internet is the biggest commercial opportunity since the baby boom!
>>>>
>>>
>>> I must respectfully disagree. 90% of of it is noncommercial for one.
>>> Compared to the PC Revolution, it's just not one.
>>
>> You can disagree all you want. But the Internet is big business, has
>> created huge *new* markets and has changed the way nearly *all*
>> businesses operate.
>
>
> I just don't see that. outside of the models more or less spread
> by Amazon, nothing's changed. And that is a dynamic Sears Roebuck
> Catalog enabled by credit card payment and shipped by a FedEx style
> shipper rather than by rail.

I can only think you are blind.  My purchasing is totally different now. 
  I price shop easily and mostly buy online.  Before the Internet it 
required trips to the local stores just to see what they had and what it 
cost.  I used to get a 10 lb. (4.5 kg) Computer Shopper to try to find 
bargains.  Shopping online has opened up many modes of purchasing that 
just didn't exist before.  That is only the retail side.  You seem to 
think the Sears catalog is the same as online purchasing.  The states 
were never worried about the loss of revenue from Sears, lol!

Businesses conduct business over the Internet that would have been 
*much* more expensive and impractical with dedicated services.  My 
girlfriend works for one of the medical labs.  All of their computers 
connect by VPN to order and report lab results over the Internet. 
Otherwise they would need direct phone lines and it would not be nearly 
as functional or practical.

I can't believe you don't see how the Internet is transforming the 
entire world!  This will be bigger than the phone or TV in my opinion.


> Enterprise apps are still trench warfare, when they work at all.
>
>> It is irrelevant if it is used for other purposes
>> and the PC revolution BI (before Internet) was nothing compared to what
>> it is with the Internet. I think it will prove to be bigger than the
>> telephone or the TV in terms of impacting our lives. In fact, it is
>> well on the way to replacing both.
>
> It *has* replaced the telephone, but with an almost identical thing.
> Those who say it can replace TV are rather missing the point.
>
> Content development has converged around cable. There are still two
> planes of content - DOCSIS and IP. There's still over the air TV,
> but is rather limited.

Yes, and cable TV will end up the loser with cable companies being 
Internet providers.  But that is a ways off.  TV is just so popular that 
cable TV will be with us for some time yet.


> There's a little cross pollination - the show "Children's Hospital"
> transitioned from purely online to cable on Cartoon Network, but
> Rob Cordry was on a cable show before.
>
>> As evidence, I submit that the
>> states are all clamoring for a new Federal law allowing them to tax
>> Internet sales and making vendors collect the state tax even if they are
>> only in other states. Clearly they feel the Internet has become a major
>> commercial presence and this is only the retail impact. When was the
>> last time you got a data sheet delivered to you by a salesman?
>>
>>
>
> Earlier this year.

Ok, I see I'm talking to a bigger luddite.  What were they selling, 
buggy whips?


>>> It's Facebook, Twitter and Google plus online retail.
>>
>> I don't know what you mean. What is "it" in this context?
>>
>>
>
> The internet.

That's still not clear.


>>> I dunno - some friends of mine are doing quite well in that general
>>> arena ( not in Web stuff, and I don't want to say who they are ) but
>>> I just couldn't see doing it.
>>>
>>>>
>>>>>> I'll bet you have one of these things as a significant computing
>>>>>> platform in four years... you can quote me on that!
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> We'll see - I can't find that today, and I have looked. Gave up in a
>>>>> fit of despair and bought a netbook.
>>>>
>>>> You can't find what today?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> A tablet I want to buy.
>>
>> I'm the same way, I need a laptop. But I use my girlfriend's tablet
>> from time to time because it is there when my laptop isn't and it comes
>> on instantly while my laptop takes a couple of minutes to fire up and
>> shut down.
>>
>>
>
>
>
> Dunno about that - the lappie we use is up in less than a minute. It's
> not stored in a cold-down state - it's suspended.

Assuming the computer is not in it's bag...  If it's not I have to 
remove it, remove the power pack, plug it in, open the lid and in a few 
seconds it prompts me for a password, a few more seconds (well a large 
few) it gives me the UI screen and starts connecting to the Wifi, then a 
few more seconds and the email program figures out it is connected... 
all in all it is well over a minute before it is ready for me to use. 
You just have to pick up the tablet then push a button and swipe a 
finger across the screen... you're in.  HUGE difference.


>>>>> We'll see. FWIW, the people that made this machine I am typing on now
>>>>> no longer make desktops, so I see something coming. Not sure what,
>>>>> though.
>>>>
>>>> That is the point. No one knows for sure or they would already be
>>>> there. As they push on the technology they make changes like DNA
>>>> evolving. Some survive some pass on. But with each generation we get
>>>> adaptation. When there is more severe pressure, there is greater
>>>> change. The change in technology provides fertile ground for mutations
>>>> and the change in computing happens faster giving use things we didn't
>>>> know we wanted. But we do want and we will change what we buy.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I know what I want to do with one. It's not there today. And the
>>> audience for mobile devices doesn't appear to me to want to do any heavy
>>> lifting with them.
>>>
>>> You can, for example, do recording with an iPad, but the "dock" for it
>>> is $3000. I don't think I can write 'C' programs to do signals
>>> processing with one. I've yet to see a Tcl interpreter for one.
>>>
>>> There is Python at least.
>>
>> That is your personal preference, not the real market.
>>
>
>
> A market is nothing more than an aggregation of individual
> preferences. I would say that a preference for tablets
> indicates that the ... preferr-er does very little with the thing.

You don't get it.  That is the point.  The tablets do what most people 
want.  Therefore they will become the dominant form of computing...


> This being said, a tablet makes a fine touchscreen remote
> for real computers, but that's got problems as well.

Lol!


>>>> I just want a big screen and a keyboard... or so I think. I've been
>>>> thinking for the last few years a big flat TV would do nicely as my
>>>> screen
>>>
>>> We do that now with the netbook.
>>
>> Yeah, a netbook is just a tablet with a built in keyboard and screen,
>> both nearly unusable. I'd be willing to bet that netbooks were a flash
>> in the pan, popular at first but sales either flatlining or falling off.
>>
>>
>
> I expect that then we'll go without.

You'll go without eating???


>>>> and I can have a keyboard with me even more easily than my 17"
>>>> laptop. So why wouldn't a tablet with say a 128 GB flash drive make my
>>>> day? Right now the only limitation is the lack of support for Android
>>>> by the FPGA software vendors. I can't imagine that isn't going to
>>>> change soon.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> We'll see. I am not sure how much of Linux is missing
>>> from Android; other than that it shouldn't be too bad. You will
>>> need a big ole screen, though.
>>
>> Any flat screen TV will be much better than my laptop or desktop.
>>
>>
>
> This has its challenges as well.

What are you talking about?


>>> I've seen that and I don't see the problem. You can still buy XP if
>>> you don't have it.
>>
>> I'm very resistant to paying Microsoft any more money than I have to. I
>> may get a new laptop soon. One thing holding me back is that I have to
>> pay Bill Gates another $50 for the latest OS I really don't want.
>>
>>
>
> Understood.
>
>>>>>> Is your new PC any faster
>>>>>> than your old PC (other than the increased memory for memory bound
>>>>>> apps)?
>>>>>
>>>>> Yes. But my old PC is a 3.0GHz monocore.
>>>>>
>>>>> The only reason I upgraded was that Silverlight stopped utilizing
>>>>> graphics cards.
>>>>
>>>> Silverlight was one of the first things I turned off! What does it do
>>>> that you or I need?
>>>>
>>>
>>> Netflix. When I was working remote, that's how I consumed Netflix.
>>
>> You can't use Netflix without Silverlight? wow.
>>
>
> Right. It's kind of disgusting.

I don't know how I have managed to live without Netflix.  Oh, that's 
right, I'm a Luddite!


>>>>>> PCs are reaching the wall while hand held devices aren't.
>>>>>
>>>>> There is more than one wall.
>>>>
>>>> Uh, what?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> I/O.
>>
>> I can't see that as important. How does I/O impact PCs significantly?
>> Where is the bottleneck?
>>
>
>
> What is your printer connected to? what on a tablet does data collection
> - whether SCADA, audio, video? Can you do graphics on a tablet? Basic
> signals processing? FPGA development?

I don't have any trouble with any of these... what are you talking about?


> Wifi isn't all that good for this - it's fine for lowerish bandwidth
> file dragging but you can't do real work with it.

Yes, I am totally unable to work...


>>>> Ok, what software do you need? It will be available on tablets running
>>>> either Android or who knows, MS may be able to throw their 600 pound
>>>> gorilla Windows into the tablet market.
>>>
>>> Maybe.
>>
>> What do you think Windows 8 is about? Getting the OS to look like
>> tablets and users used to the look and feel they will get on tablets
>> when MS starts pushing Windows into that market.
>>
>>
>
>
> They don't think of it that way. They think in terms of
> "what do we have to do to unhorse Apple."

Uh, that is a bit silly.  Of course they consider competition, but they 
need a plan based on what they expect will woo the user.


>>>> I mean, if the hardware keeps
>>>> pumping up and the market pressures squeeze Windows down to something
>>>> more like 2000 or XP in a couple more years it won't be the worst match
>>>> ever.
>>>>
>>>
>>> that is true. I don't believe we'll see that though.
>>
>> How can MS *not* follow this route? They put out paired down versions
>> of Windows for netbooks. They will continue to improve and streamline
>> the product until they can provide a decent version of Windows for
>> tablets and then it will be a footrace with Android.
>>
>
> But they've shown again and again that they cannot
> get out of their own way. Anything that runs Windows has to
> support third party peripherals, so they can't nail
> down things in the same way Apple has.

That is not obvious.  Why does a tablet have to support an external SCSI 
drive?  You will never be able to connect it.

Windows can run on a tablet just fine once the trim it down to the 
slower processors and (slightly) smaller memory.

The problems with Apple "nailing" down the units are just that, 
problems.  A friend has an iPhone and he borrowed my netbook so he could 
do backups.  His laptop had problems with iTunes and Apple wouldn't 
support it.  With a tablet he would be able to get third party products 
to make it work.  I try not to make proclamations, but I'm pretty sure I 
will never buy an Apple computing device.  I don't like their closed 
approach.

-- 

Rick

Article: 155519
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: Les Cargill <lcargill99@comcast.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 11:37:31 -0500
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
rickman wrote:
> On 7/14/2013 10:33 AM, Les Cargill wrote:
>> rickman wrote:
>>> On 7/1/2013 9:26 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
>> <snip>
>>>>
>>>> We'll see. The problem I see now is connectivity. FireWire is ebbing
>>>> out. Perhaps USB3.0 will be the bus of choice, or Thunderbolt.
>>>
>>> That's a very different system level problem. It has nothing to do with
>>> the actual computing.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> But it remains as the most significant issue with things like
>> handhelds and tablets.
>
> I can't say I understand.  How does a desktop or notebook have any
> better connectivity?  Firewire is easy to add to any tablet or even a
> phone.

Is it? I've only see the Ainol Novo 9 with Firewire built in. I
suppose that depends on what you mean by "added to".


> They don't include it because it is not of interest to tablet or
> phone users.  Ethernet is done over Wifi.  So what is missing?
>
>

Data collection I/O. Maybe that will evolve to over Wifi, but
I have yet to see that. Maybe I should do that; I have
though t about it. But every time I look at it, it costs too much
unless you get into large retail establishments. And you can
stand up a desktop to do it, and pull files over Wifi.


>>>>>>>> Phones and tablets are and will always be cheezy little
>>>>>>>> non-computers.
>>>>>>>> They don't have enough peripheral options to do anything
>>>>>>>> besides post cat pictures to social media sites.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Ok, another quote to go up there with "No one will need more than
>>>>>>> 640
>>>>>>> kBytes" and "I see little commercial potential for the internet for
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> next 10 years."
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Both of those are also true, given other constraints. I would say
>>>>>> the commercial potential of the internet has been more limited
>>>>>> than people would perhaps prefer.
>>>>>
>>>>> What?? We left 640 kB behind before we left MS-DOS behind!!!
>>>>
>>>> To an extent. I found it unusual to need more than
>>>> realmode levels of memory prior to Windows.
>>>
>>> Ok, if you don't want to use Windows, then don't. But the market is for
>>> GUI OS and apps. That is what drives processor design.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> No, I went in for Windows just like everybody else... I mean
>> that the real justification for all that power and memory was
>> the GUI.
>>
>> I was using DOS machines for Real Work(tM) first, then as a
>> home computing appliance.
>
> I think you are making a rather arbitrary distinction with no value.
> First, I have any number of apps that require memory far beyond 640 kB.
>   Anything manipulating images which goes in spades for video.  Most of
> my technical programs can't run in 640 kB.  Even my editor is using 9 MB
> of memory at the moment.  I often open files in it that are MBs large.
>
> Sure, needing 4 GB of memory is because of the OS, but your implied
> usability of DOS is simply absurd.  DOS could be used in the early days
> because no one dreamed of what we would be able to do.
>
>

We've gained video, audio and things like Photoshop. If you include the
Commodore computers from that time frame, we really haven't gained that, 
  either.

Compared to what was gained by pre-Windows PCs, that's a rather
short list. And those were not unique; just cheaper.

Pre-Windows PCs made a measurable impact on the
economy. Post and peri-Windows, not so much. 'Course
we use Linux for what we used DOS for before.

>>>>> The
>>>>> Internet is the biggest commercial opportunity since the baby boom!
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I must respectfully disagree. 90% of of it is noncommercial for one.
>>>> Compared to the PC Revolution, it's just not one.
>>>
>>> You can disagree all you want. But the Internet is big business, has
>>> created huge *new* markets and has changed the way nearly *all*
>>> businesses operate.
>>
>>
>> I just don't see that. outside of the models more or less spread
>> by Amazon, nothing's changed. And that is a dynamic Sears Roebuck
>> Catalog enabled by credit card payment and shipped by a FedEx style
>> shipper rather than by rail.
>
> I can only think you are blind.  My purchasing is totally different now.

Yeah -  it's back to the Sears Roebuck catalog model. C'mon   - this is
not a difficult concept.

>   I price shop easily and mostly buy online.  Before the Internet it
> required trips to the local stores just to see what they had and what it
> cost.  I used to get a 10 lb. (4.5 kg) Computer Shopper to try to find
> bargains.

So make that a disc instead of a printed catalog. Same
thing. And make it to where you could download a .iso of
the disk...

  Shopping online has opened up many modes of purchasing that
> just didn't exist before.  That is only the retail side.  You seem to
> think the Sears catalog is the same as online purchasing.  The states
> were never worried about the loss of revenue from Sears, lol!
>

That's because Sears charged all the applicable taxes. If you'll recall, 
  it was considered *better* when you did not have to wait
the six weeks for a simple retail purchase, and retail began
to consume much more real estate.

As to "multiple trips", call ahead. That's what I did and still
do. This only fails because the minions of retail establishment
have lousy communications skills.

> Businesses conduct business over the Internet that would have been
> *much* more expensive and impractical with dedicated services.

No, they would not have. I don't think you've thought this through.
For example, WalMart has an online system that offers "in store
pickup." You basically get back some of the cost of inventory risk.

The advantages of stuff over the Internet is much more
subtle. The vast majority of say, Amazon is the giant
flea market of a million booths.

>  My
> girlfriend works for one of the medical labs.  All of their computers
> connect by VPN to order and report lab results over the Internet.
> Otherwise they would need direct phone lines and it would not be nearly
> as functional or practical.
>

No doubt. But one for the first things I did for my
employer in 1994 was to help us use a T1 line for
the same purpose.


> I can't believe you don't see how the Internet is transforming the
> entire world!  This will be bigger than the phone or TV in my opinion.
>
>

Emphasis "will be". It's been five years out for fifteen years now :)

>> Enterprise apps are still trench warfare, when they work at all.
>>
>>> It is irrelevant if it is used for other purposes
>>> and the PC revolution BI (before Internet) was nothing compared to what
>>> it is with the Internet. I think it will prove to be bigger than the
>>> telephone or the TV in terms of impacting our lives. In fact, it is
>>> well on the way to replacing both.
>>
>> It *has* replaced the telephone, but with an almost identical thing.
>> Those who say it can replace TV are rather missing the point.
>>
>> Content development has converged around cable. There are still two
>> planes of content - DOCSIS and IP. There's still over the air TV,
>> but is rather limited.
>
> Yes, and cable TV will end up the loser with cable companies being
> Internet providers.  But that is a ways off.  TV is just so popular that
> cable TV will be with us for some time yet.
>
>

I expect so; yes. The hot thing now is long-form stuff like Mad Men or
Justified. that's not something that can exist in an an Internet-only
model. The capitalization doesn't work.

>> There's a little cross pollination - the show "Children's Hospital"
>> transitioned from purely online to cable on Cartoon Network, but
>> Rob Cordry was on a cable show before.
>>
>>> As evidence, I submit that the
>>> states are all clamoring for a new Federal law allowing them to tax
>>> Internet sales and making vendors collect the state tax even if they are
>>> only in other states. Clearly they feel the Internet has become a major
>>> commercial presence and this is only the retail impact. When was the
>>> last time you got a data sheet delivered to you by a salesman?
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Earlier this year.
>
> Ok, I see I'm talking to a bigger luddite.  What were they selling,
> buggy whips?
>
>

Sensors and actuators. The people I work with build real machines
that do real work.

<snip>
>> Dunno about that - the lappie we use is up in less than a minute. It's
>> not stored in a cold-down state - it's suspended.
>
> Assuming the computer is not in it's bag...  If it's not I have to
> remove it, remove the power pack, plug it in, open the lid and in a few
> seconds it prompts me for a password, a few more seconds (well a large
> few) it gives me the UI screen and starts connecting to the Wifi, then a
> few more seconds and the email program figures out it is connected...
> all in all it is well over a minute before it is ready for me to use.
> You just have to pick up the tablet then push a button and swipe a
> finger across the screen... you're in.  HUGE difference.
>
>

Wow, mine does none of that. You open the lid, it brings up
the login and you're done in less than a minute.

>>>>>> We'll see. FWIW, the people that made this machine I am typing on now
>>>>>> no longer make desktops, so I see something coming. Not sure what,
>>>>>> though.
>>>>>
>>>>> That is the point. No one knows for sure or they would already be
>>>>> there. As they push on the technology they make changes like DNA
>>>>> evolving. Some survive some pass on. But with each generation we get
>>>>> adaptation. When there is more severe pressure, there is greater
>>>>> change. The change in technology provides fertile ground for mutations
>>>>> and the change in computing happens faster giving use things we didn't
>>>>> know we wanted. But we do want and we will change what we buy.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I know what I want to do with one. It's not there today. And the
>>>> audience for mobile devices doesn't appear to me to want to do any
>>>> heavy
>>>> lifting with them.
>>>>
>>>> You can, for example, do recording with an iPad, but the "dock" for it
>>>> is $3000. I don't think I can write 'C' programs to do signals
>>>> processing with one. I've yet to see a Tcl interpreter for one.
>>>>
>>>> There is Python at least.
>>>
>>> That is your personal preference, not the real market.
>>>
>>
>>
>> A market is nothing more than an aggregation of individual
>> preferences. I would say that a preference for tablets
>> indicates that the ... preferr-er does very little with the thing.
>
> You don't get it.  That is the point.  The tablets do what most people
> want.  Therefore they will become the dominant form of computing...
>
>

My point is that they don't do anything - beyond post captioned
cat videos. They're Barbie fashion accessories.

>> This being said, a tablet makes a fine touchscreen remote
>> for real computers, but that's got problems as well.
>
> Lol!
>
>
>>>>> I just want a big screen and a keyboard... or so I think. I've been
>>>>> thinking for the last few years a big flat TV would do nicely as my
>>>>> screen
>>>>
>>>> We do that now with the netbook.
>>>
>>> Yeah, a netbook is just a tablet with a built in keyboard and screen,
>>> both nearly unusable. I'd be willing to bet that netbooks were a flash
>>> in the pan, popular at first but sales either flatlining or falling off.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> I expect that then we'll go without.
>
> You'll go without eating???
>

We still use brick and mortar for buying food.

>
>>>>> and I can have a keyboard with me even more easily than my 17"
>>>>> laptop. So why wouldn't a tablet with say a 128 GB flash drive make my
>>>>> day? Right now the only limitation is the lack of support for Android
>>>>> by the FPGA software vendors. I can't imagine that isn't going to
>>>>> change soon.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> We'll see. I am not sure how much of Linux is missing
>>>> from Android; other than that it shouldn't be too bad. You will
>>>> need a big ole screen, though.
>>>
>>> Any flat screen TV will be much better than my laptop or desktop.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> This has its challenges as well.
>
> What are you talking about?
>


you have to put a large screen TV on something. if it's more than six 
feet away, you lose any advantage from it being a large screen.

<snIP>
>>>
>>> You can't use Netflix without Silverlight? wow.
>>>
>>
>> Right. It's kind of disgusting.
>
> I don't know how I have managed to live without Netflix.  Oh, that's
> right, I'm a Luddite!
>
>
>>>>>>> PCs are reaching the wall while hand held devices aren't.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> There is more than one wall.
>>>>>
>>>>> Uh, what?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I/O.
>>>
>>> I can't see that as important. How does I/O impact PCs significantly?
>>> Where is the bottleneck?
>>>
>>
>>
>> What is your printer connected to? what on a tablet does data collection
>> - whether SCADA, audio, video? Can you do graphics on a tablet? Basic
>> signals processing? FPGA development?
>
> I don't have any trouble with any of these... what are you talking about?
>
>

On a *tablet* you do those? No, you have to
at least have a laptop.


>> Wifi isn't all that good for this - it's fine for lowerish bandwidth
>> file dragging but you can't do real work with it.
>
> Yes, I am totally unable to work...
>
>
>>>>> Ok, what software do you need? It will be available on tablets running
>>>>> either Android or who knows, MS may be able to throw their 600 pound
>>>>> gorilla Windows into the tablet market.
>>>>
>>>> Maybe.
>>>
>>> What do you think Windows 8 is about? Getting the OS to look like
>>> tablets and users used to the look and feel they will get on tablets
>>> when MS starts pushing Windows into that market.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> They don't think of it that way. They think in terms of
>> "what do we have to do to unhorse Apple."
>
> Uh, that is a bit silly.  Of course they consider competition, but they
> need a plan based on what they expect will woo the user.
>


I think you give them much more credit
than is deserved...

>
>>>>> I mean, if the hardware keeps
>>>>> pumping up and the market pressures squeeze Windows down to something
>>>>> more like 2000 or XP in a couple more years it won't be the worst
>>>>> match
>>>>> ever.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> that is true. I don't believe we'll see that though.
>>>
>>> How can MS *not* follow this route? They put out paired down versions
>>> of Windows for netbooks. They will continue to improve and streamline
>>> the product until they can provide a decent version of Windows for
>>> tablets and then it will be a footrace with Android.
>>>
>>
>> But they've shown again and again that they cannot
>> get out of their own way. Anything that runs Windows has to
>> support third party peripherals, so they can't nail
>> down things in the same way Apple has.
>
> That is not obvious.  Why does a tablet have to support an external SCSI
> drive?  You will never be able to connect it.
>

Right.

> Windows can run on a tablet just fine once the trim it down to the
> slower processors and (slightly) smaller memory.
>

One can hope. For now, I run VMs of XP and other M$ OS
offerings, hosted by Win7.

> The problems with Apple "nailing" down the units are just that,
> problems.  A friend has an iPhone and he borrowed my netbook so he could
> do backups.  His laptop had problems with iTunes and Apple wouldn't
> support it.

Yep.

> With a tablet he would be able to get third party products
> to make it work.  I try not to make proclamations, but I'm pretty sure I
> will never buy an Apple computing device.  I don't like their closed
> approach.
>

I quite agree. So that leaves us with the forces opposing
the death of the desktop...

-- 
Les Cargill

Article: 155520
Subject: Re: New soft processor core paper publisher?
From: rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 14:03:43 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 7/14/2013 12:37 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
> rickman wrote:
>> On 7/14/2013 10:33 AM, Les Cargill wrote:
>>> rickman wrote:
>>>> On 7/1/2013 9:26 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
>>> <snip>
>>>>>
>>>>> We'll see. The problem I see now is connectivity. FireWire is ebbing
>>>>> out. Perhaps USB3.0 will be the bus of choice, or Thunderbolt.
>>>>
>>>> That's a very different system level problem. It has nothing to do with
>>>> the actual computing.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> But it remains as the most significant issue with things like
>>> handhelds and tablets.
>>
>> I can't say I understand. How does a desktop or notebook have any
>> better connectivity? Firewire is easy to add to any tablet or even a
>> phone.
>
> Is it? I've only see the Ainol Novo 9 with Firewire built in. I
> suppose that depends on what you mean by "added to".

I'm saying the makers could include it easily if there was a demand. 
Firewire is a specialty interface for high end cameras.  I don't think 
there is much need for it now that USB 3.0 is standard on new machines.


>> They don't include it because it is not of interest to tablet or
>> phone users. Ethernet is done over Wifi. So what is missing?
>>
>>
>
> Data collection I/O. Maybe that will evolve to over Wifi, but
> I have yet to see that. Maybe I should do that; I have
> though t about it. But every time I look at it, it costs too much
> unless you get into large retail establishments. And you can
> stand up a desktop to do it, and pull files over Wifi.

You mean USB?  What data are you collecting?  Do you have to keep 
limiting your replies to bits and pieces rather than explaining 
yourself?  Exactly what needed connectivity is missing from tablets and 
phones?


>>>>>>>>> Phones and tablets are and will always be cheezy little
>>>>>>>>> non-computers.
>>>>>>>>> They don't have enough peripheral options to do anything
>>>>>>>>> besides post cat pictures to social media sites.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Ok, another quote to go up there with "No one will need more than
>>>>>>>> 640
>>>>>>>> kBytes" and "I see little commercial potential for the internet for
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> next 10 years."
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Both of those are also true, given other constraints. I would say
>>>>>>> the commercial potential of the internet has been more limited
>>>>>>> than people would perhaps prefer.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> What?? We left 640 kB behind before we left MS-DOS behind!!!
>>>>>
>>>>> To an extent. I found it unusual to need more than
>>>>> realmode levels of memory prior to Windows.
>>>>
>>>> Ok, if you don't want to use Windows, then don't. But the market is for
>>>> GUI OS and apps. That is what drives processor design.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> No, I went in for Windows just like everybody else... I mean
>>> that the real justification for all that power and memory was
>>> the GUI.
>>>
>>> I was using DOS machines for Real Work(tM) first, then as a
>>> home computing appliance.
>>
>> I think you are making a rather arbitrary distinction with no value.
>> First, I have any number of apps that require memory far beyond 640 kB.
>> Anything manipulating images which goes in spades for video. Most of
>> my technical programs can't run in 640 kB. Even my editor is using 9 MB
>> of memory at the moment. I often open files in it that are MBs large.
>>
>> Sure, needing 4 GB of memory is because of the OS, but your implied
>> usability of DOS is simply absurd. DOS could be used in the early days
>> because no one dreamed of what we would be able to do.
>>
>>
>
> We've gained video, audio and things like Photoshop. If you include the
> Commodore computers from that time frame, we really haven't gained that,
> either.
>
> Compared to what was gained by pre-Windows PCs, that's a rather
> short list. And those were not unique; just cheaper.
>
> Pre-Windows PCs made a measurable impact on the
> economy. Post and peri-Windows, not so much. 'Course
> we use Linux for what we used DOS for before.
>
>>>>>> The
>>>>>> Internet is the biggest commercial opportunity since the baby boom!
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I must respectfully disagree. 90% of of it is noncommercial for one.
>>>>> Compared to the PC Revolution, it's just not one.
>>>>
>>>> You can disagree all you want. But the Internet is big business, has
>>>> created huge *new* markets and has changed the way nearly *all*
>>>> businesses operate.
>>>
>>>
>>> I just don't see that. outside of the models more or less spread
>>> by Amazon, nothing's changed. And that is a dynamic Sears Roebuck
>>> Catalog enabled by credit card payment and shipped by a FedEx style
>>> shipper rather than by rail.
>>
>> I can only think you are blind. My purchasing is totally different now.
>
> Yeah - it's back to the Sears Roebuck catalog model. C'mon - this is
> not a difficult concept.

Ok, you seem to think that dynamic web pages findable by search engines 
are no improvement over waiting literally weeks for catalogs to be 
mailed out *if* you know about the company to request them from.  One of 
the very first impacts of the Internet was the elimination of printed 
data sheets by PDF files.  I remember when web sites started making them 
available, semiconductor companies wanted you to register so they could 
retain the info they got when you called to ask for a data book.  Now 
they use incentives to get you to register.


>> I price shop easily and mostly buy online. Before the Internet it
>> required trips to the local stores just to see what they had and what it
>> cost. I used to get a 10 lb. (4.5 kg) Computer Shopper to try to find
>> bargains.
>
> So make that a disc instead of a printed catalog. Same
> thing. And make it to where you could download a .iso of
> the disk...

You refuse to accept that the time factor makes a *huge* difference.  I 
can't tell you how many times I heard "you will have it in 10 to 14 
days" or "two to three weeks" or even longer.  That's mail order. 
Internet is a very different world with rapid info, online help chat and 
interactive information.


> Shopping online has opened up many modes of purchasing that
>> just didn't exist before. That is only the retail side. You seem to
>> think the Sears catalog is the same as online purchasing. The states
>> were never worried about the loss of revenue from Sears, lol!
>>
>
> That's because Sears charged all the applicable taxes. If you'll recall,
> it was considered *better* when you did not have to wait
> the six weeks for a simple retail purchase, and retail began
> to consume much more real estate.

The sales tax was charged only if they operated in your state.  Many 
mail order businesses were not in state.  Now the Internet is *huge* and 
the states are feeling the pinch in their wallet.  Mail order could 
never do that.


> As to "multiple trips", call ahead. That's what I did and still
> do. This only fails because the minions of retail establishment
> have lousy communications skills.
>
>> Businesses conduct business over the Internet that would have been
>> *much* more expensive and impractical with dedicated services.
>
> No, they would not have. I don't think you've thought this through.
> For example, WalMart has an online system that offers "in store
> pickup." You basically get back some of the cost of inventory risk.
>
> The advantages of stuff over the Internet is much more
> subtle. The vast majority of say, Amazon is the giant
> flea market of a million booths.

You aren't even listening to what I am saying.  Actually the In Store 
Pickup is strictly an Internet thing.  I don't remember anyone doing 
that before you could order on the Internet.. actually that's not 
correct.  Many years ago Sears had "catalog" stores in towns where they 
didn't have a regular store.  You ordered from the catalog and they 
delivered to the store, two to three weeks later!  The Internet turned 
this into two to three days if not in stock!


>> My
>> girlfriend works for one of the medical labs. All of their computers
>> connect by VPN to order and report lab results over the Internet.
>> Otherwise they would need direct phone lines and it would not be nearly
>> as functional or practical.
>>
>
> No doubt. But one for the first things I did for my
> employer in 1994 was to help us use a T1 line for
> the same purpose.

Which would be impractical for many applications which would require 
such high speed lines for every office in the system at a cost of many 
thousands if not millions per year.  I know, I've priced a T1 line. 
That line would then be special purpose not allowing them to access any 
other resource.


>> I can't believe you don't see how the Internet is transforming the
>> entire world! This will be bigger than the phone or TV in my opinion.
>>
>>
>
> Emphasis "will be". It's been five years out for fifteen years now :)

Lol, it is here now if you just open your eyes.  How long did it take 
for the phone or the auto to be universal and pervasive?  Some 50 years 
or more I think.  The Internet is not even 20 yet and has already 
transformed us all.


>>> Enterprise apps are still trench warfare, when they work at all.
>>>
>>>> It is irrelevant if it is used for other purposes
>>>> and the PC revolution BI (before Internet) was nothing compared to what
>>>> it is with the Internet. I think it will prove to be bigger than the
>>>> telephone or the TV in terms of impacting our lives. In fact, it is
>>>> well on the way to replacing both.
>>>
>>> It *has* replaced the telephone, but with an almost identical thing.
>>> Those who say it can replace TV are rather missing the point.
>>>
>>> Content development has converged around cable. There are still two
>>> planes of content - DOCSIS and IP. There's still over the air TV,
>>> but is rather limited.
>>
>> Yes, and cable TV will end up the loser with cable companies being
>> Internet providers. But that is a ways off. TV is just so popular that
>> cable TV will be with us for some time yet.
>>
>>
>
> I expect so; yes. The hot thing now is long-form stuff like Mad Men or
> Justified. that's not something that can exist in an an Internet-only
> model. The capitalization doesn't work.

Can't say, I haven't worried about most TV for some time now.  But there 
is no reason why cable TV needs to be the distribution method of TV. 
Higher speed Internet suffices just fine.  The only question is what 
economic model to use and that can be the same as used for cable.


>>> There's a little cross pollination - the show "Children's Hospital"
>>> transitioned from purely online to cable on Cartoon Network, but
>>> Rob Cordry was on a cable show before.
>>>
>>>> As evidence, I submit that the
>>>> states are all clamoring for a new Federal law allowing them to tax
>>>> Internet sales and making vendors collect the state tax even if they
>>>> are
>>>> only in other states. Clearly they feel the Internet has become a major
>>>> commercial presence and this is only the retail impact. When was the
>>>> last time you got a data sheet delivered to you by a salesman?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> Earlier this year.
>>
>> Ok, I see I'm talking to a bigger luddite. What were they selling,
>> buggy whips?
>>
>>
>
> Sensors and actuators. The people I work with build real machines
> that do real work.

So why couldn't you get a data sheet off their web site?  I am sure the 
sales person wanted to meet you, but that is still no reason to require 
you to get a piece of paper rather than a PDF.  The last time I asked 
for a data sheet on paper they sales person has to use his printer.  I 
stopped asking after that.


>>> Dunno about that - the lappie we use is up in less than a minute. It's
>>> not stored in a cold-down state - it's suspended.
>>
>> Assuming the computer is not in it's bag... If it's not I have to
>> remove it, remove the power pack, plug it in, open the lid and in a few
>> seconds it prompts me for a password, a few more seconds (well a large
>> few) it gives me the UI screen and starts connecting to the Wifi, then a
>> few more seconds and the email program figures out it is connected...
>> all in all it is well over a minute before it is ready for me to use.
>> You just have to pick up the tablet then push a button and swipe a
>> finger across the screen... you're in. HUGE difference.
>>
>>
>
> Wow, mine does none of that. You open the lid, it brings up
> the login and you're done in less than a minute.

You never have to plug it in?  That's pretty good.  Atomic power?  Even 
so that is still more than an order of magnitude longer than a tablet. 
The tablet is also there when the laptop is not.  Do you drag the laptop 
with you when you leave the office or house?  Do you take it upstairs 
when you go to bed in order to read your novel in bed?  Do you take it 
on the deck when you want to relax with a glass of iced tea and browse 
the web on a break?

The difference in size and convenience is very significant.  The phones 
are still phones first and Internet devices second.  But they top the 
list in terms of availability.  I *always* have my phone with me as do 
many.  By comparison, the laptop is an albatross in a bag with a 
shoulder strap.


>>>>>>> We'll see. FWIW, the people that made this machine I am typing on
>>>>>>> now
>>>>>>> no longer make desktops, so I see something coming. Not sure what,
>>>>>>> though.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> That is the point. No one knows for sure or they would already be
>>>>>> there. As they push on the technology they make changes like DNA
>>>>>> evolving. Some survive some pass on. But with each generation we get
>>>>>> adaptation. When there is more severe pressure, there is greater
>>>>>> change. The change in technology provides fertile ground for
>>>>>> mutations
>>>>>> and the change in computing happens faster giving use things we
>>>>>> didn't
>>>>>> know we wanted. But we do want and we will change what we buy.
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I know what I want to do with one. It's not there today. And the
>>>>> audience for mobile devices doesn't appear to me to want to do any
>>>>> heavy
>>>>> lifting with them.
>>>>>
>>>>> You can, for example, do recording with an iPad, but the "dock" for it
>>>>> is $3000. I don't think I can write 'C' programs to do signals
>>>>> processing with one. I've yet to see a Tcl interpreter for one.
>>>>>
>>>>> There is Python at least.
>>>>
>>>> That is your personal preference, not the real market.
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> A market is nothing more than an aggregation of individual
>>> preferences. I would say that a preference for tablets
>>> indicates that the ... preferr-er does very little with the thing.
>>
>> You don't get it. That is the point. The tablets do what most people
>> want. Therefore they will become the dominant form of computing...
>>
>>
>
> My point is that they don't do anything - beyond post captioned
> cat videos. They're Barbie fashion accessories.

That is silly and totally inaccurate.  You clearly have not seen anyone 
actually using them.  You won't be able to remain ignorant of them long. 
  They are popping up everywhere.  I am seeing about half as many 
tablets as laptops at Panera Bread these days and the numbers are 
growing fast.


>>> This being said, a tablet makes a fine touchscreen remote
>>> for real computers, but that's got problems as well.
>>
>> Lol!
>>
>>
>>>>>> I just want a big screen and a keyboard... or so I think. I've been
>>>>>> thinking for the last few years a big flat TV would do nicely as my
>>>>>> screen
>>>>>
>>>>> We do that now with the netbook.
>>>>
>>>> Yeah, a netbook is just a tablet with a built in keyboard and screen,
>>>> both nearly unusable. I'd be willing to bet that netbooks were a flash
>>>> in the pan, popular at first but sales either flatlining or falling
>>>> off.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> I expect that then we'll go without.
>>
>> You'll go without eating???
>>
>
> We still use brick and mortar for buying food.

Ah, so you won't go without.


>>>>>> and I can have a keyboard with me even more easily than my 17"
>>>>>> laptop. So why wouldn't a tablet with say a 128 GB flash drive
>>>>>> make my
>>>>>> day? Right now the only limitation is the lack of support for Android
>>>>>> by the FPGA software vendors. I can't imagine that isn't going to
>>>>>> change soon.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> We'll see. I am not sure how much of Linux is missing
>>>>> from Android; other than that it shouldn't be too bad. You will
>>>>> need a big ole screen, though.
>>>>
>>>> Any flat screen TV will be much better than my laptop or desktop.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> This has its challenges as well.
>>
>> What are you talking about?
>>
>
>
> you have to put a large screen TV on something. if it's more than six
> feet away, you lose any advantage from it being a large screen.

What?  My laptop in my lap is the smaller than the TV (I am planning to 
buy) on the wall.  The TV has higher resolution.


>>>>
>>>> You can't use Netflix without Silverlight? wow.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Right. It's kind of disgusting.
>>
>> I don't know how I have managed to live without Netflix. Oh, that's
>> right, I'm a Luddite!
>>
>>
>>>>>>>> PCs are reaching the wall while hand held devices aren't.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> There is more than one wall.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Uh, what?
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I/O.
>>>>
>>>> I can't see that as important. How does I/O impact PCs significantly?
>>>> Where is the bottleneck?
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> What is your printer connected to? what on a tablet does data collection
>>> - whether SCADA, audio, video? Can you do graphics on a tablet? Basic
>>> signals processing? FPGA development?
>>
>> I don't have any trouble with any of these... what are you talking about?
>>
>>
>
> On a *tablet* you do those? No, you have to
> at least have a laptop.

Which of these can't you do on a tablet?  What is your point?  How does 
a tablet limit what you can do?

-- 

Rick

Article: 155521
Subject: Floorplanning Literature
From: Leo <capossio.leonardo@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 11:04:49 -0700 (PDT)
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Any good floorplanning literature (papers, books, etc.) ? I'm needing it for floorplanning FPGA architectures (Spartan 6), but any general text about the subject would be cool. I already read fliptronics's introduction.

Article: 155522
Subject: Re: Floorplanning Literature
From: rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 14:17:42 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On 7/14/2013 2:04 PM, Leo wrote:
> Any good floorplanning literature (papers, books, etc.) ? I'm needing it for floorplanning FPGA architectures (Spartan 6), but any general text about the subject would be cool. I already read fliptronics's introduction.

I don't know of any docs relevant to floorplanning other than what you 
might find at the Xilinx site.  Floorplanning is not easy to use 
effectively in my experience.  The one project where we really needed 
floorplanning I found it to be nearly impossible to use.  That was in an 
older Altera part using MaxPlusII.  That tool was not so easy to 
manipulate as the Xilinx tools I expect.

Why do you need floorplanning?  What do you expect to achieve using it?

-- 

Rick

Article: 155523
Subject: Re: Low cost board with built-in USB for fast data transfer and lots
From: GaborSzakacs <gabor@alacron.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:29:39 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Ronin wrote:
> hi Guys,
> 
> I would like to get started in the FPGA world. 
> I intend to use the board to perform computations. Hence connectivity to and from the PC should be good and via usb.
> 
> Am looking for a low cost fpga board with:
> 1. Inbuilt USB
> 2. Good to have - Ethernet port
> 
> Can I use low cost Papillon board for this purpose without soldering ( if there are any cables to facilitate data transfer )?
> 
> Thanks in advance.
> 
> Cheers
> 
The only suggestion I can make is to look at each of the major FPGA
manufacturers to see if there are any specials on new development
boards.  Usually when they are releasing a new FPGA family they heavily
subsidize the dev board price to get new device wins.  I've gotten
some great deals from Lattice this way.  I seem to recall a recent
announcement from MicroSemi (Actel) about a new FPGA series...

-- 
Gabor

Article: 155524
Subject: Re: Floorplanning Literature
From: GaborSzakacs <gabor@alacron.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:31:18 -0400
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Leo wrote:
> Any good floorplanning literature (papers, books, etc.) ? I'm needing it for floorplanning FPGA architectures (Spartan 6), but any general text about the subject would be cool. I already read fliptronics's introduction.

PlanAhead (now part of Xilinx tool chain) was developed by a company
called Hier Design.  It's likely that they had some significant white-
papers on floorplanning.

-- 
Gabor



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