some thoughts on SAKC

Sébastien Bourdeauducq sebastien.bourdeauducq at
Sat Feb 27 13:21:21 EST 2010

On Saturday 27 February 2010 17:36:49 Carlos Camargo wrote:
> Ingenic's CPUs don't have a lot of peripherals, just the most popular for
> multimedia applications, If you have an specific Hardware task (FPU, PWM,
> communication Unit, etc) you can't use this processor, so, you must buy a
> commercial IC and interconnect it with the CPU, so, Again you need a lot of
> interfaces. Another solution is design your own SoC platform, but Milkymist
> work is in progress, and you need wait for it :)

You seem to overestimate the difficulty of using it :)
You can boot nommu Linux on it today - the few people I know who have a ML401 
have been successful at doing it. Developing drivers for your particular 
peripheral is like developing a driver for any other one. Furthermore, adding 
peripherals is easy - last August, I was giving a workshop at /tmp/lab about 
developing and adding simple peripherals (things like GPIO controllers and 
beep generators) to Milkymist, and even people with < 30 hours of FPGA 
programming experience were able to do it.

In terms of performance, Milkymist beats Xilinx Microblaze - making it a VERY 
FAST softcore platform:

Of course, there are still many problems - GCC sometimes crashes, software 
packages using old versions of GNU Autocrap won't recognize the CPU, the FDPIC 
executable loader is abominable (shared libraries won't work, some C++ 
features cause problems and compiling is a bit messy because of that), some 
drivers (sound, HW acceleration etc.) are missing, etc. But if people put the 
same amount of effort as they put into proprietary platforms (Blackfin, ARM, 
...) instead of "waiting" for Milkymist to be ready thanks to some divine 
action, these issues would probably be fixed in a couple of weeks. Many 
software tasks are as simple, if not easier, to do on Milkymist as on the 
other platforms - don't be afraid for it uses an FPGA.


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