Has anybody looked at XMOS

Ron K. Jeffries rjeffries at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 20:32:46 EST 2010


I noticed the XMOS is used in the new Amiga is all.
Reconfigurable processors are intellectually interesting.

I did not in any way intend to suggest Qi Hardware not continue to
pursue its goals.

Having said that, it's not clear to me that XMOS would need
to reveal the deep details of how it is designed. Nanonote uses an
Ingenic SOC where Qi Hardware lives with a programming model, and
reasonably decent documentation. However you don't require Ingenic to
show you every layer of their masks. <grin>

The interesting question (to me) is must we have every detail at the
gate level, or can great and interesting hardware use some high level
chips which we admit we can
not reproduce.

Copyleft hardware ~could~ be defined to include commercially
available parts where the programming interface is described in
sufficient detail that open software drivers
can control key parameters.

I don't have a dog in this fight. But if Qi Hardware pursues an
totally purist philosophy, it excludes some VERY interesting hardware.

But you know that. ;)

be well,
---
Ron K. Jeffries









On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 16:24, Wolfgang Spraul <wolfgang at sharism.cc> wrote:
> Ron,
>
>> Have you looked at programmable processors from
>> http://www.xmos.com/
>
> http://www.xmos.com/legal/terms
> "you agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter, modify, create derivative
> works, or publicly display any content from this site, other than..."
>
> Qi Hardware is a COPYLEFT HARDWARE project.
> I will not spend time to add more proprietary IP to our products. Not sure
> anybody else from the core contributors will, but I have some doubts :-)
>
> Our project is about removing proprietary IP and build the best copyleft hardware
> devices in the world.
> If you think we should look at XMOS, can you ask them the following:
>
> *) license all source codes of their chips under GPL (Verilog/VHDL)
> *) publish documentation about their chips under CC-BY-SA or GFDL
> *) use only free tools to develop their chips (Fedora Electronic Lab)
> *) publish documentation about production parameters and steps, testing
> software and setup, under GPL or CC-BY-SA licenses so that other companies
> can produce improved versions of their chips
>
> We will probably go down the road of doing one or two FPGA boards (Xilinx) this
> year as a first step towards our own copyleft ASICs. So we see the proprietary
> Xilinx FPGA technology as a development platform. To me personally, as long as
> the longer term goal is clear and we are moving towards copyleft ASICs I can
> live with that.
>
> What do you like about XMOS? What exactly would you want to use those chips
> for? Why not Xilinx FPGAs?
>
> Wolfgang
>
> On Wed, Jan 06, 2010 at 10:42:44AM -0800, Ron K. Jeffries wrote:
>> Carlos (and others)
>>
>> Have you looked at programmable processors from
>> http://www.xmos.com/
>>
>> at the right price, XMOS would be VERY interesting.
>> Lots of compute power, lots (!) of i.o
>>
>> ---
>> Ron K. Jeffries
>>
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