[Milkymist-devel] Milkymist One PCB RC1 is back

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at sharism.cc
Tue Jun 1 09:42:32 EDT 2010


David,

> > Milkymist is hands down the #1 most important free software project in the
> > world right now,
> you mean hardware, isn't it? :P

Well I think Milkymist is still a software project, with GPL licensed Verilog
source codes. And it's meant to run in an FPGA (for now).
IMO there are far too few GPL licensed IC design projects, and hopefully this
will change because we need strong and stable IC designs before we can go to
the next level of producing some of that as ASIC.
So in that regard SAKC and Elphel both are very important too, more breeding
groudns for GPL licensed Verilog/VHDL projects...

Actually, little interesting side fact is that Andrey from Elphel is almost
only using free tools for IC design simulation, Ikarus [1] & gtkwave [2].
He needs a few (about 12) components from a proprietary Xilinx library (free
as in beer download), but they could be rewritten in GPL time permitting.
For years already he is doing the bulk of his simulation work only with these
free tools, and produces functioning products. A great example!

So one wouldn't even need to wait until having an actual FPGA board to start
hacking. Same as you can write a kernel in QEMU, you can develop IC designs
with Ikarus and gtkwave. At least up to a certain point :-)

Wolfgang

[1] http://www.icarus.com/eda/verilog/
[2] http://gtkwave.sourceforge.net/




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