OGD1 OGD1 Reconfigurable Computing Platform

Sébastien Bourdeauducq sebastien.bourdeauducq at lekernel.net
Mon May 17 08:16:39 EDT 2010

On Monday 17 May 2010 13:18:22 JDH services wrote:
> Is there ANY copyleft FPGA/logic design software?


> A key part of Copyleft and even Open Source is that you are free to
> modify it.  It the source requirese an expensive propriatary software
> then it's for all practical porposes just Faux-pen Source. :(

As far as Milkymist is concerned, the source code is standard Verilog HDL 
(compliant with the IEEE specification 1364-2005), is designed with 
portability as one of the first goals, has been shown to work almost 
unmodified on both major FPGA vendors (Altera and Xilinx), and can be 
simulated with many free and open source simulators (Icarus Verilog, GPL Cver, 
Verilator, VCOMP). Parts of the source code have even been shown to synthesize 
unmodified in TSMC 90nm cells with the Synopsys ASIC tools. I would not call 
that "Faux-pen Source".

The only problem with the FPGAs today is that no open source developer has 
ever stopped slacking to write a good toolchain. Everybody seems to prefer to 
keep whining about the FPGA bitstream format being closed, even though it 
isn't super-hard to reverse engineer (as far as Xilinx devices are concerned) 
and you do not even need to do that for the front-end synthesizer (which is 
incidentally the hardest part to write IMO) as all the primitives for the 
netlists are documented and the P&R and bitstream tools accept netlists in a 
standard format (IEC 61690-2).


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