Occam on Field Programmable Gate Arrays - Steps towards the Para-PC
Authors: Cook, Barry M., Peel, Roger M. A.
Abstract:At the April 1998 WoTUG conference (WoTUG-21), it was reported that ST Microelectronics was ceasing production of most of the transputer family and its associated serial link components. The possibility of WoTUG members producing transputer-like devices to emulate many of the transputer\'s parallel processing and communication concepts was aired. The authors left this meeting with the challenge of designing and implementing their own transputer, preferably to be built in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices rather than custom or semi-custom silicon, for ease of prototyping and for flexibility of modification and re-use.</p><p> One year later, this paper outlines the progress that has been made. Rather than just producing processor logic using the standard logic design methods, the authors have written a compiler that translates occam into a number of output formats that can be fed to various logic implementation packages. Occam programs may, however, be joined to logic modules designed in a conventional fashion, using synchronised channels in the usual manner. In addition to the DS-Link interface that was announced by 4-Links at WoTUG-21, an OS-Link module has been designed by the authors, and both of these may provide external communication interfaces between occam-based hardware and the outside world.</p><p> Although in their early stages, this paper illustrates several designs that show how occam may be used to specify small processors suitable for mapping onto FPGAs. It also shows how occam is an ideal fast prototyping mechanism for peripheral interfaces that connect to INMOS Links.
Proceedings of WoTUG-22: Architectures, Languages and Techniques for Concurrent Systems, Barry M. Cook, 1999, pp 211 - 228 published by IOS Press, Amsterdam
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