STM32F103ZET6 board for RetroBSD?
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Author:  Pito [ Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  STM32F103ZET6 board for RetroBSD?

Recently I got this board ... 32F103ZET6 ... SwOyJX3QRB

and soldered in an AS7C34098A-10TCN 256Kx16 10ns SRAM (the max you can solder in is 512Kx16).
There are pads available for a NAND flash as well.
So you get STM32F103 144pin, with 512kB (or 1MB) of external sram mapped to 0x68000000+ (you can execute out of it), internal 64kB sram, 512kB flash, 512kB SPI flash.
All for $15.
The STM32F103ZET6 possesses an MPU, so maybe a good platform for RetroBSD, I guess.
You need to attach an Sdcard - you have got several SPIs, and SDIO handy.

Author:  wiz [ Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: STM32F103ZET6 board for RetroBSD?

Hi Pito,

Your post reminds me that the original unix idea was that the whole system could easily be ported to new hardware. The first thing ported to new hardware was the compiler!

IMHO, this is what DEC and DOS for that matter delivered. A kernel minimally dependent on the actual hardware it was running on. Kinda like the idea behind retroforth also.

The conflict between simple kernel and speed seems to me to be a big part of the issue. Consider 'ls'. Does it matter whether it is written in efficient machine level code or is interpreted or whether it is part of the kernel or a stand alone program? Of course it does matter, but not very much since it isn't executed very often.

Only the inner core of the kernel makes any real difference. So as extraneous 'stuff' gets added to the kernel, the job of getting a new port running becomes VERY MUCH bigger.

So from where I sit, we need to remove as much 'stuff' as we can from the kernel itself and make such 'stuff' into loadable modules or regular programs.

I suspect the LiteBSD virtual memory capability is also needed so huge user programs can be more simply written.

Should we do this? How should we begin?

Lots of fun :).


Author:  Pito [ Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: STM32F103ZET6 board for RetroBSD?

I've done some testing with the external SRAM - a simple benchmark with sorting 3000 random uints of various uints sizes. I've managed to put heap into the external SRAM, so I can allocate vars with malloc() to reside there.
Bubblesort_1.JPG [ 37.78 KiB | Viewed 13124 times ]

Author:  wiz [ Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: STM32F103ZET6 board for RetroBSD?

Hi Pito,

Looks like it is me and you :).

A friend ordered a 3G telco module for me.

I am thinking of a PIC32 open source telephone as a fun real-time PIC32 project.

About time to do my own PCB and PIC32 'computer'?

Maybe? Do you have any thoughts and suggestions? I think most stuff has been pretty well covered.


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