PSOC4 – another distraction!

I have a new toy to distract me from my existing projects!

I recently came across this neat little prototyping kit from Cypress Semiconductor, and several aspects of the device piqued my interest:

  • The cost is low enough that you don’t have to think twice about using one in a project
  • The chip has an ARM Cortex M0 CPU core
  • The 42xx version (as opposed to the 41xx version) has a small amount of FPGA-like programmable logic built in
  • The device is programmed via an onboard USB/TTL converter, which in a piece of superbly elegant design can be “snapped off” the board once programming is complete.
  • The device is capable of running from 5v, and handling 5v signals. Continue reading

Nostalgia trip du jour

If you miss the days of there being half a dozen different Amiga magazines to choose from on the news-stands, then Mark Stanner’s on-line publication “880 Gamer” might make you smile!  The PDF publication has a range of game reviews, a number of adverts from back in the day, reviews of a few scene demos, and even a letters page!  If you miss the days of covermounted floppy disks, you won’t be disappointed, either, since there’s a cover disk in .adz format!

Issue 3 is out now, and can be found here:


Experimenting with TG68

Part 14: Improving the SDRAM controller

One limitation of the MiniSOC project so far has been that only a very basic 16-bit 640×480@60Hz screenmode is supported.  The reason for this is mainly RAM bandwidth, since the boards I’m targetting have single-data-rate SDRAM.

The SDRAM controller I’m using is derived from the one Tobias Gubener created for the TG68-based versions of the Minimig core.  The original controller used 4-word bursts when reading from SDRAM, wrote in single words, and operated on a fixed 16-clock cycle, which had the advantage of guaranteeing a deterministic response time for the Amiga emulation. Continue reading