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Processor cores for FPGAs... any recommendations?

Subject: Processor cores for FPGAs... any recommendations?
From: Stuart Longland <>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 22:51:35 +1000
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Hi all...
        This isn't completely on-topic for this list, but I figured I'd ask
here since many of you do FPGA development on a daily basis -- some with
MIPS processor cores, or other embedded CPUs.

        This semester at university, I'm in a group working to produce a
FPGA-based device -- likely some NTP-synced alarm clock that scrolls
reminder messages.

        We've been looking around on, and noticed the Plasma[1]
MIPS-1 processor core.  We're also looking at JOP[2] and OpenRISC[3],
but I'm liking the look of the Plasma core, since I'm already familiar
with MIPS machines[4].

        We've got use of a NIOS-2 Development kit[5], which is based on an
Altera Cyclone-II FPGA.  It's hoped we can just load another processor
core instead of the NIOS-2 softcore to drive the whole kit... Or would
we be better served getting another development board?  (Or just using
the NIOS-2 softcore?)

        Just wondering what peoples' experiences have been using this processor
core with Linux and/or µClinux?  Are there other processor cores I could
load onto a FPGA that people would recommend?
Stuart Longland (aka Redhatter)              .'''.
Gentoo Linux/MIPS Cobalt and Docs Developer  '.'` :
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   .'.'             :.'

I haven't lost my mind...'s backed up on a tape somewhere.

4. Although I'm very much a beginner ... my point is I don't know the
others _at all_ ... well, I know Java, but not JOP.

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