The OpTiMSoC Blog
In our blog we regularly post about the status of the project, things we figured out while working on it and other things that might come to our mind. Please contact us if you want to share your experience with OpTiMSoC, guest posts are always welcome!
It’s OpTiMSoC release time! After a bit over half a year of work, we’re proud to announce our first release in this year, 2016.1. It comes with many great new features, but two are especially noteworthy: our switch to FuseSoC and the integration of Open SoC Debug. Both new features strengthen our collaborations with other projects – because sharing is caring!
Good news first: We have a put out a regular release and we promise to do this more often. Until now there was not much sense to make releases, because everything was in a flow and there was not even an installation package. But this has changed, from now on regular releases can be found on github. The release numbers are numbered throughout the year (2015.1 on December 30 will hopefully not happen again..).
A few weeks ago we started cutting out the different parts of OpTiMSoC from the original repository to separate repositories at the new organization. The aim is to structure it better and have separation of different aspects of OpTiMSoC.
Maybe not visible to the outside, but there has been a change in the website rcently. We have updated the documentation, moved the entire site to github pages and added some social media buttons to share the website or our blog posts.
Every autumn the community around the OpenRISC processor meets somewhere to discuss the current status of the project, to exchange ideas with other free/open hardware projects, and to discuss future directions. This year the OpenRISC Conference “ORCONF” was held at TUM in Munich and attracted around 40 people from all over Europe and the US.
Since its beginning, OpTiMSoC contained a method for communication between a PC and an FPGA board. For the ZTEX 1.15 boards we used the USB 2.0 interface, based on the Cypress FX2 chip available on those boards. As we continued the development, we realized that this connectivity functionality is not only useful in OpTiMSoC, but in other projects as well.
It’s official! We are proud to announce that our talk at FOSDEM has been accepted. FOSDEM, for those of you who have never heard of it, is one of the largest Free/Open Source conferences in Europe with a very strong focus on developers and technology. It is held every year in Brusseles, Belgium. This year it takes place on February 1st and 2nd.
The “brain” in a SoC is its processor; in OpTiMSoC this task falls to a the freely available OpenRISC processor. For the second year now the developers of the OpenRISC processor met in Cambridge, UK for a two-day conference on October 5th and 6th to discuss the current status of the project as well as plans for the future.
OpTiMSoC is growing rapidly. Most of the time we have our heads deep down into the internals, chasing large and small bugs, implementing exciting new features and if it all works, enjoy a beer at night.