XESS has introduced a new prototyping board,
the XSA-100. It
has the form factor as the good old
XS40 that the
XSOC Kit targets,
but this new board features a Spartan-2-100, 16 MB of SDRAM, and 256 KB of FLASH.
(Gone is the 8031.) $279.
It looks like it could make a nice platform.
The larger FPGA, the built-in configuration memory, and especially
the SDRAM, should make for some pretty cool projects.
"We have parameterized modules for interfacing to the PS/2 keyboard port, displaying images through the VGA port, and reading/writing to the synchronous DRAM as if it were a simple static RAM."
Great. That last point should go a long way towards making SDRAM
accessible to students and other entry-level digital designers.
The other low-cost Xilinx prototyping platform we're keeping our eyes on is
the Burch Electronic Designs
Speaking of which, where do you suppose
www.fpgacpu.com redirects to?
Microsoft drops MIPS... again
Charles J. Murray, EE Times:
Microsoft refocuses Pocket PC platform.
"At the same time, however, Microsoft surprised some industry experts by
narrowing the list of processors that the Pocket PC will support from
three down to one. Gone are the Hitachi SH-3 and MIPS cores, leaving
only the processor cores from ARM Ltd. (Cambridge, England)."
That surprised me, too.
(The first time was back in 1996 or so. After the
failed, Microsoft abandoned MIPS support in Windows NT.
In my opinion, had the MIPS R4000 not been late, it would have demonstrated
conclusive (>2X) performance leadership compared to the 486, and today's desktop
and embedded 32-bit microprocessor industries would look rather different.
Moral: win the volume market first, add goodies (64-bit addressing,
glueless multiprocessor cache coherence, etc.) later and at your peril.)
[updated 10/10/01] Note that it appears Pocket PC will only support ARM,
whereas in Windows CE in general, MIPS and SH support continues:
"Executives from MIPS and Hitachi, however, both emphasized that their processor cores will continue to be supported in Windows CE."