Sunday, August 7, 2011

More testing

Today I looked at some other open-source FPGA based Spectrum compatibles but had very limited success. Nonetheless, there were some interesting ideas in the implementations which might be drawn on later.

In short, I'll be pulling some ideas (and perhaps using a bit of code) from ZXGate and from the 128 Spectrum implementation which is part of Alex Freed's FPGApple - but the basic foundation of ZX Prism will be the T80 open core Z80, and some of Mike Stirling's FPGA Spectrum code.

Further testing of Mike's Spectrum, with the likes of Aqua Plane and reading some of the comments in his VHDL code confirmed my suspicions - as the implementation handles bus arbitration differently, there are speed differences between it and a real Spectrum when the CPU wants to use the video RAM at the same time as the video circuit.

So my first task will be to make some alterations to make a nice sturdy "foundation" for all the bolt-ons mentioned yesterday to bolt onto:

  • To use the DE1's FLASH memory for its ROM
  • To use the DE1's SDRAM instead of the SRAM
  • To more accurately emulate the Spectrum's floating bus and contended RAM

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