Open-source Sparc chip launched by Sun partner

Sun Microsystems has seen the first company build an open-source chip based on its new Sparc designs. Sun wants to see third-party developers produce open-source processors that can help promote its own chip designs.

Sun Microsystems has seen the first company build an open-source chip based on its new Sparc designs. Sun wants to see third-party developers produce open-source processors that can help promote its own chip designs.

Simply RISC has shipped the S1 Core, a 64-bit Wishbone-compliant CPU Core based upon the OpenSPARC T1 microprocessor released by Sun Microsystems a few months ago.

The new chip is seen as an ideal embedded chip product that can be used in handheld computers, set-top boxes and digital cameras.

The S1 Core is released under the same licence of the T1, the GNU General Public Licence (GPL), and the design is freely downloadable from the Simply RISC website at www.srisc.com, with no registration required.

One of the main aims of Simply RISC was to keep the S1 Core environment as simple as possible to encourage developers. Most of the simulation and synthesis activities are now performed with simple push-button scripts and system requirements are very easy to meet, said Simply RISC.

The environment can run on any Unix/Linux box and no commercial tools are required, since both simulation and synthesis of the Verilog files of the design can be performed using the free software Icarus Verilog.

Due to its Wishbone-compliant bus interface the S1 Core can be easily interconnected to several cores freely available on OpenCores.org to build up a System-on-a-Chip.

With the collaborative nature of the GPL licence, Simply RISC plans to add new features to the S1 Core and test them extensively over the next few months with the help of the open-source community.


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