[racket] Dr. Racket for FPGA development

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Sat Sep 17 01:50:07 EDT 2011

Jay McCarthy wrote at 09/17/2011 12:23 AM:
> I'm currently in the process of doing this for the 65816 processor.
> This is a 16-bit processor most popularly used in the Super Nintendo
> Entertainment System.

Neat stuff, Jay.  I was not aware of this.

> p.s. Why the 65816? It's really simple to understand the whole thing
> and the constraints enforce tight code. The x86 is too complicated for
> me right now and it would be too cushy, I think.

X86 is a monstrosity. :)

Another advantage you didn't mention, if you're targeting the SNES 
hardware in particular, is that a lot of people are already set up with 
emulators, and I suspect there's an enthusiast community that would try 
any programs (ROM images) people create with this.

If other people want to play with approaches like Jay's, some other CPU 
architectures with interesting applications are ARM (smartphones and 
other low-power devices), MIPS[*] (cheap home network routers that can 
function as general-purpose computers), and the hobbyists' 
microcontroller platforms like the Arduino.  RISC is your friend.  
People also like to play with popular old architectures like 68K, 6502, 
and Z80, but I can't think of great practical application for those.  
Maybe you could produce something more interesting than C as a macro 
assembler for 64-bit architectures (maybe a DSL angle?).  There's also 
the JVM and Dalvik.  Oh, and GPUs.

[*] I believe that there is already a more ambitious project involving 
Racket and MIPS, so you might want to pick one of the others, just for 
more variety.


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