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[MachineForth] Chuck's 25x and IBM's Blue Gene

Keith Wootten wrote:
> Patriot Scientific make dual stack Forth engine 
> which is based on a Chuck Moore design and has some
> MISC-like features, albeit in a synchronous design.

The decade of work they to move the hardware away
from MISC and toward Java and C support make the
chip far more complex than Chuck's original ShBoom
but does provide byte addressing etc. etc.
The programmable hardware stack memory spill/fill
mechanism makes it quite different than Chuck's later
MISC designs where that is software only.  Most
of the larger instruction set could be
supported in a simple MachineForth compiler style.
> It's 32bit 100MHz 3.3V 100pin for $25 one-off, loads four 8bit
> instructions at a time from 32bit memory and many of the opcodes 
> are Forth primitives.  I've been using it for a while now, and 
> it works well - as far as I know there are no Silicon bugs.  
> It performs around 100 Forth MIPS, which isn't up to Jeff and 
> Chuck's offerings, but it's stable and inexpensive.

But it is production not prototype.  P21 which is about
the same price has a similar max clock rate but has
only analog composite video I/O built in while the
PSC1000 chip has a DMA engine like the old ShBoom.
P21 has no interrupts or other I/O hardware so it
requires memory mapped I/O interfaces w/ CPU polling.
PSC1000 is wider at 32 bits and has more instructions 
and I/O so it is more powerful.
> It's called the PSC1000A or Ignite1 - they make an 
> evaluation board, 

Which is inexpensive for hobby use.

> but I've designed three boards using it, and it's quite easy.  

That's nice to hear.

> Forth Inc sell an ANS Forth compiler for it; I use 
> my own written using Win32Forth which isn't ANS at all.

Forth Inc.'s SwiftX and SwiftX Pro with optimizer
should  produce screaming code and can run lots of
standard ANS code.  But the do cost as much as an
F21 prototype or several of them.  I don't know if
they come with an evaluation board.  I know many
of their SwiftX bundles do.
> Patriot are at http://www.ptsc.com but you'd need to 
> contact them for a full technical manual (.pdf file) 
> which they no longer have on their 'improved' WebSite, 
> or I could email you the 1.5MB file if you wish.

Could you shoot me off a reference copy?  (not via
the mail list.. ;-)

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