Hi Joh-Tob! 

> If you are still searching an FPGA board you might want to get in contact 
> with j-core.org 
> They build an open source processor and are developing an RasPi form factor 
> compatible FPGA board. 

Thanks for this suggestion! It indeed looks a great alternative. Looks like J2 
is implemented using VHDL and the board they are using is Numato Mimas and it 
is using Xilinx Spartan, it looks capable but it misses an external ROM chip 
for the kernel. 

Hi pd! 

> you may be also interested in icezum alhambra a lattice iCE40HX1K-TQ144 based 
> development board with open source toolchain 
> https://github.com/bqlabs/icezum 

Thanks! This is also a nice alternative, it uses the Lattice that was mentioned 
by AW. The board also looks capable but it misses an external ROM chip, 
external RAM chip and SDD storage like Flash ROM chip or SD card slot. 

But of course we can add those missing pieces on these boards if we want but it 
will add some efforts so its better to choose some boards that already contains 
the necessary components. 

The fastet way to try PilMCU is to pick some boards that are most identical 
with my current board which are the following: 

1. http://www.waveshare.com/product/fpga-tools/altera/altera-boards.htm 
- As you can notice, I used their core board for PISCES so this would be the 
ideal off-the-shelve option. 

- This was the first board I bought to implement PilMCU but as I have 
mentioned, to fast-pace the Verilog coding development, I decided to build my 
own and hand-picked the necessary components that are more easy to interface. 

But please note that when using these alternative boards I still need to modify 
the Verilog code for that specific hardware layout, but I will not that much 
work anymore. 

Anothe alternatives that I found are the following boards: 

a. https://micropython.org/ 
- The MicroPython pyboard is a nice system tailord to run Python as its main 
language. But it misses some components to run 64bit PilMCU because it is 
mainly using a 32bit ARM MCU. I think the mini-PicoLisp will be the ideal 
option for this board. 

b. https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=1194 
- This would be my ideal system to port PilMCU, its using a 64bit ARM MCU and 
it got most of what we need. However there is no external ROM for the kernel 
but we can use the internal ROM within the ARM MCU. 

But because these two boards are using ARM based MCU's, it will defeat the 
PilMCU's goal, to run 64bit PicoLisp on bare metal. So if we go to this option, 
the proper term to use is we will port PilOS to run on this boards. 
But again they are ARM based so you can also install Linux or Android then run 
PicoLisp over them. 

If we go with this option, then it would be better to use their Pinebook: 

And port PilOS so that we have a full computing system with PicoLisp as its 
main language and OS. 

But I still like to have a PilMCU chip made, but this depends how many are 
interested and how we proceed to make this into the market. 

So lets just see, looking forward for more comments and suggestions ;) 


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