Hello Tony,

it is good to read something from you.

> 1) You need a system development environment that
>      a) will support different processors - ruling out assembler

That depends on where one looks for a niche market. Things have changed
inasmuch small to medium sized FPGA have become large enough to contain
a whole 32 bit CPU.

In addition to that, patents on the original 68000 have expired.

Because of the high code density, I found the 68K architecture best
suited for use with the limited internal RAM resources of an FPGA. I
have tried several 32 bit architectures, and 68K allows the smallest
memory footprint.

Within small to medium sized FPGA systems, having a real-time operating
system would often advantageous, but existing systems are simply too large.

For such targets, the best would be an assembler written OS, still
allowing application code in C. Like SMSQ/E and C68, but capable of real
time operation and oriented toward embedded systems instead of personal

> 2) You need to develop interface modules (drivers?) for a wide range of 
> "peripheral" devices - the device manufacturers will not develop them 
> for you.

This also improves with FPGA - once there is a peripheral device in HDL
(Hardware Definition Language) you can at least keep it th the same for
the next product generation.

> 4) You need to develop entirely different hardware architectures - this 
> century, architectures have become ever more tightly dedicated to UNIX 
> (Linux, Windows NT, ...)

Maybe you can take the Q68 as a modest proof that a new hardware
architecture can be close to 68K and the driver requirements of an
assembler OS. I developed the Q68 as a hobby project, so is now 10 years
old. Therefore it can not demonstrate the lastest chip performance, and
of course the Q68 has a homecomputing flavour.

But updated to latest chip generation, and adapted to an embdedded
application, such a system suddenly could make a lot of sense with Stella.

> 1) A first version of the Stella core was coded in MC68000 assembler and 
> benchmarked [...] 

So nothing would be better to continue development of the Stella than
the 68K architecture.

> 3) There is still no end in sight to the discovery of new "exploits" in 
> all sorts of Unix based devices.

This is an important point. I have been joking with friends, that we
might have to go back to 68K for internet use, simply because the
architecture is too exotic to be exploited. Also, security requires
lowest possible complexity.

All the best

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