Welcome to the NEO430 Processor project!
You need a small but still powerful, customizable and microcontroller-like processor system for your next FPGA design? Then the NEO430 is the perfect choice for you!
This processor is based on the Texas Instruments MSP430(TM) ISA and provides 100% compatibility with the original instruction set. The NEO430 is not an MSP430 clone – it is more a complete new implementation from the bottom up. The processor features a very small outline, already implementing standard features like a timer, a watchdog, UART, TWI and SPI serial interfaces, general purpose IO ports, an internal bootloader and of course internal memory for program code and data. All of the peripheral modules are optional – so if you do not need them, you can exclude them from implementation to reduce the size of the system. Any additional modules, which make a more customized system, can be connected via a Wishbone-compatible bus interface. By this, you can built a system, that perfectly fits your needs.
It is up to you to use the NEO430 as stand-alone, configurable and extensible microcontroller, or to include it as controller within a more complex SoC design.
The high-level software development is based on the free TI msp430-gcc compiler tool chain. You can either use Windows or Linux as build environment for your applications – the project comes with build scripts for both worlds. The sw\example folder of this project features several demo programs from which you can start creating your own NEO430 applications.
This project is intended to work "out of the box". Just synthesize the test setup from this project, upload it to your FPGA board of choice (the NEO430 uses a vendor-independent VHDL description) and start exploring the capabilities of the NEO430 processor. Application program generation (and installation) works by executing a single "make" command. Jump to the "Let’s Get It Started" chapter, which provides a lot of guides and tutorials to make your first NEO430 setup run: https://github.com/stnolting/neo430/blob/master/doc/NEO430.pdf
Mapping results generated for HW version 0x0300. The full (default) configuration includes all optional processor modules (excluding the CFU), an IMEM size of 4kB and a DMEM size of 2kB. Results generated with Xilinx Vivado 2017.3, Intel Quartus Prime Lite 17.1 and Lattice Radiant 1.0 (Synplify)
|Xilinx Artix-7 (XC7A35TICSG324-1L)||LUTs||FFs||BRAMs||DSPs||f_max*|
|Full (default) configuration:||1006 (5%)||952 (2%)||2.5 (5%)||0 (0%)||100 MHz|
|Minimal configuration (CPU + GPIO):||879 (4%)||287 (1%)||1 (2%)||0 (0%)||100 MHz|
|Intel/Altera Cyclone IV (EP4CE22F17C6)||LUTs||FFs||Memory bits||DSPs||f_max|
|Full (default) configuration:||1676 (8%)||940 (4%)||65792 (11%)||0 (0%)||116 MHz|
|Minimal configuration (CPU + GPIO):||602 (3%)||228 (1%)||49408 (8%)||0 (0%)||124 MHz|
|Lattice iCE40 UltraPlus (iCE40UP5K-SG48I)||LUTs||FFs||EBRs||DSPs||SRAMs||f_max*|
|Full (default) configuration:||2843 (54%)||1153 (22%)||16 (53%)||0 (0%)||0 (0%)||20 MHz|
|Minimal configuration (CPU + GPIO):||1470 (28%)||493 (9%)||12 (40%)||0 (0%)||0 (0%)||20 MHz|
At first, make sure to get the most recent version of this project from GitHub:
git clone https://github.com/stnolting/neo430.git
Next, install the compiler toolchain from the TI homepage (select the "compiler only" package):
Follow the instructions from the "Let's Get It Started" section of the NEO430 documentary:
The NEO430 documentary will guide you to create a simple test setup, which serves as "hello world" FPGA demo:
This project also includes some example programs, from which you can start:
Have fun! =)
If you have any questions, bug reports, ideas or if you are facing problems with the NEO430, feel free to drop me a line:
If you are using the NEO430 for some kind of publication, please cite it as follows:
S. Nolting, "The NEO430 Processor", github.com/stnolting/neo430
"MSP430" is a trademark of Texas Instruments Corporation.
"Windows" is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
"Virtex", "Artix", "ISE" and "Vivado" are trademarks of Xilinx Inc.
"Cyclone", "Quartus" and "Avalon Bus" are trademarks of Intel Corporation.
"iCE40 UltraPlus" and "Lattice Radiant" are trademarks of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation.
"AXI", "AXI4" and "AXI4-Lite" are trademarks of Arm Holdings plc.<img src="https://github.com/stnolting/neo430/blob/master/doc/figures/oshw_logo.png" width="100px"/>