Implementing a high-level language directly on a FPGA.

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Implementing a high-level language directly on a FPGA.

Postby hamster » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:21 pm


I've recently ported TinyBasic to an AVR microcontroller, and am thinking that it might be possible to implement it directly in hardware (program entry and all)

At the moment I've got an input channel, output channel, keyword scanner, line number scanner, white space scanner and variable name scanner, and have wrapped them in a state machine that is close to executing a simple basic statement.

As with anything done in direct logic it's very fast - the keyword scanner for example can find any keyword in only one more cycle than the keyword length, regardless of how many keywords are in the table, compared to all that messy "index table, test character and jump around" that programs do.

I could see it as a relatively useful way to put simple but user configurable firmware on a device. Maybe with a RS232 console and an EPP-like port allowing register access through BASIC's PEEK & POKE commands to control the FPGA's real work.

But, I can't work if the idea has enough merit to carry on... any suggestions anybody?
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