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M65C02 Processor Core Utilities

Copyright (C) 2012, Michael A. Morris All Rights Reserved.

Released under LGPL.

Directory Contents

This subdirectory provides two utilities to support the M65C02 Microprogrammed Processor Core:

(1) Bin2Txt.exe
(2) SMRTool.exe


Bin2Txt.exe convert binary assembler output files from the Kingswood A65 6502 Assembler into ASCII hexadecimal memory initialization files as required by Xilinx ISE.


The utility bin2txt.exe and its associated source file, bin2txt.c, operate as a DOS command line utility. It was compiled using the Borland Turbo C/C++ 2.0 compiler.

The utility requires the path and filename of a binary input file and the path and filename of an output file.

The input file is opened for reading as binary. The output file is opened for writing as a text (ASCII, single byte character set) file. Data is read from the input file, converted to ASCII Hexadecimal, and written to the output file. Each input byte is written to the output as two ASCII characters on a single line. Each line is terminated with a standard newline terminator, "\n".

While reading the input file, a count of the number of bytes processed is kept. After all input data has been read from the input file and written to the output file, the output file is padded with 0x00 so that the total number of lines is equal to a power of two.


If the number of required arguments are not supplied, then before terminating the utility will print out a prompt to the user that defines the needed arguments.


Design and verification is complete.


SMRTool.exe is a tool used to convert text source files into VHDL, Verilog, or Xilinx memory intialization files. The source files can be used to construct simple ROM for a number of usefull purposes. It's particular use in the MAM65C02 Microprogrammed Processor Core is to convert the microprogram source files provided into two memory initialization files which are loaded into the fixed and variable microprogram ROMs.


The primary use for SMRTool is as a tool to convert human-readable microprogrammed state machine descriptions into synthesizable VHDL and/or Verilog RTL descriptions of ROMs. SMRTool also provides memory initialization files, and this is its primary method of usage for the MAM65C02 Microprogrammed Processor Core.

SMRTool is a Windows-based tool which provides the user graphical user interface specify the input source file, and check boxes and text boxes to select various output options and files. It is written in C#, and requires the .NET framework to run.

In the final analysis, SMRTool is a text substitution tool. As such, it has a number of limitations, but it is invaluable for its intended purpose. Extensions are being continually added to the tool as additional functionality is required to support more complex state machines, and to improve the simulation and testing of the state machines in VHDL/Verilog or SystemVerilog verification environment.


A complete description of the tool is not available. The source files provided in the sources subdirectory, M65C02_Decode_ROM.txt and M65C02_uPgm_V3.txt, provide an example of the format and syntax that is required by SMRTool. This section will provide additional information about the structure and syntax, but the source files provided are the definitive syntax references for the tool; they make use of all of the current directives and features of SMRTool.

First and foremost, SMRTool is a text substitution tool. No provision is made for in-line symbolic equations in the publicly released version of the tool provided herein.

Each source file must start with a header. The header is marked by the symbol header in column 1 of the first line of the source file, and demarcated by the symbol endh. Within the header, the tool presently recognizes four fields. Each header field is terminated by a colon, :, and followed by a string which the tool extracts and places into the appropriate GUI text boxes. The currently recognized header fields are:

(1) Project
(2) File Revision
(3) Author(s)
(4) Description

Comments may be used, and are introduced using the VHDL comment symbol --, a double hyphen. The comment extents from that point to the end of the line. Presently there is no support for multi-line block comments such as is avaiable in Verilog and C.

Following the header section, the source file must define all substitution symbols. Owing to its intended design and implementation as a microprogram source file processor, there are several directives recognized by SMRTool to aid in this process.

Each line in the file may be blank, a comment line, or contain symbols to be processed. Each source line is divided into at least one or more fields. With the exception of the first and second fields on a source line, fields are separated by commas. Each field is specified to have a constant width, and the values assigned to the symbols must be defined to fit into the specified width. Each field is positionally located in a line of source.

On a line of source, fields may be skipped, and the default value is inserted by SMRTool, using consecutive commas. From the last used field on a line to the end, or to a comment, there is no need to include the commas to skip the unused fields. The tool will automatically substitute the default value for all skipped fields. The default value of a field is zero. A limitation of the present tool is that the default value can not be changed.

The current implementation of the tool recognizes the following directives:

(1) .asm
(2) .def
(3) .equ
(4) .org

The .asm directive defines the microprogram controller's instructions. Unless a label (described below) is used at the start of a source line, a symbol defined by the .asm directive must be the first symbol on a source line.

The .def defines the width of each field in the source file. The first field defined by a .def directive will be the leftmost field in the output, followed by the second field, etc. The sum of all of the widths of all defined fields is the total width of the data written to the tool's output. There is no limit to the total field width, but with respect to to Block RAMs in Xilinx FPGAs, in particular, the maximum practical width of a ROM is 36 or 72 bits.

The .equ directive is used to define all other text substitution symbols beyond those defined by the .asm directive. A limitation of the present implementation is that all symbols must be unique.

The .org directive defines the location counter address of all source lines which follow the directive. If multiple .org directives are used in a source file, then the intervening locations are automatically filled by the tool with zeros. In the present implementation there is a limitation that all .org directives be increasing in magnitude. If an .org is placed in the source with a lesser value than one already used, the location counter is assigned the new value, and the previously defined values may be overwritten by any new output lines.

Labels are used to define the symbols to which the .asm and .equ directives assigns values, or labels may used to capture the value of the location counter to a symbol. When labels are used to capture the location counter value, the labels must always start with an underscore character, _. All labels in a source file must be unique, and all labels capturing the value of the location counter must be terminated by a colon. Location counter labels, terminated by a colon, may appear on a source line before a .org directive, or one of the .asm symbols.

The current value of the location counter is the special symbol: $ or dollar sign.

The last line of the source file must be labeled _end terminated by colon.


At the present time, there are no plans to port the tool to C/C++ and Linux. If there is sufficient interest expressed in such a conversion, then consideration will be given to that task.


Mature. SMRTool is in continous usage for a number of FPGA designs, and being actively maintained.

Error Reports

If there are any problems found, please open a GitHub issue. Each reported issue with SMRTool will be evaluated. In order to evaluate a problem report, a description of the problem and the relevant sources are required. Without both of these components of a problem report, the likelihood of any significant investigation into a reported problem is a low probability.

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