SoC/HPS based RL01/RL02 disk emulator, Altera Cyclone V FPGA with ARM Cortex-A9 (DE10-Nano)
Overview This project is a great advancement of my RL-emulator which was based on the MAX10 FPGA, see https://github.com/pdp11gy/DEC-RL02-RL01-disk-emulator. The architecture of the firmware remained the same but it had to be ported with much effort to the new SoC FPGA environment based on Cyclone V and Cortex-A9 processor. Originally I had used the DE0-Nano-SoC board but it was broken and is no longer available. I chosed the successer board DE10-Nano. This board offers many more possibilities and that is really great. I also use a Raspberry Pi 3 ( model B ) connected via network to the DE10-Nano board and use it also for development purposes with the graphical interface. For example: I can compile the programs like SIMH emulators and copy it to the DE10-Nano board, because it is binary compatible. See also https://github.com/simh/simh
Implementation ( see also www.pdp11gy.com ) : Download and unzip the file DE10_SoC_RL_emulator_V2.zip. Please read the file !README.txt. The folder DE10_SoC_RL_emulator_V2 will include all sources and the correct setup for Quartus Version 16.1 based on the SoC/HPS environment. The !README.txt file also contains detailed instructions how to rebuild the project... or for reference purpose if you want to add another application.
Version 2.2 : Full suppert for .DSK image file. The rlemulator is using now also .DSK disk image files, which contain the raw dump of a disk. At write operation, the .DEC file and the .DSK file will be written. At read operation, first try is to read the .DEC file. If it does not exist,the .DSK file will be read. Best interface to the SIMH project. Implementation of a possibility of external Reset/Reconfig buttons. More details with an example in the user manual.
Open issue: Get the UNIX load firmware .rbf-file implemented more easily, any hint is welcome.
Summary This project is just the "beginning". The DE10 Nano board is very flexible and still offers plenty of room for additional add-ons and new applications. But now I am already a retire and my energy decreases. I am only concerned with the preservation of the vintage computer software. The second PIO and the Arduino slot is still free and can be used for other purposes, even for non-DEC applications, maybe MFM(RX02/TU58) emulator. It would be nice if a cooperation works here.