#milkymist IRC log for Saturday, 2012-06-02

wolfsprauldoes anyone know why the ulogic debit project has vanished? what happened to Note and Rennaud?09:11
lekernellack of interest09:19
lekernelthey're doing fine09:19
lekernelthey're not the only ones doing this btw, it seems recobus has gone further (but did not publish any source code)09:21
rohwolfspraul: what was it about?09:30
lekernelthat one subject which is too hard for hackers09:30
lekernelbitstream analysis09:30
rohlekernel: its not too hard. its simply boring (from my pov)09:31
lekernelmakes everyone go back to their little arduinos and 31337 stack overflows09:31
wolfspraullack of interest prompts them to shutdown their site?09:31
wolfspraulwell, a condescending attitude is rightfully rejected :-)09:31
wolfspraulthat seems to be an aspect of free software culture I didn't know about before09:31
wolfspraulreminds me of my 3yr old09:31
lekernelsorry, years of accumulated frustration09:32
rohand usually hacking is unpaid, hard work with few people to support one even motivationally. so why do something where you know in advance that its a vendor-proprietary think you work on which they can change with the next release?09:32
wolfspraulhmm, ok09:32
wolfspraulyou could make that point all over the place09:32
lekerneland yeah, free software culture has a lot of such aspects09:32
wolfspraulanyway I got it09:32
wolfspraulso it's gone, so what :-)09:32
rohlekernel: i can see your pain. but you also have to see that most people do not have the financial as also mental power to stay at some topic over years to come09:33
wolfsprauldisagree, I think far more people than 'hackers' do this all the time09:33
wolfspraulif you mom has alzheimer, you may care for her for a looong time09:33
wolfspraul>95% of the world population has no means to hire a bunch of aids/helpers09:33
rohwolfspraul: sure. lots of hackers are 'doing it long term'09:33
lekernelthere's a copy at http://milkymist.org/3rdparty/debit-0f7c25a.tar.gz09:34
wolfspraulI know09:34
wolfspraulwas just trying to understand what happened to those 2 guys09:34
wolfspraullove strike :-)09:34
rohwolfspraul: usually opensource is less vendor-locked-in than the bitstream *hole09:38
lekernellike, everyone writing drivers for proprietary devices running on proprietary CPUs with a sometimes patented instruction set09:39
rohlekernel: as long as you dont get asics done it doesnt matter09:41
rohyour fpga world is atleast the same level of lock-in like when using free drivers on a commercial soc.09:41
wolfspraulroh I think that's too draconian09:41
wolfspraullook at the knowledge first, not the products09:42
rohwolfspraul: sorry, but exactly that is the truth.09:42
rohwolfspraul: and if that doesnt change, it will not be any more 'open' than we are atm.09:42
wolfspraulwith that kind of attitude you will never conquer the knowledge for any digital design, running as fpga or hard wires09:42
wolfspraulpeople will care what the end result product can do09:43
rohwolfspraul: thats not true. stuff happens. people develop things. they just do not build soc.09:43
rohbut using fpgas doesnt do that either. atleast not if you cannot time-warp it 5-10 years to history09:43
wolfspraulI started to learn about fpgas 2 years ago with milkymist, and every month I feel better :-)09:43
wolfspraulhas a really great product come out of this yet? no09:43
rohwolfspraul: ive also learned a lot. but mostly knowing that building any hardware with a soft-cpu will be a commercial fail09:44
rohseen that in the open and the commercial world now.09:44
lekernelroh: you know that you can run ASIC synthesis on something like 95% of the milkymist sources, right?09:44
rohlekernel: i know. can you use free tools for that?09:45
lekernelif you write them09:45
lekernelbut knowing nothing about verilog or logic design will definitely not help you write such tools09:45
wolfspraulactually the xilinx fpgas come with a *mountain* of documentation09:45
rohlekernel: for a vendor proprietary platform without even proper documentation?09:45
wolfspraulis everybody clear about that?09:46
wolfspraulI cannot see how that is a bigger 'blob' than an Intel CPU or graphics card09:46
wolfspraulit's not09:46
lekernelroh: ASIC is just silicon. you are free to develop your own standard cell library, though I even remember stumbling across free ones.09:46
wolfspraulnobody is using free tools, but simply out of convenience09:46
rohwolfspraul: actually we do not have any binary drivers left on normal pc hardware.09:46
wolfspraulyeah. you hardwired it :-)09:47
rohwolfspraul: only firmware which gets executed on different cpu/frontends09:47
wolfspraulfpgas are fun. great documentation, and great changes for innovation with free tools. I see the upside.09:47
rohlekernel: my point is: as long as we do not have a way to produce such an asic, i do not have any interrest to sink money or time in such a thing.09:47
wolfspraulchances09:48
wolfspraulthen don't09:48
wolfspraulbtw the thing I am talking about nowadays I call 'digital design', not 'fpga' vs 'asic'09:48
rohi know that its a part of what needs to be done. but its an really expensive one which also is a showstopper09:49
lekernellong live arduino and rpi, heh? at least that's cheap :)09:49
rohlekernel: thats not my point.09:49
rohlekernel: there are thousand of soc out there. no shortage.09:49
rohlekernel: but you have to understand that nobody will pay more money for less performance09:50
lekernelI doubt the mirteo will have less performance for anything user-visible.09:50
lekerneland also we're talking about logic design here, not FPGA/ASIC09:51
lekernelas wolfspraul said09:51
lekernelthat's the same no matter what physical technology you are targeting09:52
rohlekernel: no questions on custom logic designs. you will get those fast enough.09:52
wolfsprauldon't understand09:53
rohbut if one wants to run something with an ipstack, anything below real 200mhz is childish at best09:53
wolfspraulwho will get what?09:53
wolfspraulI read about an IC startup the other day, their speciality are audio cores09:53
lekernelroh: and you know LM32 (the very same verilog sources) runs at 800 in 90nm ASIC, right?09:53
wolfsprauland all their marketing is about how *low* megahertz their cores can go09:54
wolfspraulfor example full mp3 decoding in 6 mhz09:54
wolfsprauletc.09:54
wolfsprauljust saying09:54
wolfspraulthere are different perspectives into this09:54
rohmeans: i thought about it a lot, and i dont see any proper way to get something like lm32 fast enough on an fpga09:54
lekernelroh: therefore you don't learn logic design?09:54
rohlekernel: you dont get it, do you? i know electronics.09:54
rohbut i HATE the xilinx tools09:55
rohany i havent learned about somebody who works with fpgas who doesnt.09:55
rohas long as that doesnt change, people like me and thousands more will continoue to avoid that. even when needing to use different hardware then.09:56
lekerneljudging from the number of verilog/vhdl patches you have submitted, be it in this project or in another, I doubt you really know everything about electronics :)09:56
rohi really like the idea to get stuff working on low mhz. means a lot of optimization. the sad thing is: you get a 400mhz cpu for 3$. but a developer to make code even twice as fast costs atleast 20times that.. PER HOUR.09:56
lekernelso, take that to your advantage09:57
rohlekernel: i think you need to be carefull what you say about people. i do electronics for over 10 years now. and i know why i dont do fpgas. nobody wants to buy them if avoidable.09:58
lekernelthen do asics :)09:58
lekernelit's the same on the vhdl/verilog layer09:58
rohive seen people add multiple really fast arm cpus to stuff.. why? because they could write the code in-house and the hw is cheap. and devels only needed a few days in total. for even one fpga they would have needed multiple times the project budget.09:59
rohlekernel: if you learn about a way to do small amounts of asics for serious prices, holler. if it still needs a multi-million dollars, people will continue to use cheap fast clocked arm and mips cores10:00
rohthere is a reason juniper doesnt build in asics. A) its cheaper to use fpgas (not enough volume for an asic) and b) designs are changed too often/fast c) money on hardware doesnt matter on such products10:02
rohas long as you dont have such a high-price, high-performance product and the customers with enough need for them, its really hard keeping a fpga based business afloat.10:02
lekernelyou've been saying that for years...10:04
lekerneland I still disagree. no need to repeat those arguments again.10:04
rohlekernel: i havent seen any arguments from your side so far.10:04
rohlekernel: i really do not want to talk down your projects of motivation. on the contrary. but i also really would like to see something where a realistic chance on making it happen as product in a pricerange, which the targeted customers can afford is possible.10:11
rohatm i fear i will never get a mm1 sold. the last guy was interrested but doesnt have that money. all these artists are even more broke than me10:11
lekernelever heard of thecrucible.org ?10:12
rohthe other ones all use matrox multihead stuff and need multiple vga ports and do lots of mapping10:12
lekernellook at their prices :) and they're all artists. and they do great shit I've been looking for FOR YEARS in Europe.10:12
rohlekernel: i know what people who do the hard work on parties are paid. thats crap. one cannot survive of that.10:13
rohmost get some money from the social services or have extra other jobs. atleast the vjs i met so far.10:14
lekernelso. FPGA on M1 is $40. ARM SoC is $5. what would a $35 rebate do?10:14
rohi think the mm would be a good device for clubs and similar fixed installs. just make it go 'auto-vj'10:15
lekernelI agree there might be problems on the M1, but don't blame the FPGA10:15
lekernels/might be/are10:15
rohlekernel: the vendors save CENTS. they use cheaper, more crappy resistors and caps to get some more cents out of production. its bad. i agree that it would be nice. but as long as it doesn work financially its hard.10:16
lekernelwe're not in this sort of volume10:16
lekernelfor the M1, the bottom line of FPGA vs. proprietary SoC is a $35 saving10:17
lekernelperiod :)10:17
rohlekernel: and the lower performance compared to an asic.10:17
lekernelno.10:18
rohatleast when it comes to clocks.10:18
rohcan you make something atleast work in the 400mhz cpu clock region?10:18
lekernelI don't need to10:18
rohonly if you reinvent the wheel completely.10:18
lekerneloh, no10:19
rohand yes you need to. people do not even buy smartphones which cannot do 720p h264 decode anymore.10:19
lekernelthings like migen flow aren't in the industry at all10:19
lekerneleven in the billion-dollar proprietary ASIC one10:19
rohpower of 'getting work done' is everything. if you cannot make it by clock, you need to go parallel. even amd and intel suck on that big time10:19
lekernelbecause of legacy10:20
wpwrakwhy do i feel as if i was overhearing the neighbourhood dogs fighting ? :)10:20
rohlekernel: not only that. often problems are simply not possible to solve in parallel10:21
lekernelthey probably spend most of their resources on legacy and supporting pesky features without bugs like USB or chinese DDR3 SODIMMs10:21
rohlekernel: well.. make the mm1 handle multiple hd screens in parallel and you got a winner.10:22
rohcontinue on one xga one, i still cant sell it.10:22
lekernelgreat10:22
lekernelI'm doing that right now10:22
rohand make sure you have vga support.10:22
rohand usb (no way around)10:22
wpwrakroh: multiple HD screens in parallel should be no problem at all. already m1rc3 should be able to handle about 4 of them, as long as you don't mind analog.10:25
rohwpwrak: ive not seen resolutions above xga on it at all (and ar enot sure the dac can do them)10:25
rohwpwrak: people use the matrox triplehead a lot here. it concatenates up to 3 vga screens (also avail in dvi) next to each other into one 'wide screen' which the computer then drives10:26
wpwrakdunno about the DAC chip. but a nice little external resistor network will go as fast as you care to drive it. high resolution is no problem at all.10:26
wpwrakin fact, an FPGA is perfect for that :)10:26
rohwpwrak: the dac has a given bandwith. that limits the whole thing on the end.10:27
wpwraksure. ah, you'll of course need a bit of extra hardware for the additional connections.10:28
wpwrakthen program the desired number of HD signal generators and voila, a great number of screens running at an amazing resolution :)10:28
rohwpwrak: you forget the memory bandwith. ;)10:30
wpwrakdid i ? :)10:30
roh1x vga is something like ~70mbyte/second. and you need to do more than just read it out10:31
wpwrakdid i promise a frame buffer, too ? you asked for resolution :)10:31
roh1x fullhd is 474mbyte/second (read only)10:31
rohwpwrak: no framebuffer, no reason to drive the ramdac at all ;)10:32
rohif you dont find a possibility to render every pixel in realtime on readoout ;)10:32
wpwrakoh, you can still arithmetically generate some pattern. maybe it even looks somewhat interesting. who knows :)10:32
wpwrakyup, that's the idea. think efficient :)10:33
rohwpwrak: i think you know that i am usually not in the mood for senseless could-be-may-bes ;)10:33
rohanyhow. thats about the 'rough' spec of needed memory bandwith. so yeah. the ddr3 is neccessary (bandwith wise) .. but it still needs some really high clocks for even pushing the data10:34
lekernelroh: ...and look at the -ng code. you'll see that it generates several DRAM commands in parallel, loads them into a shift register and pushes them out with a phase aligned multipled clock that can go up to 1GHz10:51
rohnice10:51
lekernelroh: http://www.amazon.com/Conversions-Technology-CTVGA-HDMI-HDMI-Converter/dp/B003O55U8K14:30
lekernel(and wolfspraul)14:31
GitHub197[milkymist-ng] sbourdeauducq pushed 1 new commit to master: http://git.io/egBAwg15:14
GitHub197[milkymist-ng/master] software: stdarg.h: cleanup and add va_copy - Sebastien Bourdeauducq15:14
GitHub18[misp] sbourdeauducq pushed 5 new commits to master: http://git.io/DH4vQg15:17
GitHub18[misp/master] libglue: some file ops - Sebastien Bourdeauducq15:17
GitHub18[misp/master] Makefile: netboot convenience target - Sebastien Bourdeauducq15:17
GitHub18[misp/master] libglue: asprintf - Sebastien Bourdeauducq15:17
rohlekernel: oh. nice. so.. thats like an external vga ramdac then? fancy15:52
rohs/ram//g15:52
lekernelyes, I guess so16:14
lekernelthough ramdac's are 1990 :)16:14
lekernelit's just dac's those days16:14
larsci bet that converter uses a fpga as well.16:37
lekernelcould be some integrated chip too16:42
lekernelwith the DAC16:42
lekerneleither way - I think we can make the next device all digital.16:43
GitHub38[misp] sbourdeauducq pushed 2 new commits to master: http://git.io/pw1ITg21:46
GitHub38[misp/master] libglue: freopen - Sebastien Bourdeauducq21:46
GitHub38[misp/master] Mount YAFFS - Sebastien Bourdeauducq21:46
GitHub82[milkymist-ng] sbourdeauducq pushed 1 new commit to master: http://git.io/lDDKfg21:46
GitHub82[milkymist-ng/master] software/include/hw: add flash offset for filesystem - Sebastien Bourdeauducq21:46
GitHub18[misp] sbourdeauducq pushed 2 new commits to master: http://git.io/Li_JaA22:23
GitHub18[misp/master] Add minimal LuaFileSystem - Sebastien Bourdeauducq22:23
GitHub18[misp/master] Lua filesystem demo - Sebastien Bourdeauducq22:23
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