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The Oberon System on a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)

Dept. of Computer Science (January 20, 2015)
372









SEMINAR SERIES : Distinguished lecture

MAJOR SPEAKER : Wirth, Niklaus
LENGTH : 74 min.
ACCESS : Open to all
SUMMARY : The programming language Oberon was designed around 1988 with the intent to create a simple, yet powerful vehicle for effective teaching. Clarity of concepts, economy of design, and rigorous definition were the main goals. It was designed and implemented by (only) J. Gutknecht and N. Wirth within about 2 years, and it followed in spirit its ancestor Algol 60. Within this time, also a modern operating system was implemented. Together with the compiler, with a text system and a graphics editor, it was described in a single, comprehensive book of 500 pages. The book soon ran out of print. But 25 years later, requests arose to republish this work. The main obstacle was that the used, then modern microprocessor had vanished. It appeared as unavoidable to design a new compiler. We did so, but not for any popular, complex, commercial part, but for a simple design of our own, extending the project down into the realm of hardware. The decision was facilitated by the availability of configurable components, so-called Field Programmable Gate Arrays, non-existent 25 years ago. This processor follows the principles propagated by the Reduced Instruction Set Computer movement of the 1980s, in particular the ARM. We call it the RISC. It is a 32-bit architecture with 16 main registers and some 16 instructions. The RISC was implemented on a Spartan-3 low-cost development board, which adds 1 MByte of memory, ample for the entire Oberon System. The old disk store is represented by a small SD-card. In order to establish an entire computer, only a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse are required.  [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]



  ●  Persistent link: http://hkbutube.lib.hkbu.edu.hk/st/display.php?bibno=b3732950
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