The w11a CPU core
The w11a CPU core has a functionality very close to a PDP-11/70 CPU (Model KB11-B or KB11-C) and supports with very few exceptions everything the PDP-11 architecture has to offer:
- standard and extended (MUL, DIV, XOR, ASH) instruction set
- special instructions (SPL, MTPD, ect)
- dual register set
- three processor modes: kernel, supervisor, user
- memory management with 18 and 22 bit addressing and separate instruction and data address space
- UNIBUS mapping support (18->22 bit address translation)
All fits today easily in a fraction of a modest size low cost FPGA. The original 11/70 CPU was implemented in TTL, see Figure F-1 for comparison.
The I/O System
Project goal was to create a retro-computing platform able to run the historical UNIX systems and other original software. The I/O system is therefore setup to have the same register model and semantics as the original DEC UNIBUS peripherals. To interface this to contemporary I/O hardware all I/O transactions are emulated by a backend server in the following way:
- all device registers are effectively dual-ported, visible from the w11a core via a bus structure named ibus with an addressing model similar to the DEC UNIBUS, and from the backend server via a 'remote register interface', called rri.
- the rri communication between fpga and backend server can be done directly via bus structure named rbus or over any bi-directional byte stream connection via the rlink protocol.
- an attention mechanism allows the efficient detection of significant device register state changes by the server, which will usually read the device state, emulate the desired I/O transaction and update the device state. DMA transfers are emulated by direct memory access over rbus.
- in current 'proof-of-principle' implementation the backend server is a process running on a normal Linux system. The communication is done over an rlink via RS232 or USB FIFO channels. See Figure F-3 for such a setup.
Currently available is a basic set of UNIBUS peripherals which is, apart from the IIST, quite similar to a full configuration of the early '80ties:
- KW11L: line frequency clock
- DL11: console interface
- LP11: line printer
- PC11: paper tape reader/puncher
- DEUNA: Ethernet interface
- RK11: disk controller with 8 RK05 drives (2.4 MByte capacity each)
- RL11: disk controller with 4 RL02 or RL01 drives (10 or 5 MByte capacity each)
- RH70: massbus adaptor with 4 RP or RM drives (with 66 to 504 MByte capacity each)
- TM11: tape controller with 4 TU10 drives
- IIST: interprocessor interrupt and sanity timer (operationally not used so far, but was fun to do...)
The project holds all the sources to synthesize a complete system. The systems are comprised of
- w11a processor core
- I/O subsystem
- cache subsystem: 8-128 kByte, 32 bit cache line, fully associative, write-thru
- memory subsystem interface with PDP-11/70 style control registers
- memory controller: depends on board, currently for SRAM and PSRAM
- rlink interface: used as control and debug interface as well as for I/O emulation
Complete configurations for seven boards are currently part of the project:
Name Board FPGA Clock Memory --- Resource Usage --- [MHz] [kB] flop luts slices sys_w11a_c7 Cmod A7 XC7A35T 80 672 2823 5827 1814(22%) sys_w11a_br_arty Arty A7 XC7A35T 80 176 2275 5104 1611(20%) sys_w11a_b3 Basys3 XC7A35T 80 176 2412 5228 1608(20%) sys_w11a_br_n4d Nexys4 DDR XC7A100T 80 512 2541 5500 1750(11%) sys_w11a_n4 Nexys4 XC7A100T 80 3840 2862 5859 1900(11%) sys_w11a_n3 Nexys3 XC6SLX16 64 3840 2790 5352 1943(85%) sys_w11a_n2 Nexys2 XC3S1200E 52 3840 2806 7865 5043(55%) sys_w11a_s3 S3board XC3S1000 50 1024 2576 7471 4716(61%)
The Digilent Nexys2, Nexys3 and Nexys4 boards have 16 MByte PSRAM (mt45w8mw16b) of which only 4 MByte, the maximum a PDP-11 can address, are used. The Digilent Cmod A7 has a 512 kByte SRAM (is61lv25616), which is extended by 160 kByte from BRAM. The Digilent S3board has 1 MByte SRAM (is61lv2561). The Digilent Basys3 has no memory external to the FPGA. The memory seen by the w11a core is build from BRAMs, with a total size of 176 kB. The DDR memory on the Digilent Arty A7, and Nexys4 DDR is not yet supported. Designs which use, like for Basys3, the BRAMs are provided and offer limited memory visible to the w11a core.
All systems have the following configuration for the UNIBUS peripherals:
Controller Name CSR VEC PRI Device Names BSD DEC IIST MP interrupt/timer 177500 260 6 - - KW11-L line frequency clock 177546 100 6 - - RL11 disk controller 174400 160 5 rlxh DLx: (x=0..3) RK11 disk controller 177400 220 5 rkxh DKx: (x=0..7) RH/RP disk controller 176700 254 5 xpxa DBx:,DRx: (x=0..3) TM11 tape controller 172520 224 5 mt MTx: (x=0..3) DEUNA ethernet interface 174510 120 5 de 0 XE0: DL11 console 177560 060 4 cn 0 YL0: DL11 2nd console 176500 300 4 ttyl 1 YL1: PC11 papertape read/punch 177550 070 4 - PP:,PR: LP11 line printer 177514 200 4 lp 0 LP: devices yet to be implemented: CR11 card reader 177160 230 6 - CR: DU11 synchronous interface 160040 310 5 - XU: DMC11 interprocessor link 160110 320 5 dmc XM: DZ11 terminal interface 160130 330 5 tty * YZx: (x=0..7)