So what's state-of-the-art in open-source #FPGA?

Is #IceStorm where it's at? I'm interested in synthesizing cpu cores which I think puts me in the area of large-ish fabric devices but again I stopped looking for a few months and now I feel like I have no idea what to expect :)

@vertigo @h @cstanhope

@jjg @h @cstanhope reverse engineering work with Xilinx artix 7 is ongoing. Otherwise, the state-of-the-art is the Yosys tool chain for the iCE40HX family.

@jjg @h @cstanhope ISTR there was a recent announcement at a recent C3 convention to this effect, but I am not fully aware of what that announcement was about. Might want to check up the itinerary and videos from the latest C3 conference.

@vertigo I'm still not clear what's the situation regarding RISC-V and FPGA development, what's at the intersection of these two important building blocks. @jjg @cstanhope

@h @jjg @cstanhope Can you be more specific?

Right now, the "official" RISC-V reference implementation, Rocket, is still ASIC-optimized. FPGA-based RISC-V cores tend to be home-grown things these days.

You can still synthesize Rocket on an FPGA, but because it's optimized for ASICs, it needs a rather large FPGA to do so, since it's investing individual LUTs to things that can be only a few transistors in an ASIC.

@vertigo What I mean is that the current state of affairs makes every industrially-made CPU suspectful. Especially those made in countries with governments known for spying on citizens wholesale, who attempted to build the Clipper chip in the past.
I'm wondering how far we can go building these systems really from scratch. We still depend on Xilinx or Altera/Intel at some point anyway.
I'm curious about your point of view on these matters.

@jjg @cstanhope

@h @jjg @cstanhope I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer these questions, as I don't work in infosec nor have experience in it.

That said, I do know that:

- Rocket core, KCP53000, and PicoRV32 are *not* susceptible to either Meltdown nor Spectre
- BOOM core, as it currently stands, *IS* susceptible to Spectre, but not to Meltdown.

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@cstanhope @jjg @h
Basically, anything that provides speculative execution across a protection boundary and which has caches and which lets you access an accurate timer or counter will be prone to Spectre. Spectre isn't dependent on ISA, nor really on specific microarchitecture.

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