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[f-cpu] F-CPU topic at LSM

hello both lists,

here is a preliminary page for http://lsm.abul.org
and i would like to have your feedback before doing
the french and spanish translations.

Note : this file is going to be included by a PHP script,
so there is no <html> and <body> tag.


Topic 10 : Libre Hardware

Keywords :

Motivations :

The F-CPU Project was kindly invited by the LSM team during the Linux Expo 2002 in Paris. Mr Jarillon was enthusiastic and curious about the concept of transposing software concepts (copyleft, distribution) to the Hardware world.

As you can see at the OpenCollector project database, F-CPU is only one of the many projects that develop "soft cores" following the GNU and Linux principles, though each project has specific points of view. The F-CPU team wishes to discuss about them and invites other teams. To emphasize this openness, the topic which was initially named "Libre CPU" is now "Libre Hardware", in order to not sound "F-CPU centric". We believe that we belong to a wider movement, that can be called "Free Hardware" (a counterpart of the "Free Software" movement) or "Open Hardware", depending on one's tastes. If you abide to this trend, you are highly welcome.

During this 5-day meeting, we wish to tighten the links between hardware and software developpers, who often face the same problems and live in the same world. The "Free Software" explosion offers new collaboration opportunities and we can all benefit from them, with a bit of responsibility and good will.

Unfortunately, at this time of writing, no other project has wished to participate and come. If you think that this topic is actually F-CPU centric, it is not the team's fault since nobody answered to our calls for participation.


There is not yet any schedule for the 5-days gathering. We will follow the general schedule when it comes to the plenary sessions, but expect some loosely timely working sessions and some endless sleepless nights if you're enthusiastic :-D

We hope that as many people as possible can come because we have a lot to do during this short time :

You are welcome to propose other topics and present a paper.

What is F-CPU ?

The Freedom CPU project is a distributed, international team of hackers, computer architects and electronicians who have the goal to design a family of microprocessor cores and the necessary basic tools to make it useful.

The programming model of a member of the F-CPU family is SIMD, superpipelined RISC with 64 registers and a simple and orthogonal instruction set. The current core is called "FC0" (it stands for "F-CPU Core 0") and is designed using industry-standard VHDL'93 coding practices and tools.

The design itself is aimed at high configuration, straight-forward retargetting (technological portability), and can be compiled in a similar fashion to a Linux kernel or a GNU tool. All the sources, documentations and utilities are distributed with a copyleft licence which emphasises on unencumbered development practices : patent-free features, widely-used standard conformant sources, freely or easily available tools. Anybody should be able to contribute.

To sum up these principles :

Design and let design.

Linguistic barreers

Most F-CPU contributors are french and it's probable that most discussions will occur in this language. However, most of us are more or less fluent in english so don't hesitate to speak with us, even if you don't speak french. We will be happy to communicate with you.


The homepage of the F-CPU project is located at http://www.f-cpu.org but nobody has had the courage to update it for a while.

The freshest source files and working snapshots can be found at http://f-cpu.seul.org/new. It is a http mirror of a simple ftp site. We are too lazy to make a nice web site and all the volunteers for this task have not done anything more. If you want to help us, you are highly welcome :-)


This page was written ven mai 24 21:57:21 GMT 2002 by Yann Guidon, it is going to evolve at an unpredictable rate. Your comments are welcome.