This is old news, but news to me QuickLogic (a maker of FPGA parts) decided to fully embrace open source tooling.

You can see their full column of checkmarks on the Symbiflow's "Current Status":

@cstanhope Been eyeballing their products for future FPGA projects, to be honest. TinyFPGA and the Lattice parts are awesome, but Quick Logic's chips are both higher density and (iirc) lower power.

I'm not sure if they are cheaper, but in smaller quantities, it likely won't make that big of a difference.

@vertigo It's the first I've heard of them, but I will be taking a closer look. At work, I'm pretty tired of managing Vivado/Quartus installs and license servers and other BS, but it would likely be a hard sell to convince people to switch away from Xilinx or Altera. :/

@cstanhope They do have the lead in density. Nobody comes even remotely close to the logic densities those two companies have. So, quite understandable.

That said, I recently saw a tweet where Xilinx 7-series chips have been fully reverse engineered and now has Yosys and NextPNR support. I've not confirmed yet, though.

@vertigo Yeah, that might be a way out of Vivado for me. I hope to find time to investigate! :)

(On another note, I beat myself up a little for not helping with developing this open source tooling. I've been waiting for this for years, and it's happening, and I am just on the sidelines watching. :/ )

@cstanhope I'm not smart enough to participate in such developments, so sitting idly by is all I could do.

@vertigo I find that difficult to believe. I've seen the things you work on, read about, think about, and how you document your thought processes. But at the same time, I am also painfully aware of all our various limitations whether time, energy, interests, and life's usual complexities. So I don't express disbelief to pressure you, merely to suggest you're competent enough, but perhaps it isn't the right opportunity. Of course, I should try to remember this for myself... It is hard sometimes.

@cstanhope True; when I say "I'm not smart enough," I'm speaking colloquially.

A full analysis of my inabilities to participate in this include but isn't limited to the following:

History shows that I don't play well with others, and this is a collaborative game. So, I don't even bother trying anymore.
I lack the fleet of mind needed to deliver on a goal within commonly accepted, human-scale time-frames. (I've been working on Kestrel-3 project since 2012, still with nothing tangible to show for it except my VDC-II card.)
Other people see problems to be solved, while I see only fads. This kind of opinionation makes my views extremely unpopular in the greater FOSS community. Having been on the receiving end of some pretty inflammatory criticism regarding this, I've largely given up trying to be more public about my views. Nobody in a decision-making position reads them anyway.
Contributions to other FOSS projects have gone unreviewed while others either restart or overlap my contributions, and they get their works reviewed almost right away. Again, very demotivating: I don't bother anymore; I now see it as a total waste of my time. This even happens in commercial settings (albeit to a lesser degree), which baffles me, and which has directly contributed to my professional burn-out at Rackspace and was a factor in me departing Facebook when I did (though in retrospect, that latter move was a good one).

So, today, I see myself more as a contemporary artist than an engineer. FPGAs happen to be my medium of choice; but I'm not in a position to create my own canvas or blend my own pigments like the renaissance artists were. This is why I say that the Kestrel-3 is a computer built by me for me, and on my own terms/schedule. If it's relevant to other people, that's unintentional icing on the cake.

Forgive me if I seem guarded about this stuff, or overly self-deprecating. But, I've been hurt too many times by my peers in my fields of expertise. If I recoil, it is because I still feel pain, or have memories thereof.

@vertigo Understood. Thanks for explaining. It seems you have a cleared eye view of things. :/

I like the idea of seeing yourself as a "contemporary artist". I always feel inspired by your work on the Kestrel-3. :)

@cstanhope It has taken me a very long time, measured in decades in fact, to acquire this clarity. I'm a slow learner, but I do eventually learn. 😏

@vertigo I am also a slow learner in many domains, and that was one of the things I was slow to learn...

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!