Documentation

Introduction

The lowRISC series of code and documentation releases has the dual aim for easing the path of new users and students of computer architecure as well providing a robust tested platform for research into computer architecture whilst at the same time conforming to a license model which is compatible with commercial research and development as well as IC manufacture. The current release is:

  • lowRISC with run/step debugging via JTAG and GDB
    Release version 0.6, released October 2018
    This release updates the Rocket IP to March 2018 and includes compressed instructions and JTAG debugging conforming to the RISCV Debug Specification with custom JTAG DTM (see JTAG internals for details). The root filing system is updated to use the mostly upstreamed Debian repository and the peripheral data path widths are increased to 64-bits for better performance.

All releases are available here

What is included

Here you can find selected software and hardware IP which works together to produce an (almost) fully open-source computer system, consisting of:

  • RISCV CPU written in the Chisel/Scala hardware description language
  • A variety of useful peripherals, UART, MMC/SD-Card controller, Ethernet(100BaseT), VGA compatible screen, keyboard
  • AXI compatible interface to proprietary DDR memory controller from Xilinx
  • Boot loader for MMC/SD-Cards, based on u-boot
  • Ethernet booter incorporating DHCP
  • RISCV-Linux, adapted with drivers to attach to the above peripherals
  • RISCV-Debian operating system

Quick Start

As the source distribution is large, effort has been put into to making an easy-to-use quickstart procedure. This procedure does not require a huge amount of prior knowledge.

Getting started breakdown

The latest release has the instructions broken down by topic, instead of the release specific documentation that was included previously.

Other content

Our first memo describes our vision for tagged memory and minion cores in lowRISC.