PDP2011 board

Don North north at alum.mit.edu
Thu Oct 22 22:44:13 CDT 2015

On 10/22/2015 6:11 PM, jwsmobile wrote:
> I'm not sure if the author of this nice bit of work is on here, but I'm 
> looking at a board for this, the Altera DE-1. Unfortunately there are a 
> plethora of Altera DE-1 boards and much puzzlement by me as to whether this is 
> the right one.  The page with the info is deficient in details to tell.
> The actual part which the author used is the key thing here, and not just the 
> name of the board.  I'd appreciate opinions here as to whether these will run 
> PDP2011 or whether it will be a nice learning board for my mistake pile.
> http://pdp2011.sytse.net/wordpress/pdp-11/fpga-boards/de1/
> There is currently what I think is a good specimen available if anyone is 
> interested.
> http://www.ebay.com/itm/131621388597
> It includes the software and docs.  The current one I have was a student 
> version sans the documents and software.
> I hope to get the thing going to play with sometime soon.   There are so many 
> small boards out there for very little money once I get this done and 
> understand more about targeting this board and others I'd like to see how 
> cheap a board this could be made to run with give the current boards.
> There is currently an Arm/fpga Zilog chip board now made available that would 
> be a nifty board to make into a PDP11 if it comes out as cheap as they promise 
> it to be.
> thanks
> Jim

I have one of the DE1 CycloneII device boards and at this point that family 
(CycloneII) is a bit old.
If you can get it really cheap (<<$50) go for it, but the last Altera toolset 
that supports CycloneII is v13.0sp1 (v15.0 is current).
I have moved most all my new experimentation on to the CycloneIV and CycloneV 
family devices.

If you plan to use a board going forward for some time, the newer CycloneV based 
boards are a better choice:

In particular the DE0-CV has a lot of nice features for implementing a PDP-11 

Or if you want to go light on the hardware design and lean more on embedded 
software, the DE0-NANO-SOC  board ($99):

The DE0-NANO CycloneIV  board ($79) is also a good choice:

At this point I would stay away from CycloneIII or CycloneII boards (unless you 
can get one very cheap) as the tech is older.



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