Non-production Simple POWER9 Core

the simple core is taking shape as a combination of all the pipelines, connected to the (5) types of register files.  all unit tests that have been developed to test individual pipelines have been borrowed through inheritance, to run against the register files, this time.  you can try it out as:

python3 soc/simple/test/ is very simple.  its execution model is as follows:

  • receive instruction
  • decode instruction
  • identify through bitmasking which pipeline can handle it
  • enable only the MultiCompUnit managing that pipeline
  • wait for it to indicate that it is not busy (this includes regfile writing)
  • move on to the next instruction.

each MultiCompUnit, of which there are currently five connected up (ALU, Logical, ShiftRot, CR, Branch), has a number of "operand in" and "result out" ports.  the register files have been deliberately spec'd to match one-for-one the maximum number of ports of each regfile type needed.

therefore, for example: whilst no other MCU needs INT 2W (2 write ports), LDSTCompUnit does need 2 write ports and consequently the INT regfile has been allocated 2W.  another example: CR requires three read ports and the "full" (32-bit) CR, and consequently the CR regfile is 4R (1 full, 3 4-bit).

this dramatically simplifies the code needed to connect up the MCUs to the Regfiles, because the port allocations (resource contention aside) is one-to-one. the majority of the code in (at present) involves reorganising regspecs into a dictionary-of-dictionaries-of-lists.  the structure is:

  • first dictionary key is the register file TYPE (INT, CR, SPRs)
  • second dictionary key is the register port NAME (cr0, ra, rb, XER_so)
  • list contains the Function Unit and operand/result read/write port

that list (on a per-file, per-regname basis) therefore contains all Function Units that wish to contend for that register file port, and, consequently, it is a simple matter of:

  • A. creating a PriorityPicker to select one and ONLY one Function Unit that is permitted to access that port at any one time
  • B. creating a Broadcast Bus (fan-in in the case of write, fan-out in the case of read) connecting regfile port to Function Unit port.

Next phases of development

the next phases will involve:

  • adding in LDSTCompUnit
  • adding in minerva wishbone L1 I-Cache code (including bypass mode)
  • including the pre-written scoreboard "Instruction Queue" code
  • linking up NIA to the IQ, to fetch instructions and pass them to the decoder.

at that point we will have an actual core that is capable of executing instructions on its own. further code-morphs can then take place including adding in the 6600scoreboard.