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Verilog Meetups @ Hacker Dojo: the status and the plans for 2024

Reading time9 min
Views2.4K

The first meetups of the Portable SystemVerilog Examples group at Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California were a kind of brainstorming sessions. We discussed the electronic industry, the essence of modern chip design, and the challenges of educating new design engineers. Then we moved to a new mode of action. We started weekly meetings of the core R&D team with the goal to prepare educational materials for the events for a larger audience. The meetings are generally held on Sundays from 11 pm to 2 pm. If you cannot come to Mountain View, you can join online.

We are focusing on interview-level microarchitectural and CPU design examples, providing FPGA vendor-neutral infrastructure and compatibility with open-source ASIC design tools.

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Total votes 3: ↑3 and ↓0+3
Comments3

Exploring VALID/READY protocol, pipelines and experimenting with flow control using an HDL training tool

Level of difficultyMedium
Reading time1 min
Views1.1K

Ссылка на русскую версию / link to Russian version

Understanding valid/ready protocol is extremely important for every microarchitect.

Valid/ready is one of the main protocols used to organise flow-control inside a logic block as well as on inter-block (SoC) level.

In the last lesson, we explored FIFO buffer using hdlgadgets - human-in-the-loop HDL training tool.

This time we will take two FIFO buffers (which form a pipeline with valid/ready handshakes) and will experiment with it by changing flow-control logic of the pipeline.

We will show that valid/ready is not only a mechanism for transferring data from one FIFO queue to another, but also a method for organizing various kinds of logical functionality between queues.

If you have not worked with valid/ready protocol before, you will be surprised how easy it is to achieve desired functionality of the design by simply writing couple of lines of Verilog code in the handshaking logic block between two FIFOs.

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Total votes 6: ↑6 and ↓0+6
Comments0

Exploring FIFO principles using an HDL training tool

Level of difficultyMedium
Reading time1 min
Views622

Ссылка на русскую версию / link to Russian version

FIFO is a key concept in hardware design. Understanding of FIFO is necessary for understanding the valid/ready protocol, which in turn is necessary for organisation of flow-control within a design.

Unfortunately, there are very few books on this topic, and to be fair, microarchitectural concepts are quite difficult to master from books, since understanding of these concepts are coming with practice. In other words it is more about developing hardware intuition.

The idea of the HDL training tool is that it can help develop a hardware intuition, providing the opportunity to explore ready-made scenarios in a step-by-step interactive way. The tool also provides detailed visualization of a simulated scenario.

Since the tool is a front-end for the HDL simulator, the real, synthesized SystemVerilog is executed on the simulator itself, which can be viewed and even modified.

So, the video of exploring FIFO on the training tool is here:

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Total votes 4: ↑4 and ↓0+4
Comments0

Setup of Qt Creator for programming and debugging of STM32 microcontrollers

Level of difficultyMedium
Reading time9 min
Views1.9K

Currently I am investigating firmware development for STM32 microcontrollers and I would like to share with you my experience for doing it in Qt Creator IDE.

There are a lot of IDEs, which are used for firmware development of STM32. Some of them, being quite comfortable, have restrictions for trial license. For example, the one of the most known IDE, IAR Embedded, suggests either a limited amount of product usage time (30 days) or the limited firmware size of 32 MB, which is not too much.

Within this scope of the publication, we investigate the method of setting up an environment that allows one to develop the full value of the STM32 firmware in Qt Creator.

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lsFusion: Open-Source Rapid Application Development Platform

Reading time7 min
Views820

lsFusion platform is designed for rapid development of business applications. It is distributed under the terms of a Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3). The source code of the platform is available on Github.

lsFusion is best suited for creating complex systems with large numbers of entities and forms, where users need to input and process large amounts of data. However, the platform can also be used to quickly create simple applications instead of spreadsheets when Excel’s functionality is not enough.

At the same time the use of the platform will not give a great advantage when developing applications aimed at interaction with a large number of “external” users or without the need for any complex calculations. You should also take into account that the web interface is a single page application using JavaScript. Therefore, the lsFusion platform is not well-suited for creating websites, for example.

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Total votes 7: ↑7 and ↓0+7
Comments1

How we built a Cyber Immune product using an open source library: stages, pitfalls, solutions

Reading time11 min
Views679
Do you remember how, even before the pandemic set in, companies were striving to provide secure perimeter access for their telecommuters? Especially if super sensitive data was involved such as accounting information or corporate documents. The solutions were complex, bulky and expensive. Can you imagine just how critical it has become now?!

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My name is Sergey Yakovlev, and I'm the head of the Kaspersky Thin Client project based on our proprietary operating system, KasperskyOS. A thin client is one of the main components of a virtual desktop infrastructure, which is a remote desktop access system. In this article, I will use such a client as an example of how you can build a secure (yet commercially viable!) product. I will cover the stages, the stumbling blocks, the problems and solutions. Let's go!
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Total votes 1: ↑1 and ↓0+1
Comments0

Monitoring CPU/RAM/disk metrics with OpenTelemetry and Uptrace

Level of difficultyEasy
Reading time4 min
Views7.1K

OpenTeleletry Collector is an open source data collection pipeline that allows you to monitor CPU, RAM, disk, network metrics, and many more.

Collector itself does not include built-in storage or analysis capabilities, but you can export the data to Uptrace and ClickHouse, using them as a replacement for Grafana and Prometheus.

When compared to Prometheus, ClickHouse can offer small on-disk data size and better query performance when analyzing millions of timeseries.

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Total votes 6: ↑6 and ↓0+6
Comments4

«Divide and Conquer» for OpenStreetMap world inside PostgreSQL

Level of difficultyMedium
Reading time28 min
Views1.6K

I will continue the story "How to put the whole world into a regular laptop: PostgreSQL and OpenStreetMap" with secrets about OpenStreetMap geodata, on which many companies have built their business, but not everyone shares the details... Well, today we will open crucial details.

The OSM database in PosgreSQL after loading from the dump takes up more than 587 GB. This is already a large database by the standards of a DBMS, and one huge table for each type of object will not work. For manageability, such data must be partitioned, it's good that PostgreSQL supports declarative data partitioning. It remains only to figure out how to split geographical data. After searching and comparing, the H3 hierarchical hexagonal geospatial indexing system came to rescue. All this was implemented in my openstreetmap_h3 project for fast processing and loading of the world dump into the PostGIS database.

I considered following options from geopartitioning systems...

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How to put the whole world into a regular laptop: PostgreSQL and OpenStreetMap

Level of difficultyEasy
Reading time12 min
Views2.5K

When a person used to say that he controls the whole world, he was usually placed in the next room with Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope that these times are in the past and everyone can analyze the geodata of the entire Earth and get answers to their global questions in minutes and seconds. I published Openstreetmap_h3 - my project, which allows you to perform geoanalytics on data from OpenStreetMap in PostGIS or in any query engine that can work with Apache Arrow / Parquet.

First of all, I say hello to the haters and skeptics. What I developed is really unique and solves the problem of transforming and analyzing geodata using the usual and familiar tools available to every analyst and data science specialist without bigdata, GPGPU, FPGA. What looks easy to use and code now is my personal project where I have invested my vacations, weekends, sleepless nights and a lot of personal time over the past 3 years. Maybe I will share the background of the project and the rake that I went through, but first I will still describe the end result.

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Total votes 8: ↑8 and ↓0+8
Comments0

Roads and building density in North America. 100GB geodata processing OSM data in PostgreSQL

Reading time15 min
Views1.4K

Today I will discover America to you based on OpenStreetMap data in PostgreSQL15/PostGIS and my project openstreetmap_h3. Let's run the query and compare its execution time on the Citus column store in PostgreSQL and on the standard 100GB database partitioned by H3 geoindex.

We will find the top15 buildable locations in North America and the total length of roads, as well as their type and surface. I will not overload the publication with program logs, let's focus on the data! You can easily repeat all requests yourself on your laptop/computer.

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PyGMTSAR is Next Generation Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) Software for Everyone

Reading time6 min
Views2.6K

Do you need to produce satellite interferometry results for your work or study? Or should you find the way to process terabytes of radar data on your common laptop? Maybe you aren't confident about the installation and usage of the required software. Fortunately, there is the next generation of satellite interferometry products available for you. Beginners can build the results easily and advanced users might work on huge datasets. Open Source software PyGMTSAR is available on GitHub for developers and on DockerHub for advanced users and on Google Colab for everyone. This is the cloud-ready product, and it works the same as do you run it locally on your old laptop as on powerful cloud servers.


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Total votes 1: ↑1 and ↓0+1
Comments0

Make first deb-src package by example cri-o

Reading time9 min
Views2K


Overview


Once every true-linux engineer gets a trouble: there is no any software in his distro or it's built without needed options. I am keen on the phrase: "Only source control gives you freedom".


Of course, you can build this software on your computer without any src-packages, directly (with simplification: configure, make, make install). But it's a non-reproducible solution, also hard for distribution.


The better way is to make distro-aligned package that can be built if needed and that produces lightly distributed binary-packages. It's about debian-source packages(debian,ubuntu,etc), pkgbuild (for arch), ebuild for gentoo, src-rpm for red hat-based, and many others.


I will use cri-o like a specimen.


Before reading the text below I strongly recommend to get familiarized with the official Debian policy manual placed here and debhelper manpage.


Also you will be required to setup some variables like DEBMAIL and DEBFULLNAME for proper data in changelog and other places.

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Total votes 1: ↑1 and ↓0+1
Comments2

Global corporations. Is there a light in the end of the tunnel?

Reading time6 min
Views1.3K

Global corporations became a part of our everyday life for a long time ago, their products often don’t leave an alternative option for users. Either is it exist? This article touches an issue of dominating big companies in certain areas, but also contains a row of useful tips. Spoiler of one of them: if you’re a user of Android then the tips will help you increase time between charging your phone and improve your privacy.

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Rating0
Comments2

Introducing into calamares bootloader

Reading time13 min
Views4.8K


Overview


Sometimes all of us need to make a graphical installer for one's own linux distro. It goes without saying that you are able to use a distro-specific installer like Anaconda for RedHat-based or DebianInstaller for debian-based. On the other hand Calamares is a graphical installer which is not aligned with only one package manager.


I want to share my experience how to make a universal install solution with GUI. I did not find any complete article about it, hence, I reinvented the wheel.

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Total votes 2: ↑2 and ↓0+2
Comments0

“FPGA InsideOut” – animation about CRC and parallel CRC calculation

Reading time2 min
Views1.4K

Ссылка на русскую версию / link to Russian version

FPGA InsideOut is an attempt to make a set of educational FPGA videos presented in the “human-in-the-loop” style. In these videos we will not only show how we are interfacing with an actual FPGA board but will also provide synchronous real-time visualisation of FPGA's internal logic.

For our first video we have picked a CRC circuit (cycle redundancy check) which is based on a linear feedback shift register. This circuit goes through several transformations during the course of the video. Intrigued? - let’s watch the video.

Watch the video and continue reading
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