Projects: 8-bit Microcontroller on an FPGA

This 8-bit RISC Microcontroller was constructed from individual logic gates and implemented on an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) chip. To test the system, a bank of slide switches and pushbuttons is used to input data and instructions. An alpha-numeric (hexadecimal) display is used to read the Program Counter, the current program instruction or the value of a selected register.

The proposed Microprocessor architecture has an 8-bit address bus and 16-bit word size (Fig. 1).
The architecture includes a Control Unit, Arithmetic Logic Unit, Instruction Fetcher and a Memory Controller (Fig. 2).
It supports a small Instruction Set based on Atmel and RISC, where each instruction cycle takes 4 or 5 clocks.

Fig. 1: Top-level block diagram.
Fig. 2: Top-level structural
diagram and data path.
Fig. 3: Sketch showing connections
between Control Unit and Registers.
Fig. 4: Sketch showing connections
between Control Unit, Program
Counter and Jump Generator.

The design was synthesized in VHDL using Xilinx ISE, analysed and tested in simulation,
then implemented on a Xilinx Spartan3E Development Board.

Fig. 5: VHDL diagram for the Micro-
controller (Processor + Memory).
Fig. 6: Timing diagram generated by
testing Microcontroller in simulation.
Fig. 7: Xilinx Spartan3E Development Board with input switches and output display.