JSE AU1000 Second Design

JSE AU1000 board

JSE’s first AU1000 CPU board.

JSE second AU1000 board

The company who outsourced the maintenance at the tyre company took up JSE’s offer of a custom board. The AU1000 design on the right was the second AU1000 design dated November, 2002. The layout was modified slightly with a 45° routing. We ported the Ampro M2 and our previous software to the board after a fairly long break from the tyre plant, as their main Natural Adabas developer suffered a mild stroke and was off for four months. There was little we could do in the meantime, so other projects were undertaken.

The tyre company and their outsource company wanted to be able to change the network addresses by changing a few DIP switches; these were added as shown in the top left-hand corner of the photo.

We had supplied the source code and as we were no longer going to manufacture the Au1000 boards, there was no need for further involvement from our side. JSE was about 750 km away, so their support would be difficult. We offered to do further software development, however, a company in Pinetown, near Durban had produced a X11 terminal with a Citrix client, x86 chip with graphics, etc, at a price even lower than the JSE boards. We wrote some C code on the HP and Sun servers that the Citrix client could access as a “telnet” session with a menu interface that could not be “broken out of the login-shell”. The next year I registered for post-grad research, so time for marginally profitable projects declined to zero. MIPS did not have graphics output and the total cost was still more than the PC x86 world.

We would dabble with a MIPS simulator for student projects and trying to get an instrumented testbed established. Some years later we would also try out Altium’s 3000 processor in a FPGA with trace options, but the marketing brochures differed from the product too much to maintain the tools. That was our last MIPS work. The race had been won by ARM well before 2011.

Our attempt to design an Au1000 system was described in Au1000 Processor Board Design—au.pdf (1,45 Meg).