Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI Zero Core
Start: 2023-12
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Modern 8-bit instruction set

Among microcontrollers (µC), 8/16-bit µC are an important part of the embedded systems ecosystem since they tend to have substantially lower resource and energy costs than the larger, more powerful 32-bit and 64-bit µC.

However, existing 8/16-bit µC architectures tend to be either somewhat inefficient (e.g. MCS-51) or single-vendor (e.g. STM8, Rabbit). The latter are at a high risk of being discontinued when a vendor pulls out of the 8/16-bit market, and this has been announced recently for the STM8 and Rabbit architectures. One possible solution is to develop an efficient free architecture for 8/16-bit µC. The f8 is such an approach. It is based upon extensive experience from the large number of 8/16-bit architectures supported by the free Small Device C compiler (SDCC). Like RISC-V did for 32/64-bit architectures, f8 is based on lessons learned from the strengths and weaknesses of existing 8/16-bit architectures.

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Core Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 101092990.