Discontinued IC's

From: William Donzelli <aw288_at_osfn.org>
Date: Sun Jul 30 22:10:16 2000

> Hmmm. But will it be a problem that the knowledge of the internal
> specifications may be gone? I'm not a hardware engineer, so take this with
> a grain of salt, but as I understand it, that's one of the things that makes
> writing software emulators so difficult.

Yes, but you are not the first to be concerned with this - the U.S.
military was many years ago as many of the parts used in weapons systems
were being discontinued by U.S. sources. To solve the problem, they
created VHDL, a complex language used to describe the behavior of the
parts, from the very high level to the very low. It does not detail any
of the internal structure of the chips - just behavior.

Certainly there is a huge VHDL library the military cooked up somewhere,
as they have managed to use just about every family of digital component
under the sun (under the waves, too). I do not know if that database is
currently publicly accessable, as there is some sensitive information in
it. It might be interesting to see if some of it could be released under
the Freedom of Information Act.

William Donzelli
Received on Sun Jul 30 2000 - 22:10:16 BST

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