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4327Re: ELFos questions

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  • Allison Parent
    Jan 15, 2006
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      You made me think about it. So I took some time and did a bit of
      research. Some of it in my old project files.

      --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@e...> wrote:
      > Lee Hart wrote:
      > >> I've found that 1802 programs are usually smaller than their
      > >> equivalent for other CPUs.
      > Allison Parent wrote:
      > > Call be sceptic on that. A lot of the code I've been reading is
      > > bigger. I have seen TB for 8080 that was quite tiny...
      > The smallest 8080 Tiny BASIC I've seen was 1.5k, but took some
      > drastic measures such as all math being hexadecimal, no parentheses,
      > and no operator precedence. 8080 Tiny BASIC with the same features
      > as Pittman's was 2.5k bytes. The 1802 version was 2k bytes.

      Found a copy of MINOL, 1.75k 8080 Basic. Interesting beast in that
      the largest numbers are 255 (decimal) but it did include an array
      with a dual address (H,L). Interesting in the same respect as
      Chip-8 as an example of a small language that is still useful.

      However, when it come to full featured Tiny Basics the 8080 and 1802
      run neck and neck with maybe the 1802 being a few bytes better. One
      has to resort to 6502, z80 and 6809 to do better for size or speed.

      While I expressed disbelief I'm overall still impressed by 1802. I
      looked back at the code I did around 1982 for a smart FDC using 1802
      dma (plus2716/2116/765) design and noticed that while the oddball
      the instruction set is not as inefficient as originally thought. I
      had not looked at it in 20+ years but it's still running. I also did
      an 8085 and 8049 version of same and all run about the same size code
      for and identical task (it had to fit in a 2716).

      > Pittman's opinion was that the 1802 was the most memory-efficient of
      >all the contemporary CPUs. I have to agree; I've done a lot of
      > assembler for both the 8080 and 1802, and the 1802 wins. My IDIOT
      >monitor is just 512 bytes, and that includes a bit-banger software
      >UART. 8TH (a version of FORTH) was under 4k bytes.

      I'd say it runs par though doing it as 8080 required a real attack
      mentality to fit it. Moving to 8085 makes it easier especially if you
      use the ever present but "undocumented" instructions. But, they still
      run close.

      > The 1802 certainly loses on speed, however. It takes more clock
      >cycles to do most tasks, and given that its clock speed is similar
      > to contemporary CPUs (8080, 6800, 6502, etc.), it is always slower.

      I looked at it with a eye to 1980 and it was par with 8080(2mhz)
      and z80 (1.7mhz TRS80). What didn't happen is unlike the 8085 at
      6mhz and z80s (flavors to 33mhz!) the effort to move 1802 to new
      CMOS technologies that give us superfact sub 10ns static rams.
      An 1802 at a mere 2.5x faster (8mhz crystal) would be faster than
      8080 hands down and if current CMOS design were applied there is no
      reason why it could not run at 32mhz(instruction rate of 4MIPs!) or

      I'd state that I stopped using 8080 in 1976 for three reasons.
      Slow, 2mhz wasn't enough. Three voltages and two support parts
      needed due to the 12v clocks and multiplexed status on data lines.
      This is where the 1802 does well, CMOS low power, easy to use
      and it's easy timing. The 8085 and Z80 were much friendlier parts
      that had better features. The small differences between the 8085
      and 8080 are enough to give the '85 enough advantage to make it a
      good part. Better than 1802, in 1980 it's have to say it's only
      on par.

      > The 1802 is more like RISC or microcode; you tend to see certain
      >pairs of instructions frequently used to build more powerful
      > instructions. If you are trying to build "standard" programs,
      >this is a nuisance. But if you can re-think your problem to suit
      >the instruction set, you come out ahead.

      Agreed. When I put on the RISC hat and apply it it does well. The
      big pain of programming it is it's hard to program optimally. For
      1980s compilers the code would likely be very poorly optimized but
      modern cross platform compiler technology would do better. By hand
      it's possible to do well.

      The 1802 stands up well over time. It's in the pack with 8085, Z80,
      6502 and PDP-8 derivitives. Like the PDP-8 the 1802 has a uniqueness
      that makes it worth knowing and understanding.

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