A powerful, open hardware ECP5 FPGA dev board

Mar 27, 2020

Project update 3 of 20

Taking DOS Gaming to the Next Level!

by Goran Mahovlić

In our first video update, we would like to share with you the possibilities for DOS-based retro gaming on ULX3S. The Disk Operating System (DOS) is a single user, single tasking, non-graphical, commandline operating system. It was introduced in 1981, but a little digital archeology allows it to live on inside your FPGA.

While you can still find DOS running on some computers today, the ULX3S version (freeDOS) gives you a compact, convenient platform with which way to revel in the glory of 8-bit pixels and tinker with retro games. Enjoy gaming classics like the Block Out, Dune, Arkanoid, Civilization, Kens, Lemmings, Tetris, Prince of Persia, Prehistorik, Budokan, and many other abandonware favorites.

It is thanks to the FPGA community that you can run DOS environments on ULX3S. The latest release of freeDOS not only supports having a BIOS image in the first sectors of an SD card, it also does a better job of handling the various ULX3S models. Thanks to FleaSystem, which has been ported to the Lattice ECP5, a Next186 core is available to provide a USB interface for mouse and keyboard support. EMARD made Next186 adaptable for ULX3S and kost made it easier to use by adding support for automatic builds and pre-made binaries.

Looking forward to sharing our next update!

The Radiona team

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