Creating a RISC-V emulator… to play Doom

Creating A Risc-V Emulator… To Play Doom

The computing world is ruled by two architectures: x86 and ARM. Both are “closed” architectures, nevertheless there may be a free and open supply various within the type of RISC-V, designed by the University of California at Berkeley. the youtuber CNLohr has spent the previous couple of weeks working a small RISC-V emulator in a position to run Linux, however determined to go an additional step… and inevitably reached the Doom.


The channel Explaining Computers did a superb job by presenting the main features of the RISC-V architecture. The concept of ​​a free, open and versatile answer could be very engaging, however its most necessary purposes are within the embedded area, such because the safety chip Titan M2 made by Google, or the well-known ESP32 by Expressif Systems.

At the identical time, RISC-V could be very in style in analysis environments. In truth, many specialists have created RISC-V emulators with numerous ranges of complexity, however the youtuber CN Lohr, who we bear in mind for his 3D maps of WiFi indicators, determined to create a model with the power to run Linux. That was his first goal:


Doom on a RISC-V emulator


The unique video is 20 minutes filled with technical particulars which are positively value testing, however for a week, the Web solely requested one query: “Can Doom run?”

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CNLohr explains that in its unique state, the reply isn’t any. Doom wants to carry out write operations on a graphical output system, which the emulator doesn’t. However, with a variety of extra changes, the marine began busting demons once more. Six years in the past, CNLohr ready a particular mission referred to as embeddedDooma construct easy and compact, extremely built-in, and with very low reminiscence necessities. His technique was based mostly on making a port of embeddedDoom, and presenting the graphics in all its 160×50 pixel glory utilizing ANSI codes.



The relaxation is a actual bug hunt, an preliminary run, extra bugs, and at last, Doom on a RISC-V emulator at 25 FPS. Performance enhancements will most likely include further work (and never that Doom wants a lot at this level)… But that’s one other story.


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