A i486 based MP3 player



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I’ve been reading Fabien Sanglard’s excellent Game Engine Black Books, which go into the technical low level details of the groundbreaking games Wolfenstein and Doom, the IBM PC technology of the time, and the feats of engineering and out of the box thinking that turned office machines into mighty gaming systems.

The DOOM book in particular goes into many technical details of my personal favorite processor ever, Intel’s 486. Reading the book brought back many memories of working on my electronics engineering degree final project, an MP3 player based on a i486, plus a custom board with SRAM, auxiliary logic and a DAC, all designed and hand soldered by myself.

Working with no BIOS, I had to learn and create all the low level initialization routines, figure out how to bootstrap a system with only static RAM via JTAG, and many other fun engineering challenges (some of them still unresolved, like some ground plane issues that made the board unreliable).

Anyway, in celebration of the aforementioned books becoming free to download / pay what you want (but really, pay something because the books are great), I’m putting the project’s report and source code on Github. The report is entirely in spanish, maybe I’ll translate it in time to celebrate the Black Book on Quake.