So I gave my laptop a long overdue processor upgrade and it left me with a spare Intel Core Duo T2300E processor in perfectly working condition. So I am thinking maybe I can forgo the standard Intel (or nVidia) chipset and slap an FPGA to it and begin using this assembly like something on the line of a Zynq, just with a dual-core x86 instead of ARM as the processor block. This project is purely for LOLs (maybe for science) and may never leave the drawing boards though.
My questions would be:
- What FPGA should I use? Preferrably beginner friendly in the sense of low price, easy to solder package, and friendly development interface. Bear in mind this chip need to be able to work with the 667MHz FSB the Core Duo chip is looking for.
- What are the required functionalities I have to implement to support this dual-core processor properly? Linux-only is okay for me.
- What are the good candidates of other components, besides a powerful DC-DC converter to power the processor and the FPGA and corresponding heatsinks, to put on the module? DRAM in the form of chips or slots for computer memory modules? Maybe a PCI Express connector? Some Flash storage? SATA ports for attaching hard drives? HDMI port? Or something exotic?
- What is a good form factor for such a board? Is 170mm by 170mm "mini-ITX" with mounting holes allowing the resulting board being used in a PC chassis a good idea? Or an PCI Express expansion card for another computer?
- What kind of experiment can I perform on such a board, with an appropriate form factor? For mini-ITX form factor is trying to create my own chipset (or in this case a single supporting chip) a good idea? For PCI Express card form factor is making this some kind of compute card or something akin to a GPU a good idea?