A host interface for loading and initialising the SPI SRAM, e.g. Raspberry Pi Pico
(optional) Two 74HC595 shift registers for a 16-bit output port
(optional) A 74HC166 shift register for an 8-bit input port
All of these components will be integrated on the Whisk host board, see the project GitHub page.
Whisk uses a single SPI interface for instruction fetch, loads and stores on an external SPI SRAM. The SPI serial clock is driven at the same frequency as Whisk’s clock input. The program counter, and the six general purpose registers, are all 16 bits in size, so up to 64 kilobytes of memory can be addressed.
Internally, Whisk is fully serial: registers and the program counter are read and written one bit at a time. This matches the throughput of the SPI memory interface, and leaves more area free for having more/larger general purpose registers as well as leaving room for expansion on future Tiny Tapeouts.
An optional IO port interface adds up to 16 outputs and 8 inputs, using standard parallel-in-serial-out and serial-in-parallel-out shift registers. Whisk can read or write these ports in a single instruction. These can be used for bitbanging external hardware such as displays, LEDs and buttons.
You will need a Whisk host board, with memory and the host interface to load it. See the project GitHub page.