Home | About | Partners | Contact Us | Logout
VA Linux Systems

Welcome to the z2k Tool Suite homepage



Version 1.1a released. This includes no exciting new features, but fixes a few dumb errors. Should work with later Linux distributions such as RH 7+, Mandrake 8 etc.

See the README file for details. I am currently porting GCC to give it a Rabbit back-end. This is a major task so don't hold your breath waiting.

What is z2k?

z2k refers to a set of tools designed to allow programming of the new Rabbit 2000 (TM) microcontroller, with a Linux PC as the host development platform. The makers of the Rabbit 2000, Rabbit Semiconductor and Z-World, already provide an IDE (Interactive Development Environment) hosted on PCs running Windows 95/98/NT which is to be recommended if you need to develop using C and don't mind using that OS. z2k is currently assembler-only, but if you are familiar with Z80 assembler then you should not find it difficult to use z2k.

The z2k tool suite comprises:

  • z2kasm - the assembler
  • z2klist - an object-file listing post-processor
  • zw - an console-based interactive download/debugger
  • The bare bones of a multi-tasking OS, in assembler source form
  • Some miscellaneous routines such as dynamic memory allocation and floating point.

zw is oriented towards the Jackrabbit (TM) controller board from Z-World. This board is part of the development kit sold by Z-World. The kit includes all necessary hardware plus the Windows software. In order to make use of z2k, you will need to purchase one of these kits. As of June 2000, the kit costs US$139.00. Note that some of the software provided on the CDROM is in assembler source form, which is not too difficult to convert to be z2k-compatible. Most important would be the fast floating point routines, which have much better performance than the old Z80-oriented floating point mentioned above. For copyright reasons, I cannot include the Z-World sotware in this distribution.

The only other prerequisite for using z2k is the COOK embedded language, which is used as a macro preprocessor. COOK is hosted by SourceForge (see the links at the end of this page).


These links identify the most recent release suitable for use (as opposed to development) of the respective programs:

cook-1.0.2.tar.gz - the macro preprocessor. Don't use version 1.0 or 1.0.1, they will not work with z2k.

z2k-1.1a.tar.gz - the assembler etc.

What is the Development Status of z2k?

z2k is under active development (only me [tekno at users.sourceforge.net] at the moment). The latest release is version 1.1a. This release fixes a few dumb compiler errors caused by fpos_t becoming a structure instead of a scalar. Also fixes assembly problems caused by COOK getting confused by CVS expansions in the assembler source. Release 1.1 was supposed to fix this, but didn't. DUH!

Implementation is mostly complete for the applications I have in mind, although contact me if you want any extra features. The remaining items which need to be fixed or implemented are:

  • Some minor problems with litterals and empty sections.
  • Structure initialisation and nesting.
  • Some rarely-used functions.
  • Improve checking for inadvertent memory bounds violations.
  • Much improved documentation. Most of the documentation is a flat ASCII file, which has had stuff added to it without much planning. I hope to turn it into groff or LaTeX markup.
  • Write a GUI IDE. I am considering using the FOX GUI toolkit.


z2k Tool Suite project page.

COOK Embedded Language project page. COOK is the "standard" macro preprocessor for z2k, so you will need to get this as well as z2k.

Rabbit Semiconductor, "manufacturers" of the microcontroller.

Z-World, parent company of the above, which provide the software and the Jackrabbit controller board.

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are properties of their respective owners. Forum comments are owned by the poster. The rest is copyright 1999-2000 VA Linux Systems, Inc.