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Old 02 April 2015, 05:09   #16
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,284
Originally Posted by IanP View Post
It would be great if the various FPGA teams could agree common standards for Amiga enhancements. However MiST and FPGA Arcade were both started as Atari ST enthusiast projects IIRC. Both are building on the Minimig legacy but they are not as Amiga focused as the Natami team was and the Apollo Phoenix team is. Thomas Hirsch has been quiet for some time unless I missed something and I've no idea what plans Marcel has for an end product.
The Mist and FPGA Arcade projects seem to realize the importance of the Amiga but only as a retro gaming market. Gunnar (Apollo project) is targeting accelerators where the custom chip set is not important, he is likely to use SAGA which is proprietary and he is likely to create his own standard which he believes will antiquate everything else. IMO, there is not much chance of working with him unless you are working for him. Thomas Hirsch has been quiet but I have reason to believe that he hasn't given up on the Natami (or whatever he chooses to call it). I doubt ThomasH would open source SAGA but he may be open to a standard if he was close to releasing something and had good reason to communicate (he supposedly still communicates with some Amiga people). I wouldn't want to bet on a Natami reappearance though. I'm pretty sure Marcel would like to work on and release a standard based on what he has done so far. I don't know if he is ready to work with a group but he should. His current documentation and work needs AGA compatibility and review.

Originally Posted by IanP View Post
I know you put a lot of work in on your enhanced 68k ISA Matt and it must be frustrating that others have chosen a different path however I think it's a good thing that some enhancements will finally be available soon.
I am the first to acknowledge that we need higher performance 68k processors which wouldn't exist without Gunnar. He is quite a character with some great personality traits and some major personality flaws. As high as his expectations are, his superscalar CPU might actually meet them this time. The 68k has serious potential which was never explored and developed. If memory could be dual ported to allow 2 reads/cycle, I believe the 3 integer pipe superscalar design would be outperforming some *much* faster clocked hard processors. The core is very compact for the performance which is great for embedded applications also. Gunnar's ISA is too radical and lacks compatibility for retro and embedded markets though. I can't see compilers taking advantage of his extra non-orthogonal integer registers and trying will take a long time to mature if ever. It is FPGA so it would be possible to go back but a reputation for incompatibility and bugs is more difficult to roll back and Gunnar is as stubborn as he is arrogant. I doubt part of his ISA would be adopted and used as a standard either. A more conservative ISA standard could have had TG68 and UAE adopting it once there was compiler support and software available. A standard enhanced 68k CPU would have made a custom chipset standard easier. Another missed opportunity for the Amiga. At least we will have 68020+AGA as a base which isn't bad for retro use but a more modern Amiga to play with and develop for would have been more fun.
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