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Old 17 March 2016, 19:58   #52
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,284
Originally Posted by robinsonb5 View Post
For me the difference is whether the chip is built from or "contains" the original design, or whether it contains a new design that imitates the original. That's what prevents, for example, the Minimig's chipset implementation from being truly "real".
Yea. IMO, a chip has to simulate the original behavior down to a fairly low level to be "real" (original enough). This may or may not be possible with FPGA depending on what is being simulated. I also like new designs based on old designs (old forgotten technology is sometimes surprisingly good when modernized) so I don't have a problem with needing to be "real". Maintaining the same philosophy and feel are more important to me .

Originally Posted by pandy71 View Post
As long as software and hardware see CPU and it works there is no difference between softcore and hardcore HW.
There is a difference in efficiency. It is easy to say that the electricity cost is worth a few trips to the pub and you can always wear head phones so you don't have to hear the power supply fan but efficiency is nice.

Originally Posted by pandy71 View Post
If 68080 will be ever build then for sure it will go same way as other CISC architectures (x86 is good example) - CISC are unrolled to uOPS and main CPU behave like RISC.
I'm not so sure the 68k would benefit enough from uOPs (uses additional logic for a small gain in performance). It is not as necessary on the 68k because the code is easier to decode and superscalar check and the average instruction length is shorter. I doubt it would be worthwhile on even a 68k power design. A 68k design would probably need to become OoO for maximum performance though. The 68060 and Apollo (very similar) superscalar only designs are very efficient and more efficient than is possible on the x86/x86_64 where the superscalar Atom processors were abandoned leaving a big efficiency gap between the x86_64 and ARM. Maybe the 68k could not be as powerful as x86_64 (close) but I believe it could be more efficient for a mid-performance processor.

Originally Posted by pandy71 View Post
Technological progress made possible to implement whole Amiga (even with RAM and ROM) inside single IC, FPGA is used in natural development process to create ASIC and Custom IC's. When Amiga was designed such technology (reprogrammable HW) was highly limited (PROM, PAL, PLA), when MC68000 was designed it was only PROM technology that allow to reprogram HW.
Nowadays most of complex IC's is born at computers as software simulation - if someone is interested how complex is to create new IC i would recommend this video:
[ Show youtube player ]
C= supposedly used FPGA technology for designing the custom chips (probably late). FPGA technology has been around for a long time but used to be very expensive. Now practically every hobbyist can afford powerful FPGA hardware and it is cheap enough to sell FPGA based hardware.
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