Originally Posted by Lord Aga
See, it's not so easy to define emulation
Sure it is. Look in an English dictionary. This is the generic definition for emulation which we can't re-define. An FPGA can exhibit this behavior called emulation. A tech variation of the definition for emulation is also now in use (meaning software emulation, perhaps more) but most dictionaries do not include tech definitions unless they are very common. Using the word emulation now is like using the word Jew where it could be talking about a race or a religion (or even the people of a geography like Judea or Israel). The use of the word need only be correct by one definition even if loosely correct. It is often better to use another word without these problems in these situations. IMO, the more concise word to use for what an FPGA does would be simulation.
Originally Posted by alexh
If the FPGA graphics card designers were to emulate the GD5446 register set they wouldn't need to write or include a driver with their hardware.
I believe the hardware is well documented, and has been emulated in open source software.
Any patents covering this hardware design will have expired
Emulating the chip set is not enough. It would be necessary to emulate one of the graphics boards using it in order for P96 to find and start using the chip set. If there was an open driver like OpenPCI for it then it would be possible (would requires a new pci.library). An FPGA has no PCI but it would not be a problem to emulate the PCI structures. The Prometheus documentation is pretty good. Perhaps even its implementation of the pci.library could be used if the PCI was simulated well enough. There are some newer cards which have documentation which could be evaluated also. Of course, bolting on a PC gfx card to get chunky is a kludge in the first place. The AmigaOS should support RTG chunky (actually AmigaOS 3.9 already partially does). AROS is an option which could avoid this problem. It looks like the guys at A-EON are just fair weather 68k Amiga supporters so instead of enlarging the AmigaOS camp and proliferating their APIs (P96, Reaction, etc.), we will have to enlarge the AROS camp and proliferate their APIs (CGFX, Reaction, etc.). It would help if the FPGA guys would adopt standards for chip set and CPU enhancements which would make support easier. Maybe Heiroglyph has some ideas which will help bring AROS (especially RTG) to the 68k in a more acceptable form. So far, we have had trouble bridging the gap from AROS x86 to AROS 68k on classic hardware.