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Old 03 November 2016, 08:47   #55
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rostock/Germany
Posts: 44
Some thoughts to valid concerns around here

Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
I am a little bit worried about the future of the apollo core now that I have witnessed many amiga coders and programmers have "mixed" feelings about it.
It has taken me some time to contemplate whether I'd keep away from this poisoned discussion (as implied by a previous post of mine). Your concerns, however underlined one truth: FUD out of whatever reasons has the tendency to stick. Especially, when personal animosity is hidden in techno-babble, it's hard to decide upon merit for those who have chosen to collect their share of experience in other areas of the vast knowledge available to us mere humans.

The future of the Apollo Core will not hang on a thread, that's for sure.

Contrary to some wild accusations I've been made aware of, the Apollo Team is not sitting in a bubble, scheming to destroy all that people were fond of when remembering the venerable 68k. Neither are they^H^H^H^Hwe (note to self: get used to it) a closed inner circle. The team members are on a constant lookout for people who are willing to lend a bit of their spare time contributing something to the project. To underline a point here: there are members like for example Jim Drew (Fusion, PCx) who keep Gunnar and Chris on their toes concerning compatibility to existing software, irrespective how badly the code in question was abusing the 68k.

The only true information you can take out of this thread is simple: Yes we are experimenting with SIMD, yes we've chosen a full motion video decoder/player* as live testbed and yes, initial results are encouraging.

@@wawa, zetro
The cute thing about Softcores is that _nothing_ is ever set in stone, unless of course published as "ready for use". What we are experimenting with is (to my knowledge) at least the third iteration of SIMD extensions for the Apollo. If and when it works out as we think it might right now, it could be made available for use after all. Then again, the functionality in itself is not the only concern. The tradeoff between possible speed gain and HW cost in the confined space of the current FPGA is something we constantly keep in mind. We are also aware of the necessity of operating system support before a putative general announcement.

Now some words concerning the thankfully still active Demo scene. There are two main active directions in my line of sight: OCS@68000 and AGA/RTG@060. Nothing changes for them. They found a consensus about target platforms and are competing (friendly, at that) for coding skill and style. Bad hacks will confine the audience to owners of the exacting platform, good code will run anywhere. So, nothing new in Amiga-land. That much is quite apparent when looking at the transition from 68000 to the later CPU's.

*My thanks and respects to Stephen Fellner at this point. His project was bold. He invested a lot of time writing an MPEG-1 Systems + MPEG-1 Video decoder with a myriad of video output options for a platform which was clearly below the minimum performance requirements for such an endeavor (or so, I initially thought).
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