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Old 13 May 2014, 05:53   #13
matthey
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
I never said it would be easy, just that it was a great opportunity for the retro community. Let's face it, real Amiga 060 accelerators aren't getting any younger and are also on the expensive side even if you do manage to find one.
The Amiga computers aren't getting any younger or cheaper either. At some point we will need whole new replacement boards. It's kool to show off a '90s computer with a fast accelerator but it would be good to get rid of the bottlenecks at some point. Also, modern I/O like USB, ethernet, DVI and/or SATA would be convenient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
You'd be surprised at the FPGA skills that exist either in the community or at least are lurking around the edges. It looks like this Phoenix core is already basically 'working' so it might not take too much work to complete it.
I know there are some fpga experts lurking around this forum even. There are community members capable of creating whole emulated computer hardware in an fpga which is very impressive. Very few have an in depth understanding of modern processor design. There are a few people like Tobi Flex (TG68) and maybe Yaqube (or was it Mike who added the cache to the TG68) who could contribute but they would probably be learning more than they were contributing at first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
My dream would be for AmigaKit to sell FPGA accelerators with a warranty for A1200/A2000/A3000/A4000 at less than $200. These accelerators would all share the same basic design to reduce costs and would have a decent amount of FASTRAM (say 512 MB). The FPGA core would be constantly improved (speed/compatibly/enhancements) either open source or not.
You probably wouldn't get a full featured accelerator for $200 (unless that is AU dollars which are worth more than U.S. monopoly money). I pushed for more memory on the next accelerator but each chip over 64MB needs another memory chip which increases complexity, board size and cost a little per chip. My starting request was for 256MB but I just hope I get my comprise of 128MB. The next accelerator won't be for big box Amigas or ever the 1200 where it probably makes sense to add more memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
It would be really cool to have a new boot menu and choose if you wanted to start up with a 7Mhz 68000, Blizzard 1230 Mrk4 or 100Mhz Apollo 060....how freaky would that be
Selectable slots for cores and 1MB MAPROM kickstarts would be awesome but we will have to see what is practical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
I was thinking, how practical would it be to have an IDE/SATA controller on an FPGA based accelerator card (using a patched scsi.device) and then disabling the on-board IDE. I was thinking about the performance benefit of offloading the HD controller to a separate small FPGA CPU instance, not sure how practical or complicated that would be to achieve.
The next target Amigas for the accelerator will probably not have any IDE to disable. SATA requires high speed transceivers in the fpga which adds significantly to the cost. More likely is a single CF slot in place of IDE but supporting better (lower CPU use) transfer modes than the Amiga 1200 or 600 IDE. The fpga may be able to handle some of the work in parallel to the fpga CPU without creating another CPU instance. There will likely not be a helper CPU (controller) for I/O like the fpga Arcade ARM processor and the original CPU probably needs to be disabled when the fpga CPU is used. I am not a hardware guru and I don't know what Majsta will come up with so I'm only letting you know what I expect.
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