English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Support > support.Hardware

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 24 April 2019, 22:37   #1
Eriond
Happy Registered User
Eriond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 62
Post A314 Official thread

it's been a year in the making, but now we have finally released it to the public. The A314 co-processor memory expansion with accompanying software.

The A314 connects to the Amiga 500's trapdoor expansion connector and provides your machine with up to 1 MB of extra memory (depending on your hardware revision, Agnus chip version and the usual limitations). But wait, there's more: You will also get a battery backed-up real time clock!
Yeah... right. You may think to yourself that you already got that, and it's called the A501. Obviously we didn't spend a year to produce yet another A501 clone. We did something more.

The A314 will replace your current memory expansion, and to that extent it will do so by emulating a normal DRAM bus. The same goes for the RTC, it is also emulated. But why bother emulating chips that are readily available? Because we wanted to allow transparent DMA at full bus speed without wait states. If you have that, you could for instance connect an accelerator module, or using Amiga terminology - a co-processor.

We figured that if we could allow for a SBC (Single Board Computer) to transfer data to and from the Amiga, it could handle and off-load all sorts of common tasks that are overwhelming for the old m68k processor. A typical such SBC is the Raspberry Pi, which is the device we have chosen to build our support software for. You could choose a different SBC with a compatible GPIO header, like the TinkerBoard or the ODroid with Shifter shield, but then you'll have to adapt the support software/drivers yourself.

Bundled with the A314 is a software and driver suite, that will allow for seamless interaction from within the Amiga OS. It is written to be compatible with Kickstart 1.2, in order to include as many A500 owners as possible. The support software is built around a communication driver that allows for multiple concurrent data-streams. To this date we have created the following using that driver model:

PiDisk - A remote file system that resides on the RPi, and can be further shared from that platform using for instance SMB.
Pi - A CLI tool for executing remote commands on the RPi, delivering the results back to the Amiga, or just opening a remote Bash shell.
Videoplayer - A demo for showing off FMV (Full Motion Video) capabilities.
RemoteWB - A web-based remote desktop host, that allows you to connect to your Amiga's workbench from wherever in the world, with nearly zero performance penalty on the Amiga side.

The last two applications are creative ways of showing what you can do if you have access to the Amigas chip memory. That is the truly unique feature of our device; it allows you to directly read and write to the same memory area that the customs chips use, and do it at their speed of operation, but from a completely asynchronous platform.

We sure hope this has sparked some interest, and maybe some ideas that you would like to realize using this device. For this purpose we have given the complete project to the public domain under a CC0 license. We are currently busy writing documentation in the form of support manuals that will become available little by little
We also acknowledge that building circuit boards with fine-pitched SMD components isn't for everyone, so we decided to give away a very small number of boards to those of you that are skilled in Amiga programming, and could act as both beta testers and willing to be ambassdeours for this project.
PM me if you are interested, and tell me about your ideas.

Last edited by Eriond; 24 April 2019 at 23:19. Reason: Spelling, capitalization
Eriond is offline  
Old 24 April 2019, 22:54   #2
alpine9000
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 726
Cool project!
alpine9000 is offline  
Old 24 April 2019, 23:25   #3
gulliver
BoingBagged

 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The South of nowhere
Age: 41
Posts: 1,990
Absolutely fantastic!

Do you plan a ZorroII implementation so that we can use other Amiga models (A4000, A3000, A2000, and even A1200+busboards)?

Afterall, the A500 trapdoor expansion has nearly everything to implement a ZorroII slot.
gulliver is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 00:10   #4
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
I don’t think there is full access to chipram from zorro bus?
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 09:53   #5
Niklas
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Stockholm / Sweden
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
I don’t think there is full access to chipram from zorro bus?
That's right; that's one of the unique features of A314 that the RPi can read and write directly into the Amiga's chip memory (well, the chip memory that sits on the A314).

Of course there are many features that could be implemented without access to chip mem, so a Zorro version could still be interesting. The feature I find most useful is that the AmigaDOS command line is extended with the commands from the RPi bash, so for example I can do "pi wget http://aminet.net/<file>" to download a file to the shared file system, and then go ahead and unpack and run those files.
Niklas is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 10:07   #6
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niklas View Post
Of course there are many features that could be implemented without access to chip mem, so a Zorro version could still be interesting.
Indeed.

Quote:
The feature I find most useful is that the AmigaDOS command line is extended with the commands from the RPi bash, so for example I can do "pi wget http://aminet.net/<file>" to download a file to the shared file system, and then go ahead and unpack and run those files.
Right. I do this too, using rsh, and my command is RPi, but pretty much the same.
(and my script accepts a TO/K so you can for example do 'RPi TO RAM:test "curl -sL http://aminet.net/<file>"', maybe a feature for you to implement in "pi" as well)

Some time ago I put some of my scripts on gitlab, feel free to use for inspiration, or criticise or whatever

https://gitlab.com/kowoba/amiga-scripts

PS: and if you look at the "Aminet" script, you notice how I use a zsh-function on the pi to generate amigaguide from aminet INDEX/RECENT files, for example...
https://gitlab.com/kowoba/amiga-scri...ter/Aminet#L49..
Code:
Execute S:RPi TO T:AMINET_RECENT.guide "${_RCURL} ${AMINET}/RECENT | zsh -l -c aminet2guide"
(I just checked my s:shell-startup, I have more than 20 aliases that uses the RPi script, to access git, ssh, curl, slack, kubectl, vagrant etc directly from Amiga shell, so super useful.
Another thing I was playing with last summer, was an arexx module for DOpus Magellan that via the RPi script, runs ansible and kubectl on the pi to create and control remote vhost instances and kubernetes clusters from DOpus Magellan... crazy fun )

Last edited by kolla; 25 April 2019 at 10:33.
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 10:12   #7
hooverphonique
ex. demoscener "Bigmama"
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Fyn / Denmark
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
Afterall, the A500 trapdoor expansion has nearly everything to implement a ZorroII slot.

I think you're mixing things up - the expansion connector on the left side is close to being a zorro slot, but the A314 is for the trapdoor, which is nothing like a zorro slot
hooverphonique is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 12:27   #8
Niklas
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Stockholm / Sweden
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
Right. I do this too, using rsh, and my command is RPi, but pretty much the same.
I'm not quite clear on how your setup works, but perhaps one difference (?) is that on A314 there is also a shared file system, so I can do the following from a CLI:

Code:
1.PiDisk:> pi pwd
/home/pi/a314share
1.PiDisk:> makedir test
1.PiDisk:> cd test
1.PiDisk:test> pi pwd
/home/pi/a314share/test
1.PiDisk:test> pi vc ../helloworld.c -o hello
1.PiDisk:test> hello
Hello World!
So the Linux command is invoked in the RPi directory corresponding to the PiDisk-directory that you are standing in. This is also seen in this screenshot (that also shows the workbench being remoted to a web browser): https://github.com/niklasekstrom/a31...b-compiler.png. Perhaps this is also handled by your script?

Another thing that the pi command does is that if you are running an interactive program (for example midnight commander, using "pi mc") and then you resize the CLI window, then the pty terminal size on the RPi is also updated so that the drawing is adjusted to fit the new size (as seen in these two images: https://imagebin.ca/v/4eu4h8ip28fw https://imagebin.ca/v/4eu4r8A8hZtZ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
Another thing I was playing with last summer, was an arexx module for DOpus Magellan that via the RPi script, runs ansible and kubectl on the pi to create and control remote vhost instances and kubernetes clusters from DOpus Magellan... crazy fun )
Indeed, lots of fun to be had
Niklas is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 12:39   #9
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niklas View Post
I'm not quite clear on how your setup works, but perhaps one difference (?) is that on A314 there is also a shared file system
I also have shared filesystem(s) (the pi is sharing various over NFS, amiga using ch_nfs to mount them), but that is not related to the RPi script. I suppose your shared filesystem does not depend on a TCP stack or anything, but is pretty much instantly available using a custom "scsi.device" or file system handler?

Quote:
so I can do the following from a CLI:

Code:
1.PiDisk:> pi pwd
/home/pi/a314share
1.PiDisk:> makedir test
1.PiDisk:> cd test
1.PiDisk:test> pi pwd
/home/pi/a314share/test
1.PiDisk:test> pi vc ../helloworld.c -o hello
1.PiDisk:test> hello
Hello World!
So the Linux command is invoked in the RPi directory corresponding to the PiDisk-directory that you are standing in. This is also seen in this screenshot (that also shows the workbench being remoted to a web browser): https://github.com/niklasekstrom/a31...b-compiler.png. Perhaps this is also handled by your script?
Not from my script, but since I mount my home directory on the pi, /home/kolla as "kolla:" on the Amiga, all you show above I do too

Quote:
Another thing that the pi command does is that if you are running an interactive program (for example midnight commander, using "pi mc") and then you resize the CLI window, then the pty terminal size on the RPi is also updated so that the drawing is adjusted to fit the new size (as seen in these two images: https://imagebin.ca/v/4eu4h8ip28fw https://imagebin.ca/v/4eu4r8A8hZtZ).
Very cool - this is much more interesting - and this is with the Amiga not even using a TCP-stack?

The rsh command I use is limited to firing off a command and print out the result - it is not interactive, and certainly does not deal with terminal emulation etc. For this I currently log in to the pi using telnet, though since Amiga console variant of "ANSI" is rather limited, I prefer using more compliant options, like AmTelnet, or Term via telser.device.
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 12:42   #10
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
It would be awesome if the a314 could provide a "uae style" bsdsocket.device for the real Amiga, rendering any TCP stack on the Amiga redundant, hehe.
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 12:56   #11
Niklas
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Stockholm / Sweden
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
I suppose your shared filesystem does not depend on a TCP stack or anything, but is pretty much instantly available using a custom "scsi.device" or file system handler?
Correct, it's a file system handler, L:a314fs, source is available here: https://github.com/niklasekstrom/a31...oftware/a314fs

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
Not from my script, but since I mount my home directory on the pi, /home/kolla as "kolla:" on the Amiga, all you show above I do too
I guess then you are used to these niceties

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
Very cool - this is much more interesting - and this is with the Amiga not even using a TCP-stack?
Yes.
Niklas is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 12:59   #12
Niklas
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Stockholm / Sweden
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
It would be awesome if the a314 could provide a "uae style" bsdsocket.device for the real Amiga, rendering any TCP stack on the Amiga redundant, hehe.
That is indeed mentioned here: https://github.com/niklasekstrom/a31...-in-the-future
Niklas is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 13:39   #13
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
I should have read the github page more thoroughly (but I am "busy at work, heh")

Impressive, the concept of the pi "owning" the chipram opens a world of opportunities, like you demonstrate with the videoplayer - maybe the videoplayer already does this.. an Amiga program that opens an intuition "pi screen" (or more?), to which the pi can write whatever it wants (and maybe take input too, when screen is "active"?). I am imagining lamiga-n to flip between Amiga programs and among them, "pi" screens, maybe even draggable...
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 13:43   #14
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
Btw - I suppose there's nothing preventing similar hardware for the A600 trapdoor?
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 14:04   #15
Heywood
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Brisbane/Australia
Posts: 21
Looks quite interesting - I was curious about the A600 aspects as well, if there's concern about real estate I guess a Pi ZeroW would work and be software compatible.

There are quite a few possibilities this could open up such as an arexx/restapi IPC bridge (not sure what kind of problem that might actually solve but the concept sounds interesting)
Heywood is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 14:22   #16
Niklas
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Stockholm / Sweden
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
Impressive, the concept of the pi "owning" the chipram opens a world of opportunities, like you demonstrate with the videoplayer - maybe the videoplayer already does this.. an Amiga program that opens an intuition "pi screen" (or more?), to which the pi can write whatever it wants (and maybe take input too, when screen is "active"?). I am imagining lamiga-n to flip between Amiga programs and among them, "pi" screens, maybe even draggable...
Yes this is how the video player works. It uses normal Amiga screens, so they are draggable and can move to front/back, and have multiple open at the same time, as seen in this screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/DvJ9eZ6. The menu bars used for dragging the screens are there but not rendered, due to the SCREENQUIET flag in the NewScreen structure: https://github.com/niklasekstrom/a31...oplayer.c#L362.

If you come to think of some other cool application of this (that the RPi can read and write directly to chip mem) then please do let us know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
Btw - I suppose there's nothing preventing similar hardware for the A600 trapdoor?
We haven't really discussed the possibility of A314 for A600, but if the signals on the expansion port are the same, and a RPi fits inside the A600, then I suppose it should be doable.
Niklas is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 14:30   #17
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heywood View Post
There are quite a few possibilities this could open up such as an arexx/restapi IPC bridge (not sure what kind of problem that might actually solve but the concept sounds interesting)
Yes, it does, it could open all kinds of possibilities for integration, using the Amiga as front-end/user-interface for RaspberryPi, and easily give the Amiga access to "modern life" services. For example, the shared filesystem, that is directly usable from the Amiga, can also (wholly or partly) be synchronised to cloud storage, git repos etc. An AREXX port could give the Amiga a peek into the systemd/dbus/whatever message/notification system of the Linux running on the Pi, which then could trigger things to happen on the Amiga. I do some dirty tricks for such things to happen, using named pipe files ("sockets") on shared filesystems, but with proper implementation, this could be done a lot cleaner
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 14:41   #18
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niklas View Post
Yes this is how the video player works. It uses normal Amiga screens, so they are draggable and can move to front/back, and have multiple open at the same time, as seen in this screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/DvJ9eZ6. The menu bars used for dragging the screens are there but not rendered, due to the SCREENQUIET flag in the NewScreen structure: https://github.com/niklasekstrom/a31...oplayer.c#L362.
Woohoo! Awesome!

Quote:
If you come to think of some other cool application of this (that the RPi can read and write directly to chip mem) then please do let us know!
The obvious answer would be ... an xorg server driver, hehe

Quote:
We haven't really discussed the possibility of A314 for A600, but if the signals on the expansion port are the same, and a RPi fits inside the A600, then I suppose it should be doable.
I believe they are pretty much the same, yes, and as mentioned ... Pi ZeroW is very tiny

Last edited by kolla; 25 April 2019 at 14:48.
kolla is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 16:48   #19
Eriond
Happy Registered User
Eriond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 62
Although I haven't discussed an A600 version with Niklas, I have ordered a reasonable amount of 80-pin 1.27mm pitch card edge connectors...
But for once in my life, I'd like to try and see how it feels to complete one project before starting up the next one!
Eriond is offline  
Old 25 April 2019, 16:57   #20
kolla
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriond View Post
But for once in my life, I'd like to try and see how it feels to complete one project before starting up the next one!

Fully understandable

(And I, for once in my life, will soon have space for a permanent A500 setup, just bought a new bigger apartment today!)
kolla is offline  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 4 (0 members and 4 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are these not official 68060 libraries? Foebane support.WinUAE 8 23 January 2016 22:00
It's OFFICIAL jmmijo OT - Gaming 12 03 August 2015 05:25
Official Scandoubler fondpondforever Retrogaming General Discussion 17 02 February 2015 12:23
PeterK's IconLib Official Thread Foul support.Apps 194 29 July 2011 09:47
The Official "Newly Aquired Games" thread StarEye project.SPS (was CAPS) 42 24 February 2006 01:33

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:39.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.09664 seconds with 15 queries