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Old 12 October 2018, 13:00   #101
project23
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On the subject of the CS540, do we have a full list of specs anywhere? In English or easily translated Polish? I'm genuinely curious and I don't think i've seen one in this thread.

This is a genuine request. I have not once said i oppose the card or have a problem with it - it looks pretty feature rich to say the least!

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Originally Posted by Jope View Post
I look away for one evening and come back to this. Please from now on only discuss the progress of the CS540 accelerator and start a new thread on another subforum to discuss any related subject.

If this is impossible, my remaining options are to delete anything that is not a progress update, request for information or congratulation post or just lock this thread.
I wholeheartedly agree. And if I have any more questions about regulations or whatnot i'll take it to another thread or Daedelus himself via PM. But as de-railed as this thread has become, it seemed a pretty civil conversation on all sides until that very last page.

If my questions and tangents on regulation and conformity and the law and the like have offended or inconvenienced people in some way, then apologies. It was the wrong thread for that kind of discussion, but I suppose I was using the lack of any real detail in the OP as a justification.

Kind regards to all, and remember - use in any way of a 30 year old computer can be nothing but a hobby, and we're here to have fun, and learn!

John
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Old 12 October 2018, 13:06   #102
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Nice! It must not have fast ram on it as it’s running slow? Can’t wait to see more info on it. A 68040 finally! I’m sure it’ll run hot in the tight case. Hope it won’t have overheating issues like the 3000.
Perhaps its just a beta of the firmware with the fastram disabled.

Bringing the CPU up first and making sure everything with that is okay seems like a reasonable way forward to me. Ya know?

John
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Old 12 October 2018, 15:45   #103
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Originally Posted by project23 View Post
On the subject of the CS540, do we have a full list of specs anywhere? In English or easily translated Polish? I'm genuinely curious and I don't think i've seen one in this thread.
The full specs are not available, as the cards (both 030 and 040) are WIP and the design changes quite often.
The basic idea behind the card was:
"Za?o?enia projektu:
- MC68030 CPU
- MC68882 FPU
- SDRAM orDDR FastRAM with quick access for MC68030
- FPGA (Spartan6) controller
- CF & 40 pin IDE onboard

New chipset based on the ARM ST32H7 (400MHz) microcontroller, with the access to fast ramu and full Amiga address space.

- music card based on NAU8822AYG chip - Amiga audio out going thru card's corrector. External speaker out, MP3 decoder, AHI port implementation
- USB
- UEXT port ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEXT )
- WIFI (ESP 32 WROOM)
- microSD
- stereo 12bit sampler
- hardware MPG decoder
- HDMI out - most probably Picasso"


As I say - that's the basic idea that was stated in July, since then the card design changed a bit - now it's one PCB instead of a sandwich, and some more changes were announced, but I'm at work and can't really dig thru that thread to chatch and translate everything.


030 version is considered a testbed for 040, which in turn is said to be a small step from 060 - and 060 will most probably be targetted at A1200, and not A500 anymore
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Old 12 October 2018, 16:00   #104
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Interesting - that UEXT port is interesting, never heard of it before.

Unless i'm mistaken, the trip from 040 to 060 is indeed short, but the 030 is i think vastly different from the 040?

Still, getting everything working with an 030 first is, i've heard (Stephen et al), a very good decision - and in fact is what's been going on all along, with his aim too being an 060 eventually.

It's the Picasso stuff that interests me the most. The audio stuff I dont quite understand - I guess we're talking a separate audio device from the onboard amiga one, a bit like the MAS player?

Hardware MPG decoder is a great idea - paving the way not just for movie playing but (perhaps?) piping web based things through it too maybe?

Overall it sounds pretty great, but if i had to guess i'd venture they've only just moved from 030 to 040 based on that video posted yesterday. There is no FPU/MMU enabled for example and no fastram. Still, if thats all started only in July that's pretty impressive stuff!

Thanks,

John
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Old 12 October 2018, 16:16   #105
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It's the Picasso stuff that interests me the most. The audio stuff I dont quite understand - I guess we're talking a separate audio device from the onboard amiga one, a bit like the MAS player?
Sort of. Audio decoding using a MAS player, Prisma Megamix or another DSP like this one use a certain API to transfer the compressed audio to for decoding within the chip, the output of which is then mixed with other sources, something like mixing CD audio from a CD-ROM drive to provide soundtracks for some games. But AHI is different, that's an API intended for PCM audio, which is basically what Picasso96 is for video. It lets supporting software use the soundcard instead of the native Amiga output. While the Amiga's native output can be coaxed into reasonable performance using 14-bit modes and so doesn't seem as far behind as native graphics output, it still can't compete with a modern soundcard. For example, I've got a Soundblaster in my A1200 and that lets me play and record 16-bit audio at 48KHz, as well as mixing multiple sources. It sounds far better than the original Paula output and lets you use CD quality audio.
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Old 12 October 2018, 16:26   #106
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For example, I've got a Soundblaster in my A1200 and that lets me play and record 16-bit audio at 48KHz, as well as mixing multiple sources. It sounds far better than the original Paula output and lets you use CD quality audio.
Oh i can believe that - in my early 20's (like many students), I and my pals thought we'd start a band. Of course our main problem (like many students) was that we seemed to believe that all we needed to do was buy good equipment. The actual music would take care of itself.

Anyway long story short, even these days a lowly m-audio delta 44 sounds better to me than a lot of onboard soundcards in modern laptops. 24 bit audio at 96khz is night and day to 16/48, and i imagine the same is true compared with the amiga.

So we're essentially talking about a 'soundcard' of sorts just onboard the accelerator? Am i understanding that correctly? Apps can output to that instead of the native output? Games obviously wouldn't (shouldn't?) benefit of course, but we all know this would be for movies/music on the workbench desktop anyways.

Cool, thanks

John
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Old 12 October 2018, 20:31   #107
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CS540 accelerator

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Originally Posted by project23 View Post
Perhaps its just a beta of the firmware with the fastram disabled.



Bringing the CPU up first and making sure everything with that is okay seems like a reasonable way forward to me. Ya know?



John


Clearly at a beta stage and not done! I figured it must not have fast ram as that’s how these accelerators behave without the ram. One step at a time to ensure it works properly. Much success to them on the project!
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Old 15 October 2018, 09:31   #108
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CS540 accelerator

Getting back to specifics about this card. There is a lot of hardware on there. I can’t see how this could be build for less than or nearly the same as a vampire.

I could be wrong but once you go north of vampire prices your less likely to sell anything. It would be an interesting experiment because I tend to keep things basic and simple to stay below vampire prices.

I guess there will always be people who would buy both though.

Last edited by plasmab; 15 October 2018 at 10:04.
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Old 15 October 2018, 10:06   #109
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Originally Posted by project23 View Post
So we're essentially talking about a 'soundcard' of sorts just onboard the accelerator? Am i understanding that correctly? Apps can output to that instead of the native output? Games obviously wouldn't (shouldn't?) benefit of course, but we all know this would be for movies/music on the workbench desktop anyways.
Yep, that's it. Native games won't benefit, though that are a few of the "newer" games from towards the end of the Amiga's commercial life that can and do use AHI - mostly ports from the PC and games that are also RTG-compatible. Music playing will of course benefit, but there is also something to be said for packages like HD-Rec and Digibooster for music creation that might still be of use to people and use AHI to harness the extra sample rates and resolution of sound cards.
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Old 15 October 2018, 12:22   #110
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Originally Posted by plasmab View Post
Getting back to specifics about this card. There is a lot of hardware on there. I can’t see how this could be build for less than or nearly the same as a vampire.

I could be wrong but once you go north of vampire prices your less likely to sell anything. It would be an interesting experiment because I tend to keep things basic and simple to stay below vampire prices.

I guess there will always be people who would buy both though.
I have a 'hunch' about this myself. A similar thing is happening in the Ham world. It used to be a bunch of rich guys buying rigs at a minimum of 3-400 GBP (for a 30 year old HF radio). A new high end radio costs around 4000 GBP (that's right 4 grand). You can see why the hobby is dominated by wealthy retired folk. Now a great guy in India (damn, forget his name - Ashhar Farhan!), is producing and selling semi-kit, mostly completed, full HF SSB/morse rigs for like 40-80GBP depending. The difference, allowing for this, is both his awesome design but also the cheap availability of direct digital synthesis chips like the si5351 and ad93whatsit... it makes expensive last generation DDS/PLL chips (read 'boards') obsolete.

The whole thing is opening up the ham world to the low budget youth for the first time since maybe the 70's.

It's happening here with the Amiga, too. Products are appearing (whether open or closed doesn't matter) within a certain price range. The price range would have been unheard of only a few years ago, but board manufacturing prices, and cheap availability of parts suddenly makes it possible at the low budget end. (Where it should be!). Even the Vampire, which okay is a little more expensive, is still dirt cheap in terms of what you get - likely, i'm sure, to reductions in cost and availability of suitable FPGA's etc. I mean they even increased the original price because people were essentially ticket touting them on eBay!

Seems to all be part of this current 'builder'/'maker'/'tinkerer'/'hardware hacker' revolution that seems to be happening. I've said it before - it reminds me of how opensource software seemed really radical in the mid to late 90's, and now we have things like GIMP and Linux for free. Not making a comment on open/closed here, just a similar kind of low cost revolution 'because we can'.

EDIT: So yeah, anything more expensive than the Vamp, I see selling very very little numbers.

Ya know?

John

Last edited by project23; 15 October 2018 at 12:30.
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Old 15 October 2018, 12:23   #111
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Yep, that's it. Native games won't benefit, though that are a few of the "newer" games from towards the end of the Amiga's commercial life that can and do use AHI - mostly ports from the PC and games that are also RTG-compatible. Music playing will of course benefit, but there is also something to be said for packages like HD-Rec and Digibooster for music creation that might still be of use to people and use AHI to harness the extra sample rates and resolution of sound cards.
Cheers dude, I think I understand now. I wondered why in AROS the sound settings were all in AHI.

I guess its like RTG but for sound. Seems to be what you're saying. Wonder if a clockport would be fast enough for decent quality digital audio. I'm just thinking out loud here.
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Old 15 October 2018, 12:47   #112
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Cheers dude, I think I understand now. I wondered why in AROS the sound settings were all in AHI.
Yep, same goes for OS4 and MorphOS too.

Quote:
Wonder if a clockport would be fast enough for decent quality digital audio. I'm just thinking out loud here.
It is indeed, there have been a few clockport-based 16-bit full duplex soundcards for the A1200 over the years, and they still fetch a pretty penny when they occasionally come up for sale. Some of them also include a DSP for hardware MP3 decoding. Prelude, Delfina and Melody are the main ones I remember.
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Old 15 October 2018, 13:43   #113
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It is indeed, there have been a few clockport-based 16-bit full duplex soundcards for the A1200 over the years, and they still fetch a pretty penny when they occasionally come up for sale. Some of them also include a DSP for hardware MP3 decoding. Prelude, Delfina and Melody are the main ones I remember.
Cool. Would make an interesting project. I really wanna get into hardware design. Honestly though I think as a first project a simple bit of Z2 fastram in the 500 socket would be the most realistic in terms of learning curve.

Anyway, obviously this isn't CS540 related (though it did start that way), so I shut up now
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Old 15 October 2018, 14:00   #114
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CS540 accelerator

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EDIT: So yeah, anything more expensive than the Vamp, I see selling very very little numbers.

Well the board size and component count dramatically changes the prices in my experience. The vampire is neat and tidy, compact and has a relatively small number of components... that makes it reasonably cheap to manufacture.

This card is rather big and has many chips on it. Including a through hole chip which means it needs wave and thermal oven processes to solder by machine. The vampire just has the 68K socket which is pretty easy... can be done manually in seconds. For example CF card slot is daft because that will always need soldered by hand (it will melt in an oven). It all adds up.

I’ve said many times, to people who indignantly demand to know why I don’t put FPGAs on my boards, that if I do that I may as well just buy a vampire.
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Old 15 October 2018, 14:20   #115
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I’ve said many times, to people who indignantly demand to know why I don’t put FPGAs on my boards, that if I do that I may as well just buy a vampire.
Completely agree. You're free to do with your own project as you see fit of course, but if you ask me there ought to be an 'original tech' option for the Amiga hobbyist. The original CPU's, or at least clones/fakes - built with the same kind of paradigm as 30 years ago. At the same time there should also be a sort of FPGA route, which is hardware based but packs whatever speed and features in as possible, retaining 100% compatibility.

Fast and feature rich using todays technology - or slower and fewer features with yesterdays technology.

For example I personally have been drawn in by your project and others into learning about the 68k architecture and the 16 bit Amiga chipset and bus etc. My motives for building your 530 are different to my motives for buying a vampire (if i could, lol). For me its an electronics/programming(? at some point) hobby. For others its a nostalia/retro gaming hobby. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course, but in terms of hardware it may well wind up being so.

Know what i mean?
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