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Old 12 July 2017, 21:00   #1
Akira
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Ultimate 64 announced!!

Gideon from 1541U fame, has just revealed his new project: the Ultimate 64!

It's a full FPGA hardware implementation of the C64 plus the inclusion of the 1541 Ultimate II hardware/software on board!



Source:
http://1541ultimate.net/content/inde...&id=74&catid=9

Summed up features at this moment:
- "Pretty good" compatibility achieved so far
- Uses standard 12V PSU (included)
- Compatibility with legacy C64 peripherals (it's a motherboard replacement) except USER PORT ones (without modification, can add a cable to pin headers available at board)
- HDMI output at 576p50Hz (PAL), no frame buffer so it is silky smooth. Scanlines effect
- Standard PAL (supports Composite and Y/C) and HDMI output simultaneously
- Support for 6581/8580 SIDs plus emulated one (from 1541U I suppose), all available as well on the HDMI output
- Full cartridge support

Estimated price so far: €199



VERY excited about this one!!

Last edited by Akira; 12 July 2017 at 22:46.
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Old 12 July 2017, 21:03   #2
thgill
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Looks awesome.

Gonna be all over this as soon as it is released.
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Old 12 July 2017, 21:59   #3
Retro-Nerd
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This is the correct way, just like the ZX Spectrum Next. And now please the Amiga too.
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Old 12 July 2017, 22:06   #4
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That looks amazing! Thanks for sharing
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Old 12 July 2017, 22:06   #5
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No question it will be bought ! And yes, we want such a thing also for the Amiga !
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Old 12 July 2017, 22:39   #6
Neil79
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Old 12 July 2017, 22:45   #7
Akira
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
This is the correct way, just like the ZX Spectrum Next. And now please the Amiga too.
Hells yeah, this is the type of Amiga FPGA I'd definitely like to buy!

Also Gideon is super reliable and follows through with goals, PLUS he hears the community a lot and tends to let stuff like the UII firmware be OPEN SOURCE so the community can modify and add features. The way in which the Ultimate 1541 has advanced in the past year and a half is huge thanks to having a couple of collaborators forking the FW and adding functionality. I expect the same for this.
He has the experience developing FPGA for a long while, the production connections in China to make the board, and a streamlined process everyone is already used to. All great points to consider besides the hardware itself.
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Old 12 July 2017, 22:48   #8
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no rgb?
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Old 12 July 2017, 22:57   #9
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no rgb?
The original 64 only had composite and s-video, but Gideon mentioned rgb is a possibility.
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Old 12 July 2017, 22:58   #10
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Wow, that's pretty cool. Yeah, something like this for Amiga would be awesome. And so far this looks to be PAL only? I guess an NTSC version may come later. I never did own a C64, always wanted one but didn't feel like collecting old hardware for another computer. Perhaps when this is ready... Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12 July 2017, 23:07   #11
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Fantastic news!! I really look forward to Ultimate64!!
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Old 12 July 2017, 23:16   #12
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Gideon's new project?

*breathing intensifies*
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Old 12 July 2017, 23:31   #13
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Impressive stuff, definitely on my purchase list
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Old 13 July 2017, 05:17   #14
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I think it's great, I bought a U1541-II a few batches before he released the plus model, and I'm still glad I have it.
both of my C64s are NTSC, so I'll probably buy this to put in my fried breadbin and have a long-lasting PAL machine
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Old 13 July 2017, 12:11   #15
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Why would one choose this over a C64 Reloaded?
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Old 13 July 2017, 13:31   #16
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Quote:
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Why would one choose this over a C64 Reloaded?
This one has a proper HDMI output so can be used with modern monitors and TVs without A/D conversion circuits hurting the quality and introducing latency. That would be the major selling point for me. That he will even make it possible to use an original SID and send its audio output through HDMI is a very nice choice. Although the SID emulation in the U2+ sounds quite decent, having the option to use a genuine SID is just perfect, as long as the A/D conversion can be achieved without adding too much noise.
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Old 13 July 2017, 14:15   #17
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Looks great, I must sign-up for one.
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Old 13 July 2017, 14:48   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demolition View Post
This one has a proper HDMI output so can be used with modern monitors and TVs without A/D conversion circuits hurting the quality and introducing latency. That would be the major selling point for me. That he will even make it possible to use an original SID and send its audio output through HDMI is a very nice choice. Although the SID emulation in the U2+ sounds quite decent, having the option to use a genuine SID is just perfect, as long as the A/D conversion can be achieved without adding too much noise.
Plus, you can't buy C64 Reloaded anymore, it needs several original chips, and does not have 1541 Ultimate built in. A pity I don't have space for more retrocomputers...
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Old 13 July 2017, 15:10   #19
Akira
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
Why would one choose this over a C64 Reloaded?
Not only the above mentioned reasons (having 1541U-II built in is a huge bonus, and you don't need to scavenge chips to make it run), but there's room for improving on the platform in the future too (CPU upgrade), especially if, like the 1541U-II firmware, the code for this motherboard is open to the public for modification.

Jens Schoenfeld did mention in some podcast, apparently, that he was working on a new version of the Reloaded based off FPGA, so perhaps there's another announcement soon to make things even more exciting.

Personally, I have a lot of loyalty for Gideon for his continued, excellent work for the C64. He is reliable, he listens to his users, and he pushes out high quality products that he keeps a close eye on for software and hardware patches and revisions. So I will definitely buy one of these.
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Old 13 July 2017, 15:20   #20
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If he goes with the bigger FPGA, then it might even be possible that a future firmware could have space for SuperCPU support.
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