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Old 08 March 2020, 02:28   #21
AmigaHope
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If by "modern" you mean truly up to date, I wouldn't include any of the Amiga-style custom chips. There's simply no use for them. The stuff that they were good for has been completely subsumed by the programmable vector processors we call GPUs. They cover the concept of the old Amiga copper and amplify it by a zillion. There is no longer any need for dedicated 2D hardware sprites, playfields, etc. because custom GPU hardware can do it all fast through simple code.

Custom chips I *would* include -- an AI-specific ASIC, this is where the future is going. I would also include a big FPGA (and appropriate support in the OS to handle the low rate of context switching that would be needed to multitask with it -- this is new ground). Bits of the fabric would have to be allocatable in some way, etc. and how to share it between processes.

I admit the FPGA is a bit of a stretch, but there are cases where it's a win (complex non-parallel function that takes many cycles on a general purpose processor that can be rendered into a single-cycle operation in an FPGA).
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Old 09 March 2020, 15:03   #22
005AGIMA
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I'd try and pull of a "Spectrum Next" only better.

They've done a GREAT job at preserving original compatibility, while also adding "upgrades".

So my Amiga would on the one hand be hardware compatible with the originals, while also being a kick arse gaming machine with it's own WB based OS for productivity.

impossible? Probably lol.
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Old 10 March 2020, 12:40   #23
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Originally Posted by rcman View Post
Hi All,

I know with advanced processing power like the vampire and Amiga emulation working well I had a thought. If you could design a modern Amiga that had custom chips and enough power what would it be?

As an example I know I would design a motherboard that had custom chips as the Amiga has now. They would be a lot more powerful than what’s being used now.

Graphics, sound and blitter chips with serious advancement in their capabilities.
But maybe I’m going about this all wrong, I’m not a very good programmer or engineer. With the 8-bit guy designing his new dream 8-bit system. What would be your ultimate Amiga System?

Thanks
RC
the question is why

there are tons of good and cheap hardware based on AMD64 or ARM

Take the OS and port it to a new platform. But then you must answer the question why should someone use it when there are already lots of options and you need a lot of money to develop all the drivers (what is the biggest problem for any obscure non-standard OS). And even if there was the chance to buy dedicated hardware with preinstalled AROS but nobody was interested. Why? Because the "name" was missing? I doubt that there is a real need for any "NG" option out there... Amiga is retro. Better to have a rising retro market with new software and hardware than a stagnating or shrinking NG market.
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Old 01 April 2020, 01:20   #24
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Honestly, if I was in charge of building a new Amiga it would be a phone with a Micro HDMI connector. Modern Qualcomm chipset, decent OpenGL support and something roughly approximating a modern phone environment with a clean, modern look than when plugged into a monitor and connected to with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard lets you use it as a modern computer. Port a decent browser and make apps run in both modes and you're away.
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Old 12 April 2020, 21:47   #25
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If I had the cash, I'd build new original Amigas with new original custom chips, new original CPUs, and up to date connectivity (USB, SATA, HDMI, etc).
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Old 13 April 2020, 16:51   #26
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Of course you have a chance, what else are you going to do during quarantine? With FPGAs, SoCs, general purpose and custom PCBs, designing your own custom hardware is more practical than before. In the end you'll be unlikely to surpass a 10-year-old PC in terms of raw performance, but IMO we're past the point where hardware even matters all that much. The biggest barrier now to everyone having exactly what they want is software, namely the armies of developers out there furiously trying to break compatibility and reinvent the wheel at every opportunity in order to herd you into their particular product or platform.

Making some custom chip in HDL is orders of magnitude simpler than making a darn web browser.
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Old 14 April 2020, 00:07   #27
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We need to roll back the clock and get a QNX style real time micro kernel, on a processor built from scratch to ensure that process isolation is enforced all the way down and even further, if there's a virtualisation layer to consider. Designing a system for modern needs is probably impossible, but I'd take a performance hit to make things safer.
Yes, my fantasy plan as well. ;-)
QNX kernel would be a good start.
CPU could be a 68080 derivative or maybe "inspired by"... but obviously multicore and running at high but not crazy high speeds. Keeping the thermals down and power efficiency up. System would always keep one core for itself, no other external process could ever slow down the OS to a crawl. There would be separate dedicated hardware for moving data. Copying/Moving files would take negligible power from main CPU.
Graphics would be some off the shelf RTX chip, again, powerful, but not running at crazy speeds. Easy cooling, reliability go before peaking at some benchmarks.

The whole system (OS and apps) would be anti-bloatware from start to finish. Only necessary shit would be running in the background, nothing like Windows..
It would be easy to use, yet powerful. It would always be responsive and predictable. When you're doing shit on it you'd know exactly how long its going to take.

It would be a god damn joy to use :-)
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Old 14 April 2020, 00:49   #28
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My dream machine would be Amiga 4000 made CHEAP, say, 300 EUR or so, and with available Zorry cards with PowerPC or ARM CPUs. And the Apollo 080 CPU instead of 060.
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Old 14 April 2020, 02:54   #29
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I would buy up all Amiga rights, open source everything and create x86 version of Amiga OS 3.X, invest in the OS and bring Amd/Nvidia support.

Everything has converged on x86 and the 2 main GPU players from PCs to consoles to cloud infrastructure. Its pointless to have non standard HW.
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Old 14 April 2020, 07:33   #30
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Is there any reason why nearly no one will consider a modern PowerPC core? the 68K emulation layer would run in the Cache, it is Big Endian like 68K and is available in Quad Cores and 64 Bit.

Even the PS3, Xbox One and Nintendo WII had used it.

I bet it is fast enough to run games at native speeds even at 68K emulation. Just need to add big arcade style support chips GPU, SPU, some 3D and it would be awesome.
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Old 15 April 2020, 12:09   #31
eXeler0
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Is there any reason why nearly no one will consider a modern PowerPC core? the 68K emulation layer would run in the Cache, it is Big Endian like 68K and is available in Quad Cores and 64 Bit.

Even the PS3, Xbox One and Nintendo WII had used it.

I bet it is fast enough to run games at native speeds even at 68K emulation. Just need to add big arcade style support chips GPU, SPU, some 3D and it would be awesome.

PowerPC as we saw it on the Amiga scene is long gone from the mainstream and what survived /evolved is found mostly in IBM systems running "IBM i" or OS400 or whatever they call it these days.. And some embedded products/markets..
What CPU exactly did you have in mind as a good candidate? Or do you by "modern" mean PowerPC CPUs from 2006 or thereabout?
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Old 15 April 2020, 12:59   #32
Valken
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PowerPC as we saw it on the Amiga scene is long gone from the mainstream and what survived /evolved is found mostly in IBM systems running "IBM i" or OS400 or whatever they call it these days.. And some embedded products/markets..
What CPU exactly did you have in mind as a good candidate? Or do you by "modern" mean PowerPC CPUs from 2006 or thereabout?
Yes POST PS3... At minimum I would look at the console HW = PS3 and Xbox 360 since both of them are PowerPC CPU based, has 512 Meg of RAM and would be a good HW base to put together a modern Amiga. If we want to go cheap, maybe port AmigaOS to Nintendo WII or WII U.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._game_consoles

The new company I am working in also use modern Freescale Power CPUs as well as x86 so when I found out, I was like surprised. Full USB 3.0, PCIE buss interfaces, etc... just need to add GPU and SPU with a fat SSD to get it going. It was nowhere near as expensive as those other PowerPC based Amigas.

I am guessing a real HW 3GHZ Power CPU with 68K cpu ported to fit into cache might be similar in speed or faster to a 4GHZ plus x86 emulating WinUAE.
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Old 15 April 2020, 14:10   #33
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I'd love to see a RISC-V core with PPC and 68k emulation layers in hardware, and Exec rebuilt on top of an L4 kernel variant.

Other than that, rather than design a whole new Amiga hardware, I'd just like to see an inexpensive open architecture so that systems are no longer 3x the cost of a regular PC.
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Old 15 April 2020, 17:03   #34
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The main problem I see with threads like these is mainly what would be achieve by reinventing the Amiga that you can't already do on Win/OSX/Linux?

The original Amiga brought many unique tech and software that weren't available on other contemporary platforms. But in today's world post homogenesiation of the computer world I don't see being different as a plus value. Same with the softwares, it would only dilute the dev pool even more.

Most of my joy, amiga related joy of course, is using, hacking, modding the original tech and coding on the bare metal. I see no gain, for me, in buying a new computer running an OS that is badly supported to use software ported from Linux or 68k when I already have access to both of those.

And lastly, there's the cost. Have you seen the sticker price on "new" Amiga hardware? I just bought a new Lenovo Rizen 5 laptop with 16Gig of ram and 256Gig SSD for $325US. This is about the same price than a fully equipped Checkmate A1500 case. Not to mention what the X5000 goes for, and that's old tech.
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Old 15 April 2020, 21:58   #35
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Everyone in the list so far seems to want to turn any new Amiga into a PC, but we already have those.

I'd go for the proposed AA+ upgrade that would never have happened https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_AA%2B_Chipset

Maybe a few nice extras like:
- 28Mhz bus,
- 28Mhz 68EC030
- 4MB chip ram - but on a dimm/simm so could upgrade to 8-32MB
- 0.5MB fast ram - again on a dimm/simm
- a full 32-bit blitter, with some of the abilities from the Lynx with scaling/skewing/etc
- more sprites? 64 perhaps?
- upgrade the audio, AA+ was supposed ot support 16-bit, but I'd want more channels too, 16?

Then there's the things to make it usable in this day and age, like a built-in flicker-fixer + scandoubler, HDMI output etc, built in mSata/SSD storage, large ROM sizes like 2/4MB, HD floopy drive and built-in FlashFloppy support.

A very Spectrum Next approach, but AmigaNext.

There's probably more there but the idea isn't to go crazy, maybe given when AA+ would have been released maybe even low-end 3D acceleration (PS1/N64 quality), but nothing... nothing too far.

I'd want a more capable Amiga, not another modern PC.
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Old 15 April 2020, 23:28   #36
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AJCopland: I don't. I just want one nice big Amiga machine that can do both 68k and PPC essentially natively depending on the selection I make at boot-up. I don't see anyone merging a Vampire V4 with an A1222+ into a single motherboard, though
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Old 16 April 2020, 06:21   #37
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I would take the Macintosh approach when they moved from 68K to PPC then to x86.

Apple made it so the newer CPU architecture did not alien the older software with an emulation layer. That was what made PPC popular besides being faster clock to clock against 486 at the time, maybe even on PAR with Pentium.

All old 68K software, fully compatible with new Finder or updated with patches
PPC cpu, near baremetal 68K emulator, can run both PPC and 68K code.
New modern bus, and ports for updated peripherals.
New hires screen modes, more audio channels and eventually 3D.

If we can EXTEND the Amiga through AmigaNext, with 99% software compatibility + near modern features, that may bring it back.

Hence I was looking at PS3/Xbox 360 for cheap HW + a port of AmigaOS or Aros or MorphOS to it as a base.
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Old 16 April 2020, 07:29   #38
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I'd still say that a Vampire with an ASIC instead of an FPGA would be the modern version of an Amiga.

It's really hard to see what would be left of Amiga tech after bringing it to modern standards.

On the Macintosh, for instance, there is literally NOTHING left of the original machine.
None of the hardware, and after Mac OS X happened there is AFAIK nothing left of the original OS as well, since OS X was Nextstep with a new Skin and an Emulation layer for MacOS apps.

I like that the have a 68K compatible solution now with the Apollo Core and Vamp cards, and a new Amiga OS up on the horizon.

I'd like to see that being put in a new Amiga like beige case with the original checkmark logo, maybe even a laptop case.

Other than that, please keep Amiga away from that modern stuff.
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Old 16 April 2020, 09:09   #39
meynaf
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I would take the Macintosh approach when they moved from 68K to PPC then to x86.
This has turned the Mac into a PC. Do you want to turn the Amiga into a PC ?
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Old 16 April 2020, 10:14   #40
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This has turned the Mac into a PC. Do you want to turn the Amiga into a PC ?
I meant for AmigaNext to go from 68K to PPC or related family CPU to maintain the current AmigaOS libary from 3.x to 4.x seamlessly.

Near bare metal speeds.

Apple did that.

Now we have 4 different platforms that claims to be Amiga:

OS 3.x 68K
OS 4.x PPC only
Aros 68K and x86. Unsure of PPC
MorphOS PPC only

Ideally it would be a Next Gen plaform that would run OS 3.x to 4.x to 5.x seamlessly. Just click on the files and run it.

Then allow Amiga developers to adapt NEW tech on top of it. Hence I said perhaps to target relatively new mass produced PPC machines such as PS3 or Xbox 360 because its cheap, plenty and available.
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