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Old 02 February 2021, 01:13   #1
IanP
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New Buffee (ARM 68K Emulator) Accelerator In Development

Renee Cousins AKA Nonarkitten is developing a new open source accelerator with a 68000 DIP chip profile based on the Octavo OSD335x-SM ARM system on a chip running a new "PJIT" bare metal 68030 emulator. Blog posts
Hardware project
Pseudo JIT
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Old 02 February 2021, 01:40   #2
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Interesting stuff. I saw it earlier today on Amitopia

https://amitopia.com/new-buffee-amig...ing-1000-mips/

I'll be shocked and amazed if they can keep that performance and have a high level of compatibility.
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Old 02 February 2021, 01:47   #3
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this is a list of features posted today...

the basic control features we'll have in the EEPROM:
- set the CPU instruction set (68000 or 68030)
- enable/disable the FPU
- enable/disable extended 881 FPU opcodes
- enable/disable 68K MMU
- change base PLL from 275MHz to 1GHz
- change instruction rate from 1 to 1/256ths
- enable/disable L1 or L2 caches
- set the size and sets of the L3 cache
- tweak timing of the GPMC
- set the amount and location of SDRAM available
- enable/disable peripheral windows into the AM335x
- enable/disable execution of user ARM code

More TBD as required
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Old 02 February 2021, 02:14   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
I'll be shocked and amazed if they can keep that performance and have a high level of compatibility.
nonarkitten is confident that it'll work as promised. I have confidence in her abilities but I guess we'll wait and see.

For anyone that's wanting to keep up, the Discord is *very* active.
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Old 02 February 2021, 06:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Interesting stuff. I saw it earlier today on Amitopia

https://amitopia.com/new-buffee-amig...ing-1000-mips/

I'll be shocked and amazed if they can keep that performance and have a high level of compatibility.
Compatibility comes from giving the user the power to control the CPU. Need 7MHz? Get 7MHz. Don’t want caches? Turn caches off. Need Lightwave done now? Turn it all back on.

Last edited by nonarkitten; 02 February 2021 at 06:52. Reason: Typo
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Old 02 February 2021, 07:16   #6
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Originally Posted by nonarkitten View Post
Compatibility comes from giving the user the power to control the CPU. Need 7MHz? Get 7MHz. Don’t want caches? Turn caches off. Need Lightwave done now? Turn it all back on.
Super interesting project, Renee... Very interested in its outcomes.
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Old 02 February 2021, 09:41   #7
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can you make a A600 version of this? I would love to replace my V2
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Old 02 February 2021, 10:18   #8
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Compatibility comes from giving the user the power to control the CPU. Need 7MHz? Get 7MHz. Don’t want caches? Turn caches off. Need Lightwave done now? Turn it all back on.
The thing is you never know what you want. My experience with JIT in WinUAE is mixed in terms of compatibility even with software patched to run on faster CPUs.

I look forward to trying it.

Last edited by alexh; 02 February 2021 at 11:13.
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Old 02 February 2021, 17:46   #9
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Also very interested in this, especially because it'd be a drop in, baremetal solution. That Raspberry Pi thing someone had made, beats all purpose, by having to wait for a system to boot up, SSHing into it, etc...
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Old 02 February 2021, 18:18   #10
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Yep, totally agree with Akira. This is a more interesting project.
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Old 02 February 2021, 19:23   #11
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@Akira - well it is a system solution. It doesn't mean it has to be. It is that way because you can use system devices with their (already present) drivers and - eventually - "forward them" to AmigaOS one way or another. With custom solution and baremetal it's nearly impossible for a few enthusiast developers to get on-die peripherals working under AOS. Especially GPU or USB part - which indeed is Achilles' heel of many amiga related projects anyway. Even Warp limits usb functionality to mass storage and hid. Same with Vampire. And both accelerate only basic 2D with no 3D whatsoever (well, Vampire team might give some but I doubt it will make much of a difference, I find it hard to believe they'll squeeze enough room inside already existing v2 and v4 to hold any decent 3D accelerating engine). Besides - most 3D accelerated titles for amiga are ports from PC anyway.
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Old 02 February 2021, 19:55   #12
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These are awesome news! The more choices for kickass Amigas, the better!
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Old 02 February 2021, 21:32   #13
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Quote:
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Also very interested in this, especially because it'd be a drop in, baremetal solution. That Raspberry Pi thing someone had made, beats all purpose, by having to wait for a system to boot up, SSHing into it, etc...
This is still a FW based solution so you still have to wait for it to boot on power-on? I dunno how long but it will have to train DRAM which is a set length of time.

Ok so it will probably many times quicker than loading linux with PiSTorm.

PiSTorm already offers RTG and fast HDD with Wifi just around the corner (if not already implemented).
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Old 02 February 2021, 22:01   #14
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This is still a FW based solution so you still have to wait for it to boot on power-on
Yes it is... now how do you think - how fast can 1GHz Cortex A8 set up some registers and turn on PJIT? I'd say few ms perhaps. Well it is a big difference then when raspberry boots up several seconds, right? Right.
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Old 02 February 2021, 22:56   #15
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This is a winner for when stocks of 68000 CPUs inevitably start to run dry. With the added benefit of providing optional accelerator features.

I see it as it's own thing not to be compared with anything else.

I will be saving one of my A500s for a buffee
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Old 03 February 2021, 02:48   #16
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can you make a A600 version of this? I would love to replace my V2
There's already adaptors out there to fit a DIP64 in an A600. I have two different designs on my Github, Edu Arana (arananet) and Kipper2k have designed some which are yet to be released, and I did spot thay there is one available on PCBWay too
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Old 03 February 2021, 22:18   #17
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posted today

Last edited by kipper2k; 03 February 2021 at 22:26.
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Old 03 February 2021, 22:34   #18
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I would like to try that on my A2000! We also need something like that for Big Box Amigas, A3000/A4000. These 2 computers are ignored since forever.

Is the price in CAD or USD?
Price looks good.

Coming Soon.. Weeks or Months?

What will be the production scale, hand made, factory assembled?

Thanks
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Old 03 February 2021, 22:49   #19
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I would like to try that on my A2000! We also need something like that for Big Box Amigas, A3000/A4000. These 2 computers are ignored since forever.

Is the price in CAD or USD?
This would be USD. Unless our dollar improves significantly in the next couple of months, then CAD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiman99 View Post
Price looks good.

Coming Soon.. Weeks or Months?
We're hoping to have prototypes in the next month; beta boards in Spring and retail boards out sometime this Summer. This is dependant on a number of things, but this is our basic plan of record.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiman99 View Post
What will be the production scale, hand made, factory assembled?
We will be using bonafide contract manufacturers in Shenzhen and should be able to scale to any demand once we hit retail. Obviously, as we increase scale we'll pass on some of that savings onto the retailers so we can share in the profits and/or allow them to run sales or promotions. Since everything is open source, there's not much fear of being "cloned".
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Thanks
You're very welcome.
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Old 04 February 2021, 00:30   #20
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I am SO excited for this product, and for the team bringing it to reality. Pushing all the What Ifs and Could Yous aside, one solid moment of a sustained standing-O is first and foremost in order here.

I also very much want to thank you for aiming at the 68000 group of computers, too. Absolutely glorious time to be in the Amiga universe!

I have a little ICD AdSpeed that works in a very similar fashion to this in terms of installation and shape, I think. It gives me a nice little 14Mhz boost. The BUFFEE... well, is like comparing a toy Hot Wheels car to a spaceship!

Nonarkitten it sounds like there will be a "fallback" mode for that occasional time some old software timed itself off the CPU? I'm thinking something like... Ultima IV, to be very niche and specific. It was coded directly at 7mhz, so it's awful to play on accelerated Amigas. I. Can't. WAIT!

If it isn't compatible with a Rejuvenator and/or Parceiro, I'll still happily get one for my A2K and pull the GeForce out of there to give this a go.

GREAT WORK! So amazed and blown away by this exciting news.
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