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Old 11 July 2006, 12:24   #1
Paul
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ColdFusion CF4000 prototype Arrives!

The prototype CF4000 that was to be shown at the AmiRevival has arrived!

This card is a CPU upgrade that lets the Amiga (3/4000d/T) use the V4 Coldfire made by Freescale. (Motorola)

The V4 Coldfire is available in speeds up to 220Mhz and has a build in SD-Ram controller supporting up to 512Mb of PC100 memory.

Here are some uploaded pictures:
The card will be assembled in the next two weeks and then the job of testing it begins.

This is the third ColdFusion prototype since the project was started way back in 2002, the last prototype was shown at the Benelux Amiga show.

More information can be found by joining the Yahoo group at groups.yahoo.com/group/amigacoldfire/

Source: Amiga.org
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Old 11 July 2006, 13:50   #2
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Damn ... Beat me to the punch.
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Old 11 July 2006, 14:29   #3
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so what, does it run without emulation 68k software?
if it does not what is it's use then?
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Old 11 July 2006, 15:52   #4
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iirc ..

It doesn't need emulation at all.

think of it as a 200mhz 060
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Old 11 July 2006, 15:56   #5
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how sure is that? I seem to remember it needed a "layer" of some sorts for 68k code...
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Old 11 July 2006, 16:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keropi
how sure is that? I seem to remember it needed a "layer" of some sorts for 68k code...
Short answer:
as standard it isnt compatiable enough to run a 68K os (Although a Coldfire OS would run on a 68K), the missing instructions need emulating in an oxypatcher like way, which is done in software.

All common instructions are present in the V4, its only the little used ones that are not, so the performance hit should be minimal.

Long bit of boring history as I see it:

Near the end of the 68K development a lot of people were still using the oroginal 68000 due to its price.
Motorola decided to set about making a cut down, cost reduced version of the 68000. To do this they removed a lot of the less comonly used 68K instructions, making a much simpler CPU which could be clocked higher.
Since the introduction of the Coldfire they have been improving the core with more and more advanced features (As production costs fell I guess) and with the V3 it was reaching the stage of a 68020 EC CPU. (There was an Amiga project that was to use two or more V3 Coldfires together to get a machine faster than the 68060... it didnt go to well although the site did say they had prototypes)

The V4 finally got to a stage where the speed is worth the hit caused by the missing instructions having to be emulated... hence my project. :-)

The coldfire (since the V2?) has had an instruction trap which is a hardware module designed to catch illegal instructions (like unsupported 68K ones) and pass them to a software program which converts them in to a string of coldfire instructions that do the same thing, passes it back to the CPU core where it gets on with executing the (now coldfire native) program.
This module means a good amount of 68K compatability can be gained. Freescale (Motorola) say that most programs "should" not need to be ported if that software/trap is used but that waits to be seen.
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Old 11 July 2006, 16:43   #7
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thankyou Oli_HD for taking the time to come over here, join up and explain that.

Now if I could just get you to join 3cag !!

hehe.

For all those that are unaware... Oli_HD is the designer/Project Manager of this coldfire project.
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Old 11 July 2006, 16:57   #8
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okay heres a question,

I have a Micronik 686 rev 6 zorro board that allows A3000 and A4000 processors to be connected (has an Cyberstorm MkII 060 +128mb ram at present)

could i use this cold fusion board instead?????

[edit]

could a Z4, PCI or Zorro implementation be done with this board?>
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Old 11 July 2006, 17:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetr0
okay heres a question,

I have a Micronik 686 rev 6 zorro board that allows A3000 and A4000 processors to be connected (has an Cyberstorm MkII 060 +128mb ram at present)

could i use this cold fusion board instead?????
Yep, you can use any card that connects to the fast slot that has CPU takeover... (to turn the 020 on the A1200's motherboard off, only the A3630 and other 030 A4000 cards didnt)

That said, this is just a prototype, not a production model. (far from it)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetr0
could a Z4, PCI or Zorro implementation be done with this board?>
Err, if that board has Z3 slots then yep.
The logic on the CPU card (of any fast slot CPU upgrade) turns the onboard CPU's bus in to a 030 CPU bus so the motherboard (or busboard in your case) see's each CPU as if it was an 030.
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Old 11 July 2006, 17:33   #10
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so, are there any plans to do a 1200 version?
or would it be plagued like the csppc > bppc because of 1200 limitations?
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Old 11 July 2006, 17:34   #11
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@ Oli_HD
Outstanding achievement!

Between your hard work & the potential of Dennis' Minimig things are looking up for anyone interested in the 'classic' Amiga.

All the best for the future.
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Old 11 July 2006, 17:40   #12
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yeah, this one looks more of use than the powerVixxen... I have read that the powerVixxen does not have a "disable" key because in reality it just kills the 1200 custom chips, and only allows it's applications to run... and the creator said that anyone wanting to run old apps should not need the powerVixxen... something like that... hell, if this CF card works for things like whdload, I am gonna get a 4000!
also, does it have some kind of bus onboard, like the csppc/bppc??? is one planned?
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Old 11 July 2006, 18:08   #13
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Is there any relationship with the Dragon ColdFire boards that Elbox is developing?
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Old 11 July 2006, 18:16   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie
Between your hard work & the potential of Dennis' Minimig things are looking up for anyone interested in the 'classic' Amiga.
Yep the Minimig does look very cool, very much the kind of project that interests me.
The coldfire card isnt designed to be the future of Amiga's, It is very much a thing for the 'classic' Amiga's, its the computer I love

Quote:
Originally Posted by keropi
also, does it have some kind of bus onboard, like the csppc/bppc??? is one planned?
That idea has been thrown back and forth over and over again, one design has expansion slots, the next doesnt... first one to work gets made. :-)
If there are now expansion slots on board there will be upgrades built into the card. (like onboard USB or somesuch)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrom
Is there any relationship with the Dragon ColdFire boards that Elbox is developing?
Nope, I said hi and wished them the best of luck when they announced the project and they said Hi and good luck back, thats all Ive had to do with Elbox.
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Old 11 July 2006, 18:31   #15
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that..... is a very good question jrom....

I have to admit its a little exciting to know there could be a 200Mhz 060 with optional 512MB ram available to buy one day....

Thats some fine work OLI HD

got another question,

we have looked on the processor as 95% compatable *with opticode trap & software translation*, I am assuming that the V4 coldfusion CPU has a closely related but also a specific opticode set, this being the case what of perhaps a specific V4 coldfusion comipiler thus perhaps promoting better speed / compatability throughout software.

It would be nice to see a compiler for Coldfusion 68k OS as well as for a ColdFusion OS

but again... OLI HD thats some awsome work....

*pondering the thought of multiple processors.....


[edit]

...did i just read the potential of ONBOARD USB!?!?!??!?!?
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Old 11 July 2006, 18:53   #16
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Oli_HD . May I take this opportunity to formally invite you to the next 3cag meeting.

July 23rd

My Place (Big Bash Headquarters)


Paul - Outcast/The_Editor

Last edited by Outcast; 12 July 2006 at 18:25.
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Old 11 July 2006, 20:30   #17
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very nice work oli... Will be very interesting seeing how this will perform ..

Best of luck!
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Old 12 July 2006, 00:38   #18
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heres a cheeky question,

how much do you think it will retail for?
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Old 12 July 2006, 07:52   #19
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welp, all we need is a gcc port and away we go...

but it can stand in line, I will have to get at least one A1 first...
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Old 12 July 2006, 23:29   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli_HD
The coldfire (since the V2?) has had an instruction trap which is a hardware module designed to catch illegal instructions (like unsupported 68K ones) and pass them to a software program which converts them in to a string of coldfire instructions that do the same thing, passes it back to the CPU core where it gets on with executing the (now coldfire native) program.
This module means a good amount of 68K compatability can be gained. Freescale (Motorola) say that most programs "should" not need to be ported if that software/trap is used but that waits to be seen.
Idle curiosity:
How does one utilise this with regard to the kickstart rom(s)?
I assume they aren't coldfire compatible and so need the above in place before the initial 'boot-code' is called...
How are you doing it?

No doubt there is an explanation elsewhere - can anyone post a link?
Thanks
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