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Old 06 August 2010, 19:47   #101
desiv
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I wonder also what affect the FPGA would have..
Not understanding the tech, I seem to remember that the 7Mhz 68000 softcore in the FPGA Arcade significantly outscored a Standard Amiga 1200 on some benchmarks.

So, how would a 50Mhz (40/30?) FPGA perform / compare?
(Or was much of that performance increase because of the ungodly amount of CHIPRAM they gave the FPGA Amiga?)

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Old 06 August 2010, 20:37   #102
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I was checking the licensed soft cores for Spartan 6 when estimating the clock speed where MicroBlaze was tested around 120MHz.
The 120MHz is a quote from the Xilinx website? The cynic in me wonders how many weeks of tweaking the timing constraints it took to get that? I'd be surprised if there was anything else in the FPGA not that it matters. I wonder which device it was? The $30 part? From what I remember the Microblaze is a much more simple RISC CPU compared to 68060, particularly the CISC addressing vs RISC? (Although reading the specification of v7.30 I do wonder!) I wonder what speeds you get with the Microblaze + FPU (not at all a good comparison for 060 but Xilinx don't quote speeds for the two on their site).

I guess we need to gather practical numbers rather than pure guesswork by both of us. Someone needs to target something of comparable size and complexity at those $30 devices with minimal timing constraints and see what target speeds and LUT usage we can get.

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So how about 50Mhz then? It would still make an interesting product.
Whilst I stand by my suggestion that an MC68060RC50 running at high speeds would out perform what you could program into today's affordable FPGAs (based on my experience with them) I have to be scientific and say the following things are true :

We have no real idea of the true performance of the real 060, so no idea what the target performance of the FPGA core should be.
We have no real idea on the true complexity of the real 060 and hence the size of the FPGA required.
We have no real idea of the prices of FPGA's small enough but fast enough for it to fit.
We have no real idea (but we can guess) what else we need in the FPGA at the same time as the CPU other at least an SDRAM. for it to be a saleable product.

Without answers to those questions you cannot really start a project.

If the NatAmi people really do have the code for a more complex 68000 CPU than TG68 (I know they say they have) then now is the time to ask them for some timing reports for synthesis & routing aimed at these $30 devices using the free tools.

Come up with some international benchmarking tools which we could use to judge the speed of the real 060 and any FPGA equivalent (would specint & specfp do? Are they good enough to test Super Scalar operation, branch prediction, caching etc. etc.)

If you made something which was more expensive and performed worse than a 50MHz 060 then I think you would not have a saleable product. I think this is what happened to the Dragon Coldfire CPU board from Elbox. When running in 680x0 compatibility mode the performance was terrible. Hence no release.

The NatAmi people are thinking long term I believe, the price/performance of the technology will come to them just in time for them to be finished

Last edited by alexh; 06 August 2010 at 20:51.
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Old 06 August 2010, 21:22   #103
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Originally Posted by alexh View Post
The 120MHz is a quote from the Xilinx website? The cynic in me wonders how many weeks of tweaking the timing constraints it took to get that? I'd be surprised if there was anything else in the FPGA not that it matters. I wonder which device it was? The $30 part? From what I remember the Microblaze is a much more simple RISC CPU compared to 68060, particularly the CISC addressing vs RISC? (Although reading the specification of v7.30 I do wonder!) I wonder what speeds you get with the Microblaze + FPU (not at all a good comparison for 060 but Xilinx don't quote speeds for the two on their site).
I got the info here (both Spartan-6 and Virtex-6 listed):
http://www.xilinx.com/tools/microblaze.htm

Then I just picked one which seemed to have enough logic cells (gates) to fit 68060 based on this table.

BTW: I'm using the SP605 board for my current projects.
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Old 06 August 2010, 21:39   #104
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Then I just picked one which seemed to have enough logic cells (gates) to fit 68060 based on this table.
Interested to know how you came to that? How did you guesstimate how many gates are required for a synthesisable 68060 is considering the code doesn't exist yet? Or the gates in a real 68060 for that matter? You know those are not real gates and never map 1:1 to ASIC gates. Are you using the "25,000 LE's" number passed around of the as yet "imaginary" 68050 passed around the NatAmi website?

I did consider there are other things (other than clock rate) which can affect the performance of the CPU which an FPGA will be good at. For example much much bigger I & D caches, fewer clock cycles per instruction etc. so a lower target frequency might not result in a much slower processor. But there are also things in the 060 which will be difficult to implement 1:1 because of their complexity.

I guess this is just going to have to be a suck-it-and-see exercise where someone will have to code up something agree it is comparable technology and run it through the tools.

If the NatAmi team really do have any code for this 050 are they making it open source development?

Last edited by alexh; 06 August 2010 at 23:48.
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Old 06 August 2010, 22:13   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Interested to know how you came to that? How did you guestimate how many gates are required for a synthesisable 68060 is considering the code doesn't exist yet? Or the gates in a real 68060 for that matter? You know those are not real gates and never map 1:1 to ASIC gates. Are you using the "25,000 LE's" number passed around of the as yet "imaginary" 68050 passed around the NatAmi website?
My guesstimate = TG68 requirement x 4

Quote:
I did consider there are other things (other than clock rate) which can affect the performance of the CPU which an FPGA will be good at. For example much much bigger I & D caches, fewer clock cycles per instruction etc. so a lower target frequency might not result in a much slower processor. But there are also things in the 060 which will be difficult to implement 1:1 because of their complexity.
I agree, clock speed doesn't really mean much without more info. For example, if you can do an instruction that takes four clock cycles on a real 68060 and optimize it down to two or maybe one cycle in the FPGA. I think there's a lot to gain in optimization regarding memory handling (with the memory controller primitive for Spartan 6 in mind).

Quote:
I guess this is just going to have to be a suck-it-and-see exercise where someone will have to code up something agree it is comparable technology and run it through the tools.

If the NatAmi team really do have any code for this 050 are they making it open source development?
I haven't been following NatAmi project much, just know it's been going on for a long time.
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Old 08 August 2010, 22:59   #106
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Since the connector itself seems to be the main impediment here, what about designing a series of expansions with different capabilities, using the same board, but simply leaving off some of the logic/parts?

For example, the entry level expansion might only have the RAM sockets and a clock battery on board, while a more expensive model would have an FPU slot, and the top-end model would have a full accelerator. ₤200+ is way out of my range for a accelerator card, though I'd be interested in a RAM+FPU solution.

Are there other Amiga retailers that might consider cooperating to get a run of the appropriate edge-connector made for a decent price?
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Old 08 August 2010, 23:48   #107
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r) A special pcb fixed inside the Amiga (like those you find on birthday cards) so that whenever you open the trapdoor it plays this sound...

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 09 August 2010, 00:38   #108
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68060 accelerator with modern DIMM slot please. I'd pay for that.
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Old 09 August 2010, 08:33   #109
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How many of the trapdoor lines are on the extended clockport connector? Enough to make a Fast RAM expansion work?

Yes, I know they aren't soldered in, but it's fairly trivial to fix that...
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Old 09 August 2010, 08:57   #110
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I think the next 1200 HW project that I'd like to see from AmigaKit is the FPGAArcade

Seriously though, a new 060 or even 030 card would be v-nice but it seems like it wouldn't be worth the investment (after talking to those in the know). It's probably the same deal for a softcore based card, and the 020 softcore is not quite ready yet anyway.
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Old 09 August 2010, 12:22   #111
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Wonder if author of Atari CT60 would be willing to help us with some ideas.
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Old 09 August 2010, 12:45   #112
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Rodolphe might consider a contract for his 060 SDRAM interface but I doubt he's got an Amiga.
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Old 09 August 2010, 12:50   #113
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Its been said but a new 060 card with SDRam support would be superb and I echo the sentiments of selling without a chip.

Also a cheap 8mb A1200 Ram expansion, auto config to 5.5mb if you're using the PCMCIA. Target price 30-35?

Keep up the good work Amigakit
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Old 09 August 2010, 14:45   #114
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When I mentioned using older designs I simply meant for ease and speed of build. There are a few that would still be useful, like an external flicker fixer/scan doubler since Indivision is in short supply these days. Plus you have a bigger market than just the 1200.

Anyway, additional ideas;

Pico Power supply adapter (Internal or external)

Internal speakers and amp kit (made one of these myself with two mono amps from the pound shop!)

loving the idea of the new cases and/or keys for those people doing paint jobs

how about a little graphic equaliser?
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Old 09 August 2010, 17:33   #115
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Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
what about designing a series of expansions with different capabilities, using the same board, but simply leaving off some of the logic/parts?
An accelerator would use a multi-layer board where a RAM card would use a two layer board. It would significantly push up the price of the RAM card.
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Old 09 August 2010, 23:26   #116
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A cheap accelerator card.....something fast enough to play Doom and clones in full screen mode around 15-20fps.

Or more interestingly how about a dual Paula adaptor, in the same sort of fashion as Atari has dual Pokey and C64/128 has dual SID boards. That would be awesome, 8 channel Amiga sound system.
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Old 10 August 2010, 00:49   #117
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Oooooo Paula Plug-on Upgrade!!! that would be awesome!!

perhaps a super Paula 16bit and 16+ channels =D

wasn't there a design of a super 16bit paula?
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Old 10 August 2010, 02:20   #118
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1) A600 Accelerator, just enough to get the WHDLoad working

2) HD Prep service - we send you the blank HD, you prep it for us so that we can setup WB, Im thinking SFS, that PFS thingy, comprehensive instructions on large HD support

3) Your in house HD prep software.

4) Expanded repair services. Can you guys do repairs on all Amiga models?
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Old 10 August 2010, 03:15   #119
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It seems quite a few folk want a new Amiga case why not build your own out of wood like I did (well MDF to be exact) cost less than a tenner and a couple of days work.

A1200 Blizzard060/PPC603 60Mhz/240Mhz / 256Mb RAM / 2 x 500GB HDs / 2 x DVD Burners / FASTATA MKIII / Cocolino Wireless Mouse / Custom built Amplifier


Last edited by Franko; 10 August 2010 at 03:24. Reason: added some info
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Old 10 August 2010, 04:04   #120
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It seems quite a few folk want a new Amiga case why not build your own out of wood like I did (well MDF to be exact) cost less than a tenner and a couple of days work.
Wow! Nice...

Why don't I?

Because I can't draw a straight line with "line mode" in DPaint!!! :-(

I measure twice, get two different numbers.. Then I keep measuring until the same number comes up twice. It will eventually happen.
Then I draw my line..
Totally miss my points based on my numbers..
Try to erase it, but end up just smudging the pencil on the wood.
Finally redraw the line to match the points.

Start to cut.. Realize that I can't cut any straighter than I can draw lines.. :-(

Finally get it cut and it's almost straight.. ish.. kind of...

Force it together with lots of glue and caulk and whatever else..

Add spacers to stop it from wobbling....

Look at it in admiration of a job finally finished..

...

Then I throw it away and buy something premade..

But that's just me..

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