English Amiga Board Amiga Lore


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Amiga scene

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 29 May 2017, 21:53   #21
touyats
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Trieste
Posts: 11
Don't know why, but the Acutiator design by Dave Haynie included the very same piece of hardware, even if al the regular chipsets had all a blitter (I think it's called the transfer processor or something like that). Possibly the blitter in Hombre could only access the VRAM (read chip ram), while the System Copier can also access external "System DRAM" (read fast ram)?
touyats is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
Old 29 May 2017, 22:07   #22
grond
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 365
Quote:
Originally Posted by touyats View Post
Possibly the blitter in Hombre could only access the VRAM (read chip ram), while the System Copier can also access external "System DRAM" (read fast ram)?
My thoughts exactly. And perhaps it was really just to have two independent resources and queues in the system, one for mem copy stuff (messages, buffers, disk IO), one for exclusively graphics oriented stuff.
grond is offline  
Old 30 May 2017, 23:06   #23
Toffee
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 111
Hombre was designed to also be run on a PCI card. Do you think putting that chipset on a PCI card before the other PC 3d accelerators E.G Vodoo in late 1996 would have been a good path for Commodore ?

Would you have been bothered by a PC powered by Amiga graphics ?
Toffee is offline  
Old 30 May 2017, 23:19   #24
touyats
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Trieste
Posts: 11
It certainly would have disappointed the entire community at the time. I remember my reaction when I first read about Commodore thinking about Windows NT as an OS... thought it was a way of saying "we decided to quit Amiga".

Hombre does not have a data pipeline, just a blitter mode to do texture mapping. I believe 3d cards for PCs did hardware vertex transformation...?
touyats is offline  
Old 30 May 2017, 23:26   #25
Toffee
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 111
Vertex transformation wasn't added until Nvidia Geforce 256 which was around 2000.

As a graphics card you could use the onboard HP PA with its 55 MIPS for that where as Vodoo didn't have a CPU to assist.

"GeForce 256 was marketed as "the world's first 'GPU', or Graphics Processing Unit", a term Nvidia defined at the time as "a single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping, and rendering engines that is capable of processing a minimum of 10 million polygons per second."
Toffee is offline  
Old 31 May 2017, 02:05   #26
demoniac
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: -
Posts: 1,274
Thanks for the PDFs, Toffee. I only had time to read the first one, but it was quite interesting especially going with PA RISC.

Nvidia is always about marketing. They stole designs from SGI.
demoniac is offline  
Old 31 May 2017, 03:41   #27
AmigaBill
Registered User

AmigaBill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 60
Toffee, sorry I am late to the thread, but thanks a million for all the feedback on YouTube and getting these documents into the hands of passionate Amiga fans. It is a great achievement I will still pursue an interview with Dr. Hepler but Anthony and I will have to educate ourselves quite a bit because we are not hardcore hardware guys. Dr. Hepler is really brilliant. When I was in that room with him and many other Amiga engineers they all kind of put him on a pedestal which is saying alot because they are obviously incredible as well.
AmigaBill is offline  
Old 10 June 2017, 14:58   #28
babsimov
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: France
Posts: 26
Hi, i'm new to the board, i join specialy to download the files about Hombre.

But i don't find where to download it.

Can someone give me the link to the files ?

Thanx
babsimov is offline  
Old 10 June 2017, 15:35   #29
DamienD
Global Moderator

DamienD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: London / Sydney
Age: 40
Posts: 9,276
Heya babsimov,

Welcome to EAB

These files are still in The Zone! for download

... Hombre_Presentation_part_2.zip
... Hombre_Presentation_part_1.zip
... Hombre_part_5.pdf
... Hombre_part_4.zip
... Hombre_part_3.pdf
... Hombre_part_2.zip
... Hombre_part_1.pdf

To access The Zone! follow this: How do I get access to the zone?
DamienD is offline  
Old 10 June 2017, 18:23   #30
babsimov
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: France
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienD View Post
Heya babsimov,

Welcome to EAB

These files are still in The Zone! for download

... Hombre_Presentation_part_2.zip
... Hombre_Presentation_part_1.zip
... Hombre_part_5.pdf
... Hombre_part_4.zip
... Hombre_part_3.pdf
... Hombre_part_2.zip
... Hombre_part_1.pdf

To access The Zone! follow this: How do I get access to the zone?
Thanx, but i can't log in.

I send you a private mail to explain it better.
babsimov is offline  
Old 10 June 2017, 19:12   #31
DamienD
Global Moderator

DamienD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: London / Sydney
Age: 40
Posts: 9,276
Quote:
Originally Posted by babsimov View Post
Thanx, but i can't log in.
What, you don't need to login in order to access The Zone! (well, besides being logged into EAB already), only the EAB File Server?

Did you follow the instructions in this thread: How do I get access to the zone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by babsimov View Post
I send you a private mail to explain it better.
Haven't received a Private Message (PM) on EAB and just checked my e-mails. Nothing from you...

...but yeah, send me a PM and I'm happy to assist you
DamienD is offline  
Old 10 June 2017, 19:15   #32
babsimov
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: France
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienD View Post
What, you don't need to login in order to access The Zone! (well, besides being logged into EAB already), only the EAB File Server?

Did you follow the instructions in this thread: How do I get access to the zone?[/URL]


Haven't received a Private Message (PM) on EAB and just checked my e-mails. Nothing from you...

...but yeah, send me a PM and I'm happy to assist you
Sorry, i don't have correctly follow the instruction. I have missed a part.

Now i'm downloading the files. Thanx.

About the mail, i send it to you at the time i tell you. But it's pointless now.

Thanx again.
babsimov is offline  
Old 10 June 2017, 19:18   #33
DamienD
Global Moderator

DamienD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: London / Sydney
Age: 40
Posts: 9,276
Quote:
Originally Posted by babsimov View Post
About the mail, i send it to you at the time i tell you. But it's pointless now.
Via clicking on my username --> selecting the "Contact Info" tab --> "Send a message via email to DamienD". This should send an e-mail to my personal e-mail address, but I haven't received anything...

Anyway, as you say, pointless now. Glad you got what you were after
DamienD is offline  
Old 10 June 2017, 20:11   #34
babsimov
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: France
Posts: 26
@DamienD

Thanx for your help.

Well, now that i have read the documents, i have a question.

I'm not a technician (the documents are very interesting even for a non technician point of view).

So i would like to know how the Hombre chipset compared to the other 3D chipset existing at that time, especially to the Playstation.

Now about the Hombre Blitter and Copper, how they compare to the Amiga original Blitter/Copper, and to the AGA and AAA ones ?

Thanx

Last edited by babsimov; 10 June 2017 at 20:29.
babsimov is offline  
Old 19 June 2017, 02:12   #35
touyats
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Trieste
Posts: 11
Both the blitter and copper are indeed very similar to the old ones that we know. Some of the differences are below:

The copper has a real "jump" instruction that support a 1-level subroutine call, instead of triggering a jump writing to a register like in the classic chipset. Hombre's copper is line-syncronized, but not pixel synchronized (you can't wait for a specific horizontal position). I am not sure why, possibly it's due to the pipelined/asynchronous architecture (like AAA) with the pixel clock/"byteplane" fetching clocked differently and split from the rest (blitter/copper/etc), so one side of the system can't really tell at which point in the line the raster is at.

Hombre's blitter is similar to the original one, and probably the very same 32 bit blitter that AAA had. It can fill areas, draw lines, do gourad shading (that is, linearly interpolate color over a line), and texture mapping (it reads the source channel not by the carthesian axes but by u,v mapping).

As it was alfready said, there is no hardware coordinate transformation pipeline so all the 3D transformation steps would have be done by the built-in Risc PA processor. IIRC there is not even a hardware Z-buffer or support to blit with a Z buffer (am I remembering right?).

The playfield hardware has up to 4 "byteplanes" (8-bit values) fetched at the same time. These 4 byteplanes can be combined to give a 24 bit 8:8:8 RGB color playfield (3 byteplanes needed), a 16 bit 5:5:5 RGB color playfield (2 byteplanes needed) or a 8 bit CLUT color playfield (1 byteplane needed). Up to 4 playfield so defined can be layered on top of each other, staying within the limit of the total of 4 byteplanes fetched (for example: you can have one 24 bit playfield with a 8 bit CLUT overlay ).

All in all, Hombre seems like the new AAA functionalities (the new blitter, a new copper, the "hybrid" modes) with a RISC PA processor packaged together (whereas AAA was basically the new features on top a ECS compatible implementation of the old blitter, copper and playfield logic).

Would it have competed with the Playstation? Dunno.

Personally, I think it was a good design albeit still perhaps late. It's somewhat a "along-the-usual-lines" design too - at least if you compare it to AAA - and indeed I must say I find the Atari Jaguar's Tom & Jerry design more revolutionary.

Last edited by touyats; 19 June 2017 at 02:18.
touyats is offline  
Old 19 June 2017, 20:41   #36
babsimov
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: France
Posts: 26
Thanx touyats for your detailled answer.

So Hombre would have been nice if released in 1994/95, but not revolutionary.

About the AAA blitter, i think it don't have any 3D texture mapping or gouraud shadding.

As i understand it, Hombre is the first time Commodore work on 3D features ?
babsimov is offline  
Old 20 June 2017, 00:24   #37
Toffee
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by babsimov View Post
Thanx touyats for your detailled answer.

So Hombre would have been nice if released in 1994/95, but not revolutionary.

About the AAA blitter, i think it don't have any 3D texture mapping or gouraud shadding.

As i understand it, Hombre is the first time Commodore work on 3D features ?
Yeah AAA had no 3d features.

The built in CPU was twice as fast as PlayStation and was 64 bit vs 32 bit. Hombre had no T + L built in but high end systems could have another HP processor as the main CPU and use the on board chip for doing T + L.

There was no z buffer or texture filtering.

Hombre Blitter and Copper were 64 bit vs AAA 32 bit versions.

Hombre had 12 16 bit audio channels vs AAA 8.

Yeah 4 8 bit playfields all with scrolling and scaling or combined for 32 bit mode.

Hombre was only 2 chips including CPU so would have been much cheaper than AAA systems. They aimed for 2 chip system at sub $40 cost.

These systems would have been fast and cheap !!
Toffee is offline  
Old 20 June 2017, 00:24   #38
touyats
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Trieste
Posts: 11
I remember clearly Dave Haynie saying in one interview that the AAA Blitter could do texture mapping, aside from the usual minterm copying of pixels. Notably, Hombre's Blitter has them both too...
touyats is offline  
Old 20 June 2017, 00:34   #39
Toffee
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by touyats View Post
I remember clearly Dave Haynie saying in one interview that the AAA Blitter could do texture mapping, aside from the usual minterm copying of pixels. Notably, Hombre's Blitter has them both too...
Read the AAA specs from DevCon 93 written by Dave Haynie it deffo had no Texture Mapping support. I can upload if you want ?
Toffee is offline  
Old 20 June 2017, 09:20   #40
Amigajay
醉拳
Amigajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 1,433
Quote:
Originally Posted by babsimov View Post
So Hombre would have been nice if released in 1994/95, but not revolutionary.
Well in the 90s we were getting new gaming hardware every year, nothing was 'revolutionary' if you think about it like that.

I did read a while back the specs Commodore were speaking about put in the the Sega Saturn ballpark in term of polygons/sec, so not quite as fast as the Playstation.

And despite people saying the Playstation crushed all competition so this Hombre Amiga would have stood no chance anyway, i disagree, as a CD64 console then yeah it would put in direct competition and it would get crushed against it just as the 3D0 and Saturn did even with millions behind them.

But as a computer with its support i believe it could have got through, a lot of Amiga people jumped ship when they saw the A1200 wasn't the big leap we all hoped for, had Commodore waited as originally intended until 1994 and not rushed out the AA machines, the A500 was still selling well, they should have kept cost reducing that in a new shell.

Then in late 94 released a Hombre A4000 & A1200, the computer would be fast enough not to switch to Windows and fans had the 3D games they desired, heck even 16-bit console games were still selling better than Jaguar/3do etc systems until 95 when the Saturn and PSX hit the west, so the timing was far from being too late.
Amigajay is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
US-based copy of Hombre retro486 request.Apps 10 29 May 2017 18:47
Hombre Project - PC to Amiga ppill Amiga scene 129 24 October 2012 20:33
Which is your all-time favourite Amiga chipset? Paul_s Nostalgia & memories 15 28 August 2007 05:47
Hombre's site resource. ppill Amiga scene 0 26 February 2007 12:33
Hombre v0.4b in The Zone! ppill Amiga scene 3 25 February 2007 22:43

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:53.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Page generated in 0.22776 seconds with 12 queries