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Old 02 December 2020, 17:11   #1
kipper2k
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New Buster chip a3000/a4000

i seen this on facebook posted by Dave Haynie...

Dave Haynie

As announced not long ago, I'm starting work on a new buster chip for the A3000/A4000 for Jens Schoenfeld. I've been interesting in seeing this done for awhile now.
This is a new design in modern technology using a small FPGA. The old CSG gate arrays didn't really allow this to be done correctly in 1989-1990. While I'm still a bit tied down by the plug-in compatibility requirement, this is a chance to finally "do it right", which will also have the interesting effect of making it more understandable than the gate-level designs I did way back when. But I am a bit concerned about full compatibility.
Old Buster schematics would be handy. I don't currently have all of the versions of Fat Buster in schematic form, and that might be useful, though not critical. But if anyone out there has a schematic set or knowledge of any online, I'd appreciate a scan or link. Thanks!
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Old 02 December 2020, 17:33   #2
Mick
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This woman has some schematics but Buster is probably a long shot.

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 02 December 2020, 19:10   #3
trixster
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Be interesting to know if he can increase the zorro III speed
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Old 02 December 2020, 21:05   #4
hooverphonique
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Plugin compatibility sounds neigh on impossible.. An FPGA in a PLCC-84 package with internal boot rom/flash, 5V compatibility, power pins in the right places, etc..
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Old 02 December 2020, 22:39   #5
torsti76
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Plugin compatibility sounds neigh on impossible.. An FPGA in a PLCC-84 package with internal boot rom/flash, 5V compatibility, power pins in the right places, etc..
Well, it could be on an adapter PCB.
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Old 03 December 2020, 09:49   #6
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Jens said in the Amiwest(?) interview that it will be on an adapter PCB.
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Old 03 December 2020, 16:33   #7
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The big question for me is whether it can clip over a surface-mounted Buster (like an A600 accelerator) or whether it needs to plug into a socket (like an A500/A2000 MegAChip). Fingers crossed for the former—the machine I want to use it with has a surface-mount chip.

Neat stuff all the same
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Old 03 December 2020, 17:22   #8
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It will have a PLCC plug on the carrier board, so you will need to have a socketed buster in order to install this.
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Old 03 December 2020, 18:08   #9
Matt_H
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It will have a PLCC plug on the carrier board, so you will need to have a socketed buster in order to install this.
Darn. Is that 100% confirmed definite? Guess I'd better get ready for my board going out for surgery... . Oh well.
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Old 03 December 2020, 18:28   #10
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So exactly what would be the benefit of this chip?
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Old 03 December 2020, 20:50   #11
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Speed improvements plus fixing bugs, I would assume. One of the better known ones is that there can be only a single DMA Zorro III card on the bus at one time. E.g., a 4091/4000T onboard SCSI and a Deneb (in DMA mode) can’t coexist currently. I certainly hope that’s slated to be fixed!
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Old 03 December 2020, 20:54   #12
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So exactly what would be the benefit of this chip?
Faster Zorro 3 I guess. Unfortunately Buster (I think) is a surface mount chip with lots of pins.
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Old 03 December 2020, 20:58   #13
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Not all boards surface mounted buster A3000 are socketed, and later A4000 boards are socketed but early A4000 boards it is surface mounted. I'll confirm the revisions when i get home from work.
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Old 03 December 2020, 23:13   #14
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Faster Zorro 3 I guess. Unfortunately Buster (I think) is a surface mount chip with lots of pins.
84 to be exact. ;-)
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Old 11 January 2021, 23:27   #15
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My rev D is definitely socketed from new.
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Old 22 January 2021, 06:34   #16
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This would be incredibly nice to have. A3000/A4000 Z3 is criminally slow vs. its maximum theoretical performance. It's over 10X slower than theoretical maximum. Even a 3X-5X improvement would be a huge win.
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Old 01 February 2021, 06:55   #17
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Originally Posted by johnnybarker View Post
My rev D is definitely socketed from new.
Mine too, with a Buster 9.

Reading iComp.de forum, it is announced for the second half of 2021.... in the meantime I'll have all my Buster(s) mounted on sockets.
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Old 23 February 2021, 08:58   #18
thebajaguy
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Wouldn't mind Z2 compatibility to improve. Some recent research indicates z2 (slave) performance runs in the mid-2MB/sec range, and not the ~3.4MB/sec of a classic motherboard.

All the same, improved Z3 characteristics and performance always welcome.
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Old 23 February 2021, 09:07   #19
alexh
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My A4000CR (RevD) has a soldered Buster -11

I do hope they talk to Michael Boehmer of E3B. He knows more about Buster chips and Z3 compatibility than anyone
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Old 26 March 2021, 00:33   #20
gdonner
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Originally Posted by Jope View Post
It will have a PLCC plug on the carrier board, so you will need to have a socketed buster in order to install this.
Pure speculation on my part, but I would imagine it's technically possible to create a "snap on" version that sits on top of soldered Busters. I believe CS-Lab's scandoubler/flicker-fixer card(s) for their Warp boards use this method, and they'll definitely be available as a standalone device (or with a Warp board).

Whether it would be financially feasible might be the other question, but it would be welcome to Amiga users with soldered Busters.

I consider myself fortunate that both my A3000 and A4000's Busters are socketed. No question I'll be buying the new Buster for both.

Quote:
Reading iComp.de forum, it is announced for the second half of 2021.... in the meantime I'll have all my Buster(s) mounted on sockets.
I'm sure there are other Amiga hardware techs out there, but I can heartily recommend Anthony Hoffman in New Zealand--he does excellent work.

Last edited by gdonner; 26 March 2021 at 00:50.
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