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Gold2 Roadmappage  1 2 

Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 2618
24 Oct 2016 07:16


The next Apollo-CORE Release GOLD2 is planned for November.
 
Here is a quick overview of the features already working or planned for GOLD2.
 
Stronger Instruction FUSING.
Appollo fusing feature. Apollo can combine two 68k instructions into 1 instruction to speed up execution.
This features was improved. GOLD2 supports over 30 common instruction combinations more than GOLD1.
 
Perfect Loop / Branch Prediction.
GOLD2 supports 100% correct prediction of workloop branches including the last branch. Loops for example using DBF can be predicted including the loop exit without any misprediction.
Apollo 68080 is the only 68K CPU providing this feature.
This feature can gives especially for very short loops a performance of several times faster than Motorola 68060.
 
Performance Counters
GOLD2 provides 12 new Debug-Counters which allow detailed profiling of programs. The times to manually count clock cycles when coding are over. The CPU will now profile by itself and provide information about, sequential code problems, Data-Caches misses, memory transfer, branch prediction and more.
These performance counter will allow to port modern, state of the art profiling tools like OPROFILE/ PERF/ VTUNE.
 
Software programmable Cache prefetching.
Apollo supported already automatic memory stream detection and automatic prefetching. In addition to this GOLD2 now supports programmable prefetching. Performance of hard to predict memory access like for example texture mapper code can now be improved significantly.
 
Software programmable 100% correct Branch prediction.
Apollo already provided the best branch prediction of all 68K CPUs. But some data depending branches are just not predictable by CPU in general.
GOLD2 adds now a new feature which does allow programmers to write branches in such a way - that the branch is guaranteed to be 100% predicted! When used this can significantly improve the performance.
 
"Turtle"-Game compatibility features
Apollo provides about 200 times performance increase over original 68000 CPU. While Commodore always told programmers to write code which is NOT CPU speed depending, there are a few bad written games/demos which did some coding errors and will behave wrong like bad sound or bad Sprites on too fast CPUs.
GOLD2 allows to run in a Game compatibility mode with more old amiga cpu speed and extra chipset synchronization features to fix old programmer bugs. This compatibility made can be enabled in the EARLY-BOOT AMIGA OS menu (for floppy games), and its supported by tool type for WHDload games.
 
Memory-Performance Boost.
APOLLO always provides top notch memory performance.
While GOLD1 gave already faster memory performance than G3/G4 PowerPC AMIGA systems - we work in increasing this again. We improved the prefetchers and are developing a new even faster memory controller - we aim for a peak memory speed of 500MB/sec for the GOLD2 release.

Instruction Documentation / Full Assembler support.
Coming with GOLD2 will be a programmer manual fully explaining all new instructions. Also VASM will support all new Apollo instructions and will allow easy and convenient programming.
Many thanks to Frank for his VASM support.

Better Video playback with AMMX
AMMX instructions have been improved and instructions optimized for Video decoding have been added. We are optimizing RIVA video player. Both Audio and Video playback are significantly improved. GOLD2 will be bundled with a RIVA version making full use of AMMX instructions. Our goal for the GOLD2/RIVA bundle is to allow smooth (25 FPS) playback of video of 640x360 size.


Carlos Peris

Posts 10
24 Oct 2016 08:53


This list of features looks great, looking forward for it! I hope you can add the FPU support at some time.


Thierry Atheist

Posts 382
24 Oct 2016 10:23


SPEECHLESS

No, wait. This should be PATENTED!
Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Perfect Loop / Branch Prediction.
GOLD2 supports 100% correct prediction of workloop branches including the last branch. Loops for example using DBF can be predicted including the loop exit without any misprediction.
Apollo 68080 is the only 68K CPU providing this feature.
This feature can gives especially for very short loops a performance of several times faster than Motorola 68060.




Mo Retro

Posts 83
24 Oct 2016 10:41


Thanks Gunnar for lifting the tip of the veil on the Gold Core 2 ;-)
This looks very promising. :-D

I assume that Gold Core 2 also will patch Kickstart 3.1:
    - What will exactly be patched?
    - What version of scsi.device is in the Gold Core 2?
    - Are the patches comparable with BB2 from OS3.9?

All the best,


Martin Soerensen

Posts 75
24 Oct 2016 10:43


Lots of great information here. Significantly higher performance combined with the turtle mode for better compatibility with old games and demos. Sounds like we will get the best of both worlds. :)

Also with the improved documentation and developer tools, we should start to see more third parties optimizing their stuff for 68080.


Roman S.

Posts 80
24 Oct 2016 11:08


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

GOLD2 allows to run in a Game compatibility mode with more old amiga cpu speed and extra chipset synchronization features to fix old programmer bugs. This compatibility made can be enabled in the EARLY-BOOT AMIGA OS menu (for floppy games), and its supported by tool type for WHDload games.

Sounds like a great feature :) Some questions:

- Is there just one speed to select, or maybe more are available? I think both 'approx A500' and 'approx A1200' might be useful

- How is this implemented from a software side? By Vampire autoboot ROM, or by a patched Kickstart? Nowadays a lot of amigans (including me) is using community patches/updates for various Kickstart modules (either by LoadModule/LoadResident, or by building own ROM with Remus), it would be nice if the feature did not prevent us from using such patches



Thierry Atheist

Posts 382
24 Oct 2016 11:09


How "advanced" is this?

OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP SP1 or newer
Processor: 333 MHz or faster processor
Memory: 128 MB of system RAM
Graphics: 8MB video card
Hard Drive: 1.5 GB available hard disk space
Note on Windows 7: Driver version 270.51 or greater is required for Nvidia-based graphics cards. AMD graphics card owners may need to run in Windows XP SP2 compatibility mode.

If not the accelerator, the standalone should be able to run Dungeon Siege type games and that came out in 2002!!!

I really enjoyed that game.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 2618
24 Oct 2016 11:16


Roman S. wrote:

Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

  GOLD2 allows to run in a Game compatibility mode with more old amiga cpu speed and extra chipset synchronization features to fix old programmer bugs. This compatibility made can be enabled in the EARLY-BOOT AMIGA OS menu (for floppy games), and its supported by tool type for WHDload games.
 

  - How is this implemented from a software side?

Original AMIGA Kickstart has [] Disable Cache Button in early startup.
Apollo will then automatically go into compatibility mode.


Mo Retro

Posts 83
24 Oct 2016 12:55


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

 
Roman S. wrote:

   
Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

    GOLD2 allows to run in a Game compatibility mode with more old amiga cpu speed and extra chipset synchronization features to fix old programmer bugs. This compatibility made can be enabled in the EARLY-BOOT AMIGA OS menu (for floppy games), and its supported by tool type for WHDload games.
   

    - How is this implemented from a software side?
   

    Original AMIGA Kickstart has [] Disable Cache Button in early startup.
    Apollo will then automatically go into compatibility mode.
 

 
  Thanks for the clarification Gunnar.
  But I think you missed my questions above.
 
Mo Retro wrote:

  I assume that Gold Core 2 also will patch Kickstart 3.1:
      - What will exactly be patched?
      - What version of scsi.device is in the Gold Core 2?
      - Are the patches comparable with BB2 from OS3.9?
 

 
  Thanks in Advance for the information :-)
 


Peter Heginbotham

Posts 39
24 Oct 2016 13:24


It would be worth while adding to the Apollo wiki a table of the ROM modules,version and which Core they were added.




Martin Soerensen

Posts 75
24 Oct 2016 14:03


Roman S. wrote:
Nowadays a lot of amigans (including me) is using community patches/updates for various Kickstart modules (either by LoadModule/LoadResident, or by building own ROM with Remus), it would be nice if the feature did not prevent us from using such patches

I think that using a custom ROM would not work with the Vampire unless you build it using the patched Vampire library versions (are they available for download as separate modules?). You need to use a patched exec.library for example. Also how would you boot with the custom ROM? Unless the MPU can be used, there is no HW support for it and skick would require a relocation file before you can softkick.


Mo Retro

Posts 83
24 Oct 2016 14:20


Peter Heginbotham wrote:

  It would be worth while adding to the Apollo wiki a table of the ROM modules,version and which Core they were added.
 
 
 

  Exactly what I wanted to know also. :)

Martin Soerensen wrote:

Roman S. wrote:
Nowadays a lot of amigans (including me) is using community patches/updates for various Kickstart modules (either by LoadModule/LoadResident, or by building own ROM with Remus), it would be nice if the feature did not prevent us from using such patches

I think that using a custom ROM would not work with the Vampire unless you build it using the patched Vampire library versions (are they available for download as separate modules?). You need to use a patched exec.library for example. Also how would you boot with the custom ROM? Unless the MPU can be used, there is no HW support for it and skick would require a relocation file before you can softkick.
 

I also wanted to know this. :)

All the best,




Niclas A
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 104
24 Oct 2016 15:56


Wow! what a huge update. Excellent work to the whole team.


Mr-Z EdgeOfPanic

Posts 125
24 Oct 2016 18:16


That's a Massive update! looking forward to try it out!
Big thumps up for the team and all their hard work.

One question, will the x13 cores also be released for the black vampire versions ?


Amiga 4Life

Posts 54
25 Oct 2016 21:12


@gunnar
    thank you...I hope coders utilize these new features to make their apps perform better, as a lot of them
      will only code for  the 020 or 040 in order to reach more users...
   
  This is great, ' turtle mode' sound like its a built in cpu degrader...no need to mess with any cpu
  patch degraders...


Michael Nurney

Posts 160
26 Oct 2016 22:09


An awesome list of features guys . Well done :)


Simo Koivukoski
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 168
30 Oct 2016 11:03


This way you can enable Game Compatibility Mode:
   
With bootable floppy disks:

   
With WHDLoad:

   


Mo Retro

Posts 83
30 Oct 2016 12:01


Thanks Simo, This upcoming Gold 2 version looks very, very promising.
Combined with the revised Riva player with AMMX it's another milestone in the Apollo/Vampire project. :D
Or should I see Landmark!;)

I know sometimes we're anxiously firing our questions to the Team. But bare with us and know that we are supporting you in every which way possible :)

Thanks Guys for making this happen!

All the best,


Tim Kovack

Posts 33
03 Nov 2016 04:01


Does that work in the current Gold core?  To check the Disable CPU caches?


Samuel Crow
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 213
03 Nov 2016 09:15


Tim Kovack wrote:

Does that work in the current Gold core?  To check the Disable CPU caches?

No.  The turtle-mode is part of the Gold2 core roadmap which is why it is in this thread.  Notice the thread title of "Gold2 Roadmap"?

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