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Information about the Apollo CPU and FPU.

BYO (Bring Your Own) FPGA -> PPC Mac Upgrade

Greg Thomas

Posts 24
04 Dec 2018 10:15


Hello everyone,

Long time Amiga user, first time poster :-)

I've been having a look at FPGA information for a few months to catch up on what is going on in Amiga Vampire land.

Personally I'd love to have an Apollo Vampire Quad G5 Power Mac. Or perhaps a pretty PPC iMac Apollo Amiga. I'm sure the Vampire Amiga could suck the remaining usefulness out of that well made, but now very cheap hardware!

From what I read, you'd need to use a Cyclone family FPGA card, either III for the old or V for the new. There are plenty of those around the place. I was eying off a nice used Stratix GT card from a cloud data center till I saw that even upgrading from Cyclone III to Cyclone V has been challenging. I was thinking it could fit a lot more than just an Amiga on its 500K LE's.

Those now obsolete PowerMac's are going cheap. It would be nice to run CyberStorm and also 10 year old Mac software instead of 20 year old Mac software.

I wonder if the Apollo team may consider selling a download only version...

There may also be need for an Amiga port card which talks to the FPGA card over the PCIE or PCI bus which could act as a dongle if the Apollo team were worried about funding otherwise drying up due to our other traditional occupation of piracy ;-)

Maybe add some extra audio / video bits and make a Vampire Toaster card for utilising the NewTek stuff!

I'd imagine it would also be pretty cool to be able to do Amiga, Atari and PPC Mac graphics and sound out of one cheese grater quad PPC box.

Greg


Renee Cousins
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 134
07 Dec 2018 18:00


Greg Thomas wrote:
I wonder if the Apollo team may consider selling a download only version...

Since no two FPGA boards are wired the same, that would be an enormous amount of work for the team to support. Alternatively, to allow end-users the ability to reconfigure the top means either opening up the source or rebuilding the Apollo Core as an encrypted module (like ARM used to [still do?] with their soft cores). But that also requires a ton of skill on the end-user's part, not not really ideal either.

More practically would be a custom PCI to 68K bridge board so you can insert a regular V2/V4 board.

But wow, I wonder if a Vampire in a PPC Mac could run AmigaOS 4.1 "Classic" Edition, or like WarpOS with the dual CPU configuration. Would make the whole 'emulation' rather moot, wouldn't it.



Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1421
07 Dec 2018 23:49


Renee Cousins wrote:

  More practically would be a custom PCI to 68K bridge board so you can insert a regular V2/V4 board.
 
  But wow, I wonder if a Vampire in a PPC Mac could run AmigaOS 4.1 "Classic" Edition, or like WarpOS with the dual CPU configuration. Would make the whole 'emulation' rather moot, wouldn't it.
 

It would be lovely, if possible, to one day bring PCI and PCI-E x1 Vamp FPGA on card for x64 and PPC alike.

More m68k to the world!

PPC Macs can run MOS and there WOS, sadly Acubes OS 4.0 port to PPC MacMini was left undone due to Hype and "Amiga" "Inc".



Greg Thomas

Posts 24
08 Dec 2018 04:31


If a Vampire card has an extensive expansion header then it could be plugged onto a seperate PCI / PCIe board. The FPGA will need to have a softcore in it to attack to the PCI or PCIe bus. So it would be pretty simple if done that way.

Or a PCI-Express-Card Vampire could be housed in any modern computer with an ExpressCard adapter.

It could plug into an old laptop like an IBM/Lenovo T60 (14.1" or 15.0" 4:3 screen) to make a "real" Amiga laptop.

And if the computer was modified with CoreBoot (formerly Linux BIOS project) you could have the PC working from power up as an expansion board to the Amiga card!
EXTERNAL LINK 


Barana V

Posts 49
25 Feb 2019 09:16


I think turning an old g4 powermac or mac  mini into a zombie for the vampire and running Wos is a marvelous idea.



Stefano Briccolani

Posts 332
25 Feb 2019 12:21


For me would be awesome to have a vampire-recreated VideoToaster

posts 6