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"Virtual Legacy Graphics Mode" Possible ?page  1 2 

OneSTone O2o

Posts 159
25 Mar 2019 19:24


Hello, recently I had an idea which might be interesting for Apollo/SAGA core to support? There is a lot of old software for both, ST and Amiga which never will run on enhanced SAGA display modes as this software does not use the operating system properly to display content. The idea is that while the machine is in SAGA mode the original graphics modes are unused. So when a legacy software runs, it believes it is using the original hardware. The result is it's video picture in legacy video ram adress range. On Atari this should be very simple to support as Shifter is totally independent from SAGA, it could exist "virtually" in parallel (but without physical video ouput connector), for Amiga, I don't know how much Densise functions are still used in SAGA enghanced modes. But then there is a process runing under Amiga-OS or MiNT which copies that legacy video mode picture into a window on SAGA display, maybe also some overlay/genlock-like accelerated trick could be used to insert the legacy picture in that window without consuming much processor power. The result would be, that such old fashioned "dirty" software, which is not compatible to any graphics card, would be displayed in a window. There must also be some work on seamless mouse control between "outside" and "inside" that window.

Would this thing be possible? Besides hardware, this would also have some effort in software.


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1424
25 Mar 2019 20:05


oneSTone o2o wrote:

Hello, recently I had an idea which might be interesting for Apollo/SAGA core to support? There is a lot of old software for both, ST and Amiga which never will run on enhanced SAGA display

Idea is nice and I suppose much needed for some Atari modes and software which are H/W banging and not supported by current EmuTOS/Mint modes.

As much as I understand, since GOLD3 Amiga modes should be fully supported even with "Denise" banging, which is substantial for standalone release since it wont have Classic Amiga and its chipset to fall back. In these terms Vamps will be way more then past RTG expansions.

What else would be needed for full Atari compatibility, like its games from ST/STE/TT era? V4 might provide FPGA space for "hardware part"


OneSTone O2o

Posts 159
25 Mar 2019 21:34


If you ask about more ST hardware, I know that ST shifter video modes will be added, how about STE, TT and Falcon video modes? And how about ST and STE sound hardware? Maybe even Falcon sound hardware, with DSP? Some Atari users would also love to have the 6850 based midi port. Yamaha sound chip and STE-DMA-Sound should already be there as VHDL code, see MiST, Suska and Firebee.
 
What do you mean with "Denise banging"? I know, that SAGA supports OCS/ECS/AGA modes, but not mapped to window in SAGA enhanced mode, like my idea proposes for ST and Amiga legacy compatibility.

(About DSP I know, 68080 with AMMX feature would be a faster replacement, but original falcon software does not support that.)


Grzegorz Wójcik (pisklak
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 73
26 Mar 2019 09:36


I think it is possible to make a "Falcon DSP emulator" with software and our AMMX. At least that should be much easier than make DSP in VHDL.
  Perhaps adding a Falcon 16bit chunky mode is not that big work too.
YM sound (which IMHO suck compared even to C64 SID btw - sorry Atari guys for not resisted to say this) should be emulated in SW too I think.


Uros Vidovic

Posts 30
26 Mar 2019 13:55


Grzegorz Wójcik (pisklak wrote:

I think it is possible to make a "Falcon DSP emulator" with software and our AMMX. At least that should be much easier than make DSP in VHDL.
  Perhaps adding a Falcon 16bit chunky mode is not that big work too.
  YM sound (which IMHO suck compared even to C64 SID btw - sorry Atari guys for not resisted to say this) should be emulated in SW too I think.

I tried to resist ...
But from what you wrote I believe you just dont know what are you talking about. Right?


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4169
26 Mar 2019 17:12


SAGA does include support for native
ATARI ST PLANA modes and Falcon Chunky mode


OneSTone O2o

Posts 159
26 Mar 2019 21:31


Yes, I know, that SAGA can support this modes. But imagine, you run Amiga-OS or EmuTOS/Mint in SAGA full HD, and you start a program that only supports ECS/OCS or ST-Shifter hardware, no clean programming uses OS calls to display anything, but direct hardware access. Normally  the computer will have to switch down to these old fashioned resolutions. But instead that the program appears in a window and runs smooth in multitasking, without knowing it's not fullscreen. That's the basic idea. Overlay of old graphics hardware into a window in SAGA highres video mode. Like running an emulator in a window, but it's not emulator, but the real thing redirected in a window.
   
    DSP is something different from AMMX, even if the final purpose and result is the same. DSP is independent processor, having it's own command set. But Motorola 56001 implementation basically seems already being there, when they attempt to do it the FPGA were just not powerfull enough for compete with original, means, too slow, and to less memory for VHDL code to support 24x24 bit operations. Read this: source: http://www-user.rhrk.uni-kl.de/~alles/fpga/
   
2010-01-04
    DSP Development for Atari Coldfire Project
  Within the last half year I was writing my PhD thesis, so I didn't do much with FPGAs during this time.
  A bit more than one year ago, the Atari ColdFire Project (ACP) was revitalized. The goal of this project is to build an Atari Falcon compatible computer based on the Freescale ColdFire CPU. In the meantime the prototypes have arrived and the software is starting to run. The good thing about the ACP computer is that an FPGA is on-board in order to emulate the custom Atari chips or chips that are no longer commercially available. Most chips are already available as VHDL source code from the Suska platform, which is an Atari ST rebuilt in an FPGA.
 
  #### About one year ago I started the development of the Motorola 56001 DSP in VHDL. It was part of the Atari Falcon computer and used for realtime audio stuff, but also 3D rendering in several demos. Within three months I was able to get a working processor pipeline with instructions for branches, loops, and arithmetics. The DSP runs at about 30 MHz on a Spartan3 FPGA, which is less than the 32 MHz as in the Falcon. But in contrast to the original DSP, the pipeline is able to perform most instructions in one clock cycle instead of two clock cycles. So I hope that the DSP will be faster than the original at the end of the day. The problem with the clock is the complex ALU, which supports 24x24-bit multiplications and has a postponed 56-bit accumulator for MAC instructions. The FPGA is just not suitable for such high word widths. ####
 
  However, I didn't do much on this code for the last nine months. Things like external memory access, interrupts, and other interfaces are still missing. I will try to spend some time on it in the near future.
    Atari Coldfire Project
    FPGA-based Atari ST (Suska)

    Suska is here, and all of it's VHDL code is opensource: EXTERNAL LINK ACP is here, DSP not implemented yet: EXTERNAL LINK 
I think also Amiga friends would fall in love to get hands on that DSP, I once saw pictures of DSP 56001 cards for Zorro-slot, but bery exotic.
   
    For full ATARI compatibility you at least need Yamaha soundchip. I know, C64 SID is a bit better, but Yamaha has it's fans too, and many software for ST uses that, as it's there in any machine up to Falcon. Existing software will not be modifyable to support Paula instead beyond keyboard click and such basic stuff provided by TOS. STE-DMA-sound should be easy to make as it is just digital analog converter 8 bit stereo, up to 50 kHz sample frequency. Falcon audio output is again a different one, so you can say a Falcon has three soundcards at the same time (Yamaha, STE-DMA, Falcon-Sound), all mixed into one output connector and can be used at the same time.

But main idea to open this topic was to rediect ECS/OCS/Shifter video output into a SAGA window.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4169
27 Mar 2019 06:50


SAGA is designed for FULLSCREEN, just like the original chipsets.
Your window idea is not supported by SAGA and support for this is not planned.

Today you could create this window effect with running STON or UAE on Vampire.

The old DSP executables can not be executed by AMMX,
but the general problems which can be solved by AMMX and by the DSP are the same.

AMMX is performance wise much above the DSP.
As a rough idea of speed, the DSP was designed for 16M 32bit operations per second. AMMX is designed for 80-100M 64bit operations per second. Its about 10 times faster.

The Yamaha sound chip is currently not included.




OneSTone O2o

Posts 159
27 Mar 2019 08:17


I know all of that. The problem is, that nobody will modify old software to support new platform. An Amiga and Atari platform needs this old software, because not many new software.


Steve Ferrell

Posts 378
27 Mar 2019 08:33


@OneSTone O2o
 
What software are you talking about?  There are very few software packages that won't run on a Vampire properly, and those that don't run properly can usually by coaxed to run via Whdload.  I think you're seeing a problem where one doesn't actually exist.


Uros Vidovic

Posts 30
27 Mar 2019 08:39


Steve Ferrell wrote:
What software are you talking about?  There are very few software packages that won't run on a Vampire properly, and those that don't run properly can usually by coaxed to run via Whdload.  I think you're seeing a problem where one doesn't actually exist.

He is talking about Atari platform. Without Atari peripheral on the standalone a lot of Atari legacy software wont run.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4169
27 Mar 2019 10:21


Uros Vidovic wrote:

He is talking about Atari platform.
Without Atari peripheral on the standalone a lot of Atari legacy software wont run.

SAGA can provide native ATARI GFX modes.
This means Atari legacy software doing direct Atari video will be possible. Other "Native" peripheral like "native" Joyport/Mouseport should be possible too.

Step by step :-)


Uros Vidovic

Posts 30
27 Mar 2019 11:28


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

  SAGA can provide native ATARI GFX modes.
  This means Atari legacy software doing direct Atari video will be possible. Other "Native" peripheral like "native" Joyport/Mouseport should be possible too.
 
  Step by step :-)

I am not that much demanding person. Compatibility level of other Atari clones as Milan is enough to me. I dont need legacy games/trackers/demos to run. But MiNT has to run with memory protection enabled. And clean GEM software has to run also. :)


Aron Bott

Posts 5
27 Mar 2019 15:30


I am hoping that somewhere along the line, someone makes it so a backdrop/overlay (good examples exist via some emulation suites) can be used with legacy screen modes displayed via DIGITAL-VIDEO, so we neither have to stretch the screen out of the native ratio, nor leave black bars on our fancy HDTVs.  Preferably as though the legacy screen is put as a window, and the rest of the screen is filled with whatever else.  I personally want a nice picture of a setup from the 1990's and the legacy display being shown through the monitor in the picture, then toss on some light color brightening/fading or other screensaver effects. 


Steve Ferrell

Posts 378
27 Mar 2019 16:19


@Uros Vidovic

No, he specifically stated the Amiga AND the Atari.  It would be nice if he could provide a list of which Amiga applications won't run on a Vampire.  See his comment from the original post.

OneSTone O2o wrote: "There is a lot of old software for both, ST and Amiga which never will run on enhanced SAGA display modes as this software does not use the operating system properly to display content."




Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4169
28 Mar 2019 08:12


Aron Bott wrote:

  with legacy screen modes displayed via DIGITAL-VIDEO,
 

 
Have you seen Amiga OCS/AGA games on Vampire on Digital-Out?
I think these games look really good.
 
SAGA can mimick for these legacy modes the original look and feel of the analog/CRT display.
This means old games look really very much like they looked originally on the A1000 + 1084 Monitor.
 
 
 
 


Grzegorz Wójcik (pisklak
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 73
28 Mar 2019 08:12


Uros Vidovic wrote:

  I tried to resist ...
  But from what you wrote I believe you just dont know what are you talking about. Right?

Yes I admit that I have no idea what I talk about. Still... it is realy impossible to write a software DSP emulator (which can use AMMX instructions)?



Uros Vidovic

Posts 30
28 Mar 2019 08:40


Grzegorz Wójcik (pisklak wrote:

  Yes I admit that I have no idea what I talk about. Still... it is realy impossible to write a software DSP emulator (which can use AMMX instructions)?

I also dont have that much knowledge about hardware but I know that is not possible with the CPU power of 080.


Grzegorz Wójcik (pisklak
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 73
28 Mar 2019 09:42


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

  The old DSP executables can not be executed by AMMX,
  but the general problems which can be solved by AMMX and by the DSP are the same.
 
  AMMX is performance wise much above the DSP.
  As a rough idea of speed, the DSP was designed for 16M 32bit operations per second. AMMX is designed for 80-100M 64bit operations per second. Its about 10 times faster.
 

 
  Well if I understand correctly this Gunnar words that should be enough power in AMMX to do that.


Aron Bott

Posts 5
28 Mar 2019 18:37


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Aron Bott wrote:

  with legacy screen modes displayed via DIGITAL-VIDEO,
 

  Have you seen Amiga OCS/AGA games on Vampire on Digital-Out?
  I think these games look really good.
 
  SAGA can mimick for these legacy modes the original look and feel of the analog/CRT display.
  This means old games look really very much like they looked originally on the A1000 + 1084 Monitor.

I did have to check out one of the videos online, it looks fantastic!  :)
 
However I just hope/want to do something like this, except Amiga: EXTERNAL LINK 
Emulation software usually has such a solution, but it seems those who want to use our real hardware with wide screen setups are forced to stretch the image or leave black bars on their TV.  :/

I'd love a solution for all old signals thrown on modern TVs such as an hdmi-genlock, or a smart TV with a "4:3 Overlay Mode"....


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