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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Vampire With Cyclone V SoMpage  1 2 

CD32 Freak

Posts 9
03 Jul 2019 09:35


Hello Apollo team,
 
  To be honest, I don't like the Vampire v4 standalone board design. I know it is still in development stage, but a more modular board design like using a Cyclone V SoM you can plug in a seperate board with all the connectors you want, would be a better choice IMHO:
 
EXTERNAL LINK 
EXTERNAL LINK


Mike Kopack

Posts 257
03 Jul 2019 13:01


CD32 freak wrote:

  Hello Apollo team,
   
    To be honest, I don't like the Vampire v4 standalone board design. I know it is still in development stage, but a more modular board design like using a Cyclone V SoM you can plug in a seperate board with all the connectors you want, would be a better choice IMHO:
   
  EXTERNAL LINK   
  EXTERNAL LINK 

 
  Those sorts of setups are pretty common (for example the Nvidia Jetsen comes on a tiny processor board for industrial use, but then you can get a number of “break out boards” for development or if you need specific ports.
 
  The thing is, those boards (the break out) are typically only used for development purposes, not for finished products.
 
  Also given the desire to have the SA be 99% identical to the A500 model so it could be a drop in replacement for the stock 68k chip, the breakout boards you pointed out wouldn’t work.
 
  Besides, half the ports on the breakout board wouldn’t be enabled by the OS anyhow....
 


CD32 Freak

Posts 9
10 Jul 2019 12:43


Thanks for your reply. Would it be possible with for example the Vampire A1200 to design a seperate IO board the size of the A1200 motherboard? I guess with the Vampire A1200 you don't need the AGA chips and everything else besides the connectors or am I mistaken?


Mike Kopack

Posts 257
11 Jul 2019 15:03


CD32 freak wrote:

Thanks for your reply. Would it be possible with for example the Vampire A1200 to design a seperate IO board the size of the A1200 motherboard? I guess with the Vampire A1200 you don't need the AGA chips and everything else besides the connectors or am I mistaken?

Short answer - no. My understanding is the 1200 uses the motherboard AGA chipset.

What exactly are you trying to achieve??? What kinds of IO are you looking for???


Szyk Cech

Posts 190
11 Jul 2019 15:45


Mike Kopack wrote:

  What exactly are you trying to achieve??? What kinds of IO are you looking for???

Maybe bigger chip mem?!?


Ronnie Beck
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 106
11 Jul 2019 15:55


Szyk Cech wrote:

Mike Kopack wrote:

  What exactly are you trying to achieve??? What kinds of IO are you looking for???
 

  Maybe bigger chip mem?!?

That you will get on the V4.


CD32 Freak

Posts 9
05 Aug 2019 11:58


Sorry for the late answer. I was looking for a more modular design, so you could have 1 core board with the FPGA and an IO board with the connections you would need. Something like this:
 
  EXTERNAL LINK 


Mike Kopack

Posts 257
05 Aug 2019 13:27


CD32 freak wrote:

Sorry for the late answer. I was looking for a more modular design, so you could have 1 core board with the FPGA and an IO board with the connections you would need. Something like this:
 
  EXTERNAL LINK   

But WHY? What are you hoping to achieve/do with it??  If you just want that sort of breakout so you can experiment with FPGA go get that board.  But you won’t be able to run an Amiga core directly on it (I assume).

I guess I just don’t see what you are hoping to be able to achieve with such a setup. The nice thing about the V4SA is that it gives you a nice mix of classic and modern IO capabilities - the stuff you need (namely the joystick ports) in order to do most Amiga things, while also giving you the IDE storage and Ethernet and usb interface for more modern things. What other ports are you thinking you need/want??? And how do you anticipate driving them with the old Amiga OS?


CD32 Freak

Posts 9
05 Aug 2019 15:33


Well, if you want to sell V4SA to a broader audience, you should consider that retro computers had different connectors. If you keep the design modular, users can decide what IO board to use. So you could fit it inside an Atari Falcon or an Amiga 1200. Whatever floats yout boat :-)


Mike Kopack

Posts 257
05 Aug 2019 15:46


CD32 freak wrote:

  Well, if you want to sell V4SA to a broader audience, you should consider that retro computers had different connectors. If you keep the design modular, users can decide what IO board to use. So you could fit it inside an Atari Falcon or an Amiga 1200. Whatever floats yout boat :-)
 

 
  I think you are misunderstanding then.  The SA is meant to be just that - stand alone.  Ie not meant to be put into a retro case (well maybe those checkmate ones).  If you plan on putting it inside an Atari or A500/1200 case that’s what the non-sa models will be meant for. The v4 a500 unit will look almost identical to the existing SA board but without the db9 joystick ports and WITH the 68000 pins so you can plug it into the socket of the original cpu (Just like the v2 does now).  That configuration gives you all the original ports on the computer because it’s going through that computer for everything.  We have seen people use the v2 on the 500/2000/600/1000 and some Atari ST models as well.
 
  Regardless, don’t think you are going to get what you want. The Apollo team seems pretty busy as it is with this iteration and have more than enough to do as it is.


David Pesce

Posts 8
06 Aug 2019 08:28


Connectors doesn't need to be on a board. They can be remotely connected via cables. If you want to use an a1200 case, I think there is no problem to do that and even less with the a1500 checkmate case. Philippe Lang is working on a fully functional keyboard for his case which could be use with the vampire. Therefore you should be able to build a brand new Amiga with all this parts.


CD32 Freak

Posts 9
07 Aug 2019 14:13


Thanks. That is what I mean. If you want to build a new 'Amiga' or 'Atari' with the Vampire board, why not give the user the choice to add the connectors they want? :-)


Captain Zalo

Posts 67
07 Aug 2019 15:00


CD32 freak wrote:

Thanks. That is what I mean. If you want to build a new 'Amiga' or 'Atari' with the Vampire board, why not give the user the choice to add the connectors they want? :-)

Afaik from being on this forum for many years, the boards are made for a specific purpose (Apollo Core with Amiga chipset with retro computing as primary use-case) with the team in full control of board and VHDL design. If they had to rely on an external source of hardware, the process would not be controllable to the same degree as it is now. By designing all aspects of the hardware, there's less hassle with support and potential bugs for new builds or different hardware revisions.


David Pesce

Posts 8
07 Aug 2019 15:10


In some way that's what the vampire could do. There are 3 gpio socket if I'm right. The logic behind them could be reconfigured. For example, a core could provide ps2 signals or a4000 signals for a retro keyboard. But don't expect much more.

Cyclone S series is a false good idea. For example, if you want to use the ddr3 controller, you need to use the Avalon bridge which is very slow and could run only up to 20mhz. The only reliable solution to have fast expansion I/O is to use GX or GT series. But it requires expensive ip core and many hours of engineering. Even though it could be done, you will have to develop drivers for most peripherals.

Take a look to the first checkmate, it will be a great enclosure for the vampire:
EXTERNAL LINK


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4169
08 Aug 2019 08:44


Lets clarify some points.
 
1) The V4 is NOT in development stage.
The design is done and we are very happy with it

2) The V4-SA goal is new powerful AMIGA in a small form factor.
Its cute size is on purpose.
Our goal is to offer people a new AMIGA that they can put on their desk,  without having to argue with their wifes about it.
 
3) The V4-SA comes with build in Expansion-IO ports.
These ports can be used to connect an IO-Expansion-card.
Like a docking station for a Laptop you can connect the V4-SA to an IO expansion giving you all the connectors that you ever want.
Serial/Parallel/Floppy-port/Midi - everything could be done.
 
 


CD32 Freak

Posts 9
08 Aug 2019 09:49


Thanks for the clarification, Gunnar, that sounds great.


David Wright

Posts 335
08 Aug 2019 17:32


"without having to argue with their wifes about it."

It may even save an unstable marriage, so there's that.


Tim Trepanier

Posts 70
09 Aug 2019 03:13


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:
without having to argue with their wifes about it.

Wow, the Vampire will save your marriage; best killer app ever.


CD32 Freak

Posts 9
09 Aug 2019 08:57


Are you sure? I could imagine the conversation:

Wife: "What's inside that little box, dear?"
You: "A Vampire"
Wife runs screaming out of the room...
:-D



Lord Aga
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 93
09 Aug 2019 11:10


Tim Trepanier wrote:

Gunnar von Boehn wrote:
without having to argue with their wifes about it.

 
  Wow, the Vampire will save your marriage; best killer app ever.

If we make this the selling point, we might sell millions of Vampires to people who have never even heard of Amiga :)

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