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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

PPC Card As a V4SA Extensionpage  1 2 

Michal Pietal

Posts 89
13 Dec 2019 16:37


Simple question - is it hardware-wise, technically possible?

I compare this with A1200 with BlizzardPPC.

The aim: the use of AmigaOS 4.1 (Classic).


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4551
13 Dec 2019 16:55


Possible is a lot - with enough effort maybe even cities on Mars.
 
But is this is sensible market?
How many thousands of people would pay for this?
 
How well is OS 4 running on Classic even?
What support will you get for this from Hyperion?
Or is OS4 on classic a dead project already?

What PPC CPU to use for this?
Are there even good ones?


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1628
13 Dec 2019 16:58


No place to connect to.
  It would be best to backport os4 or establish common OS layer (in progress with os3.2 and promised enhancer 68k).
 
  Other "marry go round" is effective 604 to 080 JIT and v6+ vamp or asic. I would love to access warp3d, morphos 2, morphid 3 warpos and some os4 only sw (or have it backported to os3.9+)


Michal Pietal

Posts 89
13 Dec 2019 18:43


Vojin Vidanovic wrote:

No place to connect to.

What about 2x SPI + 1x I2S ports on the board??


Michal Pietal

Posts 89
13 Dec 2019 18:58


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Possible is a lot - with enough effort maybe even cities on Mars.

That is generally, a true statement.  You are right about this.


  But is this is sensible market?

Based on the choice of currently manufactured (and sold) breadth of classics expansions...  I deduce yes, possily.


  How many thousands of people would pay for this?

Most V4SA users.  You are the one who knows the figures!

 
  How well is OS 4 running on Classic even?
  What support will you get for this from Hyperion?
  Or is OS4 on classic a dead project already?
 
 
Hight time to revive it then!  You don't need Hyperion - only the accessibility of system CDs. 

Regarding the performance, I strongly believe that given V4SA specs against that of Classics, should be at least fair.

 
  What PPC CPU to use for this?
  Are there even good ones?

That's important question - cannot answer yet but this is one of the last issues to resolve.  A-Eon is finding some batches of PPCs from time to time (ie. X1000, X5000 A1222).  So seams doable.


Kyle Blake
(Needs Verification)
Posts 108/ 1
13 Dec 2019 21:35


Personally I have no interest in an OS4 port to any hypothetical vampire PPC expansion.
 
  Using Sonnet PCI PPC card for WarpOS will already work with V1200, probably.

But there's much less reason to do it, now 080 CPU is in practice faster than Async dual CPU setups like WarpOS was.

There are a few PPC games, but most of what PPC was for is in practice speeding up datatypes and other routines where you do a big batch of processing and then feed it back into a 68k program.


Wawa T

Posts 695
13 Dec 2019 22:46


Exactly. Speaking as csppc owner.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4551
14 Dec 2019 07:54


Michal Pietal wrote:

 

  How many thousands of people would pay for this?
 

 
  Most V4SA users.  You are the one who knows the figures!

Frankly, I doubt this.
Seriously I can not imagine that many people would want such thing.
Coding and hacking on 68k is fun and enjoyment.
Coding on PPC is a real pain in the arse.

AFAIK OS 4 on classic is dead.
Does it give much or anything over OS 3.9 on 68k?
Frankly, I seriously doubt this again.

You need to help me here to understand the benefit and reason.



Michal Pietal

Posts 89
14 Dec 2019 08:33


Then, thank You for the clarification of Your point.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4551
14 Dec 2019 08:47


The point is very simple:
- designing a good CPU card takes a lot of time and effort.
- in the end such card will cost the users also a lot of money.
- and we would need to do a serious investment for a production run
 
Any such undertaking should be clearly planned and
understood if such product is needed and demanded.
How many people would spend e.g. $500 for an PPC to run OS 4 classic?
 
We also need to question here if OS4 classic is a dead product with zero support.
And if there is at all the option to get access to sources.
In other words could drivers or improvements e.g. Network driver for Vampire NIC be easily added?
 
To me this is all not very clear.
And I today not really understand if there is a real demand for this.
 


Michal Pietal

Posts 89
14 Dec 2019 09:13


Then maybe in 1-3 years, this kindda effort might be funded via the Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a good funding source (also for retro) because You see the demand instantly.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4551
14 Dec 2019 09:26


Michal Pietal wrote:

Then maybe in 1-3 years, this kindda effort might be funded via the Kickstarter?
 

 
Will the situation be changed in the future?
 
 
Please help me understand the basic:
 
* For every coder its clear that coding on 68K is much nicer than coding on PPC. This will never change.

 
* APOLLO 68080 is by itself faster than low clocked PPC Chips.
  You can clearly see this in many benchmarks. So a low clocked PPC chip makes no sense.
 
* Is my understanding correct that OS 4 on classic is a dead product? If yes would it not be more dead in the future?
 
* How reliable is the future of OS 4 at all?
There are lots of rumors about going out of business of Hyperion.
 

If I personally would make a wild guess then I would say that AROS will improve a lot in the future and in 1 year maybe could reach a state where an AMMX accelerated AROS runs circles around OS4 on low end PPC. I could imagine that AROS might take the lead of AMIGA OS options. And I would rather put my money on AROS and focus support also here.
 


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1628
14 Dec 2019 09:33


If its about sw and games, would love to see emotion, heretic2 and shogo 68k ammx backported. Few morphos apps too.
 
  That would end ppc saga. More usable would  be ppc Linux sandbox, but even there some native m68k exists.
 
  Way warpOS worked, ppc was grunch Co processor since os was 68k. Mins that os4 Classic change that by disabling m68k.

Os4 Is dead in lts terms and os4.2 will Never be out in way it was promised and prepaid by x1000 owners.

Od 3.1.4 and os3.2 sales might enable os4 tabor and some more enhancer like milking and I see no path forward


Michal Pietal

Posts 89
14 Dec 2019 10:13


Fair enough.


Michael Borrmann

Posts 125
14 Dec 2019 10:21


I am happy we are moving back from shitty PPC architecture to the amazing 68k with the Vampire.
 
  Also, classic Amiga OS development is up and going, and 3.2 will be almost en par with 3.9.
 
  Wait a bit and there will be not that much you can do with 4.1 that you won't be able to do with the 68k classic variants.

(ah, and there is AROS as well. Let's see how that will turn out)


Ali B.

Posts 16
14 Dec 2019 10:47


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:
 
  * For every coder its clear that coding on 68K is much nicer than coding on PPC. This will never change.
 

I have taught students both, 68k and PPC. Let aside the reference manuals (taking those on PPC to the lectures was ... heavy), the most important lesson learned on PPC: never use without a compiler. 68k is pure fun. It also outruns mips.

As for „would I use PPC extension“ - no. What for? I have my 286 bridgeboard. ;)

Ali


Marian Nowicki
(Needs Verification)
Posts 22/ 1
16 Dec 2019 08:02


PowerPC in Vampire standalone. Cool!!!
Great idea. PowerPC card for Amiga prices are insane.




Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4551
16 Dec 2019 08:25


Marian Nowicki wrote:

PowerPC in Vampire standalone. Cool!!!
Great idea. PowerPC card for Amiga prices are insane.

Please note that there is no commitment from us.

If you compare PowerPC to 68K, then its obvious to the educated eye
that PowerPC is an inferior design.

The PowerPC architecture is optimized to be cheap in production
but not to be a wonderful CPU.

So why would one want a clearly inferior CPU - if you can have an 68k? Does PowerPC allow you to run 5000 Amiga games?
No, of course not think so.

Is PowerPC easy and user friendly to program?
No, of course not.

I look at the topic the eyes on an engineer.
What I love about AMIGA is elegance and clever engineering.
The 68K CPU is elegant and allows for elegant programming.
The Amiga chipset is elegant and clever designed.
Those which understand PowerPC and have used it will surely agree,
PowerPC is lacks the elegance ..



Thellier Alain

Posts 116
16 Dec 2019 08:46


>The aim: the use of AmigaOS 4.1 (Classic).

IMHO the only strong point for OS4 is to use it on a recent NG machine that have lots of RAM and drivers for Composition,Warp3D V5,Nova3D mostly for the HunoPPC's ports of games and emulators

So IMHO the OS4.1 classic is too limited to be interesting: better to use an old cheap mac+morphos to play the rare "classic" ppc games like WipeOut2017




Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4551
16 Dec 2019 09:33


thellier alain wrote:

the only strong point ...

If you look with the eye of the CPU architect, and compare 68k and PPC, then there are a few key difference visible.

a) 68K is a CISC with powerful EA modes.
This means with 1 instruction you can do a lot of work.
This means a programmer can solve problems with few instructions.
Also the features of the CPU resemble more how programmers think, this means the ideas of the programmer can relative easily be "translated" into into instructions.
With the PPC this is the opposite.
The PPC is a LOAD/STORE machine.
The instructions can not directly operate on memory, and for typical operations where you need 1 instruction on 68K - you often need 3 instructions on PowerPC.
This lowers the speed of your computer a lot!
And this makes program clumsy and hard to understand and hard to write.

There was an area where PPC did had the lead.
The PPC had more FPU registers and a fully pipelined FPU.
This means PPC was good at floating point - and this is the main area where IBM uses the PPC.

APPOLO 68080 changes this now - APOLLO has the same number of FPU registers as POWERPC and is also fully pipelined.
This means the only advantage that PPC did had over 68k - is catched up with 68080.

 


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