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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

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Daniel Sevo

Posts 144
21 Apr 2017 20:02


xan x-vision wrote:

  You answered to yourself without noticing: Memory is CRUCIAL for 3D. If you have a slower processor, then it will take more time to render your scene, but you will render your scene anyway  (like in the old times: go to bed leaving your Amiga rendering). But if you run out of memory, there is no scene.
 
  We ask for more memory because it is a realistic demand. Nobody here asked for a faster processor because we respect Gunnar's work and assume it is not feasible at this point, but memory? it is. And there are many situations in which we can use it: 3D, Video, Music, internet,...
 

No I didn't, you are still not quite getting the message ;-)
Uros Vidovic got it right, read his post please.
The CPU is too slow to process the kind of data that would require 2GB or so.. No sane person would want to work with complex 3d scenes on a CPU running at 100MHz.. Without FPU even.. (although eagerly waiting for that statement to become wrong.. :-)

And regarding 3d games, yes, doing lazy ports does require more memory that optimizing for a console, (so a little headroom certainly is nice). That being said, we are nowhere late 90 console generation quality and they typically had in the region of 16-32MB RAM.

If you want more RAM than everyone else :-) I was actually a fan of the idea of providing an empty DDR3 socket with theoretical support up to 2GB and let ppl choose whatever they want), but Gunnar has already said that's not happening so I guess we can forget that idea.




Michael R

Posts 155
21 Apr 2017 20:50


Daniel Sevo wrote:

xan x-vision wrote:

 
   
  We ask for more memory because it is a realistic demand. Nobody here asked for a faster processor because we respect Gunnar's work and assume it is not feasible at this point, but memory? it is. And there are many situations in which we can use it: 3D, Video, Music, internet,...
   
 

 
 
  If you want more RAM than everyone else :-) I was actually a fan of the idea of providing an empty DDR3 socket with theoretical support up to 2GB and let ppl choose whatever they want), but Gunnar has already said that's not happening so I guess we can forget that idea.
 

Assuming that this applies more to the standalone board, if for the second generation we have something like a PCIe edge connector for future "bus-board" expansion then something like this could be possible (if it's technically possible to have a pcie edge conn.):
EXTERNAL LINK 
EXTERNAL LINK 
EXTERNAL LINK 
The last link is for a type of PCIe memory expansion. Just a few ideas.



Michael R

Posts 155
22 Apr 2017 02:05


If you still aren't quite sure what I mean by adding a PCI express edge connector on a future version of a standalone motherboard, this is an example.
 
  EXTERNAL LINK 
 


Kolbjørn Barmen

Posts 93
22 Apr 2017 12:41


Daniel Sevo wrote:

  The CPU is too slow to process the kind of data that would require 2GB or so..
 

 
  Nonsense, they are not at all related, it just depends what kind of data you are working with.
 
I could easily make a 2D animation that is more than a GB large in ANIM format, and if I want to add sound to it and convert to more "modern" format, that process needs more RAM too. The "traditional" way to do these kind of work on Amiga involves using the MMU along with VMem or similar, something that one cannot do with the apollo core since it has no MMU.


Gregthe Canuck

Posts 79
22 Apr 2017 14:02


Kolbjørn Barmen wrote:

  The "traditional" way to do these kind of work on Amiga involves using the MMU along with VMem or similar, something that one cannot do with the apollo core since it has no MMU.
 

 
  The core does in fact have an MMU. Gunnar has discussed it in other threads. It is different from the classic 68K MMU and it appears it has been well thought through. I don't know what the plans are for exposing the MMU functionality - it may still be a work in progress.

For example, the MMU is mentioned here: CLICK HERE 
 


Kolbjørn Barmen

Posts 93
22 Apr 2017 15:39


Yeah, no, that's not MMU in the "normal" sense. Gunnar has been quite clear that it will never be exposed for software. And even if does allow paging to disk, the old saying is still valid - just like sex, RAM is better when it is real, and not virtual.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 2450
22 Apr 2017 15:44


Kolbjørn Barmen wrote:

Yeah, no, that's not MMU in the "normal" sense. Gunnar has been quite clear that it will never be exposed for software.

Its absolutely an MMU in the normal sense.

To correct here some misconceptions.
You do not need 2 GB main memory memory to convert some animation file.

You can today with the Vampire convert a full 30 GB Blueray video already.


Wawa T

Posts 233
22 Apr 2017 16:24


Kolbjørn Barmen wrote:

    I could easily make a 2D animation that is more than a GB large in ANIM format,
 

 
  as gunnar said, i dont see any necessity to keep a whole anim in ram. once upon a time, when i did large animations to have them output to a video in a studio, i have been fond to add 16mb to a 2mb of system chip, to be able to store and play these anims from ram, without lag. but in comparison to this even 128-256mb of comparatively very fast memory is plenty, not to talk about faster mass storage interface. vampire shouldnt have a problem with such tasks, an a600 or a1200 with pio ide struggled with.
 
  please, lets not try to blackmail apollo team with hypotetical corner cases and artificial arguments, that do not have anything to do with actual experience in particular practical application.


Wawa T

Posts 233
22 Apr 2017 16:36


somehow i see a fraction that constantly demand immediately 2gb ram onboard vampire accelerators and standalone. while i, who can consider myself a "power user", need yet to understand reason for these demands, other than "just because it could be made", id suggest that everybody who can not resign on it, simply waits for the next generation exclusive 2gb vampire batch for some extra cash, possibly available after regular hardware, along the vampire team specs, has been delivered to general public.
 
  vampire seems to be an evolving project. there was version 1, now mostly obsolete, so everybody who wanted is free to upgrade to mk2. but maybe there are people who are keen of hardware mods and would consider this a challenge to solder these 2gb on top of their board at home. lets see..


Thierry Atheist

Posts 317
22 Apr 2017 18:57


Here's a program to turn heads,

EXTERNAL LINK 
but with lots of RAM it's a SUPERSTAR!

(You'll need that for 1920*1080 screens!)


Kolbjørn Barmen

Posts 93
22 Apr 2017 22:40


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

  Its absolutely an MMU in the normal sense.
 

Then software relying on MMU should also work, though if the MMU is "different" it may require to be rewritten.


  To correct here some misconceptions.
  You do not need 2 GB main memory memory to convert some animation file.

I need RAM to *work* with animations, legacy software like DPaint etc do not have any other concept than it being in RAM, preferably even in chipram.  Especially if there will be higher resolutions and more bitplanes, as well as "bigger" audio than 8bit samples. When working with animation it is quite normal to flip between several programs... you know, multitasking? VMM etc were made for good reasons back in the day.
 

  You can today with the Vampire convert a full 30 GB Blueray video already.

Not at all relevant.


Kolbjørn Barmen

Posts 93
22 Apr 2017 22:44


wawa t wrote:

somehow i see a fraction that constantly demand immediately 2gb ram onboard vampire accelerators and standalone.

I do not demand, I oppose the argument that was stated "The CPU is too slow to process the kind of data that would require 2GB or so" - it simply is not true.

Btw - once you start dealing with C++, you bloody well need more RAM too :)


Wawa T

Posts 233
22 Apr 2017 23:58


Kolbjørn Barmen wrote:

  Btw - once you start dealing with C++, you bloody well need more RAM too :)

you mean compiling it?, but then what kind of complexity projects you want to leverage? certainly lack of cpu speed matters more in this respect than lack of ram? it wont be long till you turn back to your x86 based crosscompiler i bet.



Michael R

Posts 155
23 Apr 2017 00:02


The solution to the "more memory" problem is very simple then we won't need to spend time talking about it. For future accelerator cards including Vampire 1200 v2, 256MB can be standard because of power constraints, and for the standalone board, 512MB can be standard to keep costs down. Custom orders can be made for those who absolutely need "more memory", but you will pay a hefty price for hand made cards maybe up to 800 Euros to 1000 Euros! The team can use the extra funds!

Those who want more will then say "is it fair to charge so much for more memory"? But why make everyone else pay extra for your extra memory. Many of us are satisfied with the minimums. But if the standalone board comes standard with 1GB then that's great. :-)


Michael R

Posts 155
23 Apr 2017 06:51


As mentioned in another thread Full CIAs are implemented. For a future version of the standalone board if connectors were available would that allow support for Amiga500/Amiga1200 keyboards, original Amiga floppy drives, and legacy Amiga serial and parallel ports?


Peeri the Sunlight

Posts 5
23 Apr 2017 21:49


In my opinion,
- Ram is cheap.. so why not full 2GB
- IO is cheap.. So USB3 (one is enougt, it can be extended by hub)
- IO is cheap.. RJ45 Port (ethernet Port)
- IO is cheap.. Two SATA ports
- WLAN (parts are cheap)
- Vampire 2 style IO expansion (if space then two of it)
- SAGA + sound in HDMI
- Additional small and cheap FPGA as "custom chip" like SPARTAN 6 etc. which can be used some cool effects processor for SAGA and SuperPaula. and access to user port(see below)
- User port, some pins what can be freely programmed (4 digital and 4 analog could be enough) (arduino style)
- ~1 GB Flash mem as internal hard drive



Michael R

Posts 155
23 Apr 2017 23:50


Peeri the sunlight wrote:

  In my opinion,
    - Ram is cheap.. so why not full 2GB
    - IO is cheap.. So USB3 (one is enougt, it can be extended by hub)
    - IO is cheap.. RJ45 Port (ethernet Port)
    - IO is cheap.. Two SATA ports
    - WLAN (parts are cheap)
    - Vampire 2 style IO expansion (if space then two of it)
    - SAGA + sound in HDMI
    - Additional small and cheap FPGA as "custom chip" like SPARTAN 6 etc. which can be used some cool effects processor for SAGA and SuperPaula. and access to user port(see below)
    - User port, some pins what can be freely programmed (4 digital and 4 analog could be enough) (arduino style)
    - ~1 GB Flash mem as internal hard drive
   
 

 
  Exactly right! RAM is cheap! Custom orders for those who want more RAM than what comes standard are a good idea! Thanks for pointing that out.
 
  I assume we are talking about the Apollo standalone motherboard that Gunnar said was already feature complete and in the testing phase since all that won't necessarily fit the design of the forthcoming v1200 accelerator because of space and power constraints?
 
  The standalone board (Gen2?) Really only needs a few more components that the v500 accelerator card. Since it will be standalone it will need something like a laptop power supply and some way to switch it on, so the board will need a power jack. At least two USB 2.0 or higher ports would be nice and an Ethernet port. Maybe an Amiga serial port for compatibility. HDMI and high quality gold-plated 3.5mm audio jacks would be great to connect lcd monitor and speakers.
 
    But the best addition for the standalone board for future expansion for things like additional USB, SATA, PCI express bus-boards, mSATA for SSD's etc would be a highspeed, high bandwidth Edge Connector. I suggested to use a PCI express edge connector for that very reason. PCI express edge connectors are being sold so they will probably work for that purpose, and they meet the requirements for speed and bandwidth!
 
  Optional items that would make it even more appealing is micro atx or Amiga form factor to fit snuggly in a cheap new case or one of those new re-manufactured Amiga 1200 cases, and an A1200 internal keyboard connector would be fantastic! We won't need an Amiga floppy connector. We can use ADF.


Thierry Atheist

Posts 317
24 Apr 2017 00:07


I agree with Peeri!!!!


Michael R

Posts 155
24 Apr 2017 01:30


Thierry Atheist wrote:

I agree with Peeri!!!!

Of course. But wouldn't a PCI express Edge Connector make all things possible for future versions of the standalone board? How many basic components do we really need added to what is on the v500 or planned v1200 cards? USB, HDMI and sound? USB mouse and keyboard, USB to Ethernet, or USB wireless could be added later.

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