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V4SA: What Is the HW Specs Roadmap for 2021?

Michal Pietal

Posts 223
31 Jan 2021 11:48



As the new (R6) core was lately announced, I have questions to the Team about the HW aspects of V4SA.  In order not to off-topic the original core R6 thread, I started a new one.

Is HW specs planned to be altered in 2021?  Now that we have V4+ model (1 USB extra), do You plan to alter the HW specs in 2021 as well?

Another question.  V4SA has some free connectors on the board:
- IO header 1
- IO header 2
- IO header 3
- I2C / RTC
- now JTAG is also free as one could flash V4 with the use of ie. V4BL feature

So, are those extra connectors board-typical or FPGA-related or otherwise, the core (and thus AmigaOS / ApollOS), could have access to it (possibly via the drivers).

Otherwise, are there any appliances that are considered / planned / supported, which could be attached to V4SA and be used within AmigaOS / ApollOS?


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 5408
13 Feb 2021 15:28


Michal Pietal wrote:

Is HW specs planned to be altered in 2021?  Now that we have V4+ model (1 USB extra), do You plan to alter the HW specs in 2021 as well?

   
V4+ is our stable platform.
Performance and features of the V4 are great.
No other Amiga comes even close in speed.

It is planned to produce today V4+ model for the next years coming.
There are no new models planned.

We plan to support the V4 for many years to come with Core updates.
Our regular core updates will continuously to improve both the performance and compatibility.
 
For the upcoming R6 Update enabling our 3D-core is planned.
Allowing 3D games on Amiga.

That V4 will be produced for many years to come as stable platform,
will allow software developers to target one stable system.
 



Michal Pietal

Posts 223
13 Feb 2021 17:05


Dear Gunnar,

Thank you for the thorough answer.

What about the appliances, possible to be connected (other than just peripherials)?

Is anything planned or suggested right away?


Darren Eveland

Posts 49
13 Feb 2021 19:44


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Michal Pietal wrote:

  Is HW specs planned to be altered in 2021?  Now that we have V4+ model (1 USB extra), do You plan to alter the HW specs in 2021 as well?
 

   
  V4+ is our stable platform.
  Performance and features of the V4 are great.
  No other Amiga comes even close in speed.
 
  It is planned to produce today V4+ model for the next years coming.
  There are no new models planned.
 
  We plan to support the V4 for many years to come with Core updates.
  Our regular core updates will continuously to improve both the performance and compatibility.
   
  For the upcoming R6 Update enabling our 3D-core is planned.
  Allowing 3D games on Amiga.
 
  That V4 will be produced for many years to come as stable platform,
  will allow software developers to target one stable system.
 
 

Hi Gunnar, any plans for A500/2000/A3000/4000?  Maybe bring all platforms to the V4 level? :)



Robert Pulfer-Ridings

Posts 53
22 Feb 2021 02:32


I love this thinking, this is a much better idea. There is so much room on the Vampire 4 device and having the hardware stay constant allows for people to really get to know the Vampire and what they can get out of it.
 
  Good choice and I like how things are going d:)


Carlos Roldan

Posts 44
22 Feb 2021 19:55


Hello Gunnar, hope all is well.  Will these new cores work with the V4 or just V4+  ?


Michal Pietal

Posts 223
22 Feb 2021 20:35


One of the reasons I asked is because I really wish to have a wifi module, I wonder if there's any ready-to-go solution, to be pinned via any of the connectors available out there.
 
  No bridge or any other heavyweight bundle, I don't want to go cheap, I want to go convenient (and compact size).
 
  There is a plenty of "wifi module gpio" or "wifi module i2c" Google answers...
 
  Same question concerns a clock -- so that I could have a clock on my AmigaOS - preset and up-to-date...
 
  I would greatly buy either (both) from Apollo site, too:
 
EXTERNAL LINK


Michael MiB

Posts 37
23 Feb 2021 03:22


A clock ?
 
  Just use this : EXTERNAL LINK 
Works fine with ApolloOS or CoffinOS


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 5408
23 Feb 2021 07:35


Carlos Roldan wrote:

Will these new cores work with the V4 or just V4+  ?

All Vampire4 cores work on both V4 and V4+.
And will always work on both.
The only "bonus" that the V4+ does offer is one extra USB port.


Michal Pietal

Posts 223
23 Feb 2021 08:55


Thanks, Michael, I will consider this!


Tim Trepanier

Posts 116
23 Feb 2021 21:27


As a V1200 user, i have access to AGA. I just need to switch my monitor input to see it.

Therefore, i'd like to see more RTG, PIP, 3D, and speed features.


Thierry Atheist

Posts 640
24 Feb 2021 08:45


Introducing: Vampire . . . IV.V !!!!!!!!!!!

Vampire Deluxe?

From EXTERNAL LINK 
Amiga used to be the 680x0 *and* 3 and more co-processors.

"Not anymore". 68080 is nearly a full "SoC" design.

68080=NOT open source (A decision I absolutely support.)

But.... WHAT IF??? (Remember Marvel? (the OLD days))

The Apollo Core Team doesn't seem as concerned with, so, WHAT IF, the S-AGA, RTG/AHI, FPU and AMMX and 3D units (include the CUSTOM internet download mechanism) WERE made by this CRAZY offer put forth by Google?!??!!!!!!!!

IMAGINE a Vampire where AT LEAST the co-processors ARE running at OVER 1 GHz!!!!!!!!!!!!

This would be a "hard sell" as there would be a VERY LIMITED amount of units available and be maybe TWICE the cost of a standalone..... But, there ARE those out there......

P.S. They were STRONGLY CONSIDERING using the Arria 10 for the Vampire IV standalone, which was theoretically 200% to 300% faster* than the Cyclone that is in there now. However, they decided that that FPGA was too expensive.

P.P.S. I recognise fully that this would be "going backwards" from the 68080 concept of putting everything into ONE ASIC (eventually), but it's the ONLY compromise available to get more than 800 MHz of performance into an AUTHENTIC "AMIGA"!!!!!!!!

* The speed increase varies depending on the assembler instruction that you are testing.


James Husted

Posts 70
24 Feb 2021 10:17


Thierry Atheist wrote:

Introducing: Vampire . . . IV.V !!!!!!!!!!!
 
  Vampire Deluxe?
 
  From EXTERNAL LINK 
  Amiga used to be the 680x0 *and* 3 and more co-processors.

what are you going on about?
 
  "Not anymore". 68080 is nearly a full "SoC" design.
 
  68080=NOT open source (A decision I absolutely support.)
 
  But.... WHAT IF??? (Remember Marvel? (the OLD days))
 
  The Apollo Core Team doesn't seem as concerned with, so, WHAT IF, the S-AGA, RTG/AHI, FPU and AMMX and 3D units (include the CUSTOM internet download mechanism) WERE made by this CRAZY offer put forth by Google?!??!!!!!!!!
 
  IMAGINE a Vampire where AT LEAST the co-processors ARE running at OVER 1 GHz!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
  This would be a "hard sell" as there would be a VERY LIMITED amount of units available and be maybe TWICE the cost of a standalone..... But, there ARE those out there......
 
  P.S. They were STRONGLY CONSIDERING using the Arria 10 for the Vampire IV standalone, which was theoretically 200% to 300% faster* than the Cyclone that is in there now. However, they decided that that FPGA was too expensive.
 
  P.P.S. I recognise fully that this would be "going backwards" from the 68080 concept of putting everything into ONE ASIC (eventually), but it's the ONLY compromise available to get more than 800 MHz of performance into an AUTHENTIC "AMIGA"!!!!!!!!
 
  * The speed increase varies depending on the assembler instruction that you are testing.





Thierry Atheist

Posts 640
24 Feb 2021 15:41


I kind of thought it was pretty clear.

Amiga was a CPU (680x0) and 3 and eventually a few more custom processors added to it, that made the AMIGA.

These guys are making it possible to develop *and* manufacture YOUR OWN CPU!!!!

The Apollo Team isn't willing to open source their new CPU. But they *might* be willing to have the other speciality chips put onto their own "CPU" die!!! So, a FPGA and a custom chip (a REAL ASIC) that runs at, more than likely, more than 800 MHz could be fabricated for them through this special offer by Google!!!!


Thierry Atheist

Posts 640
24 Feb 2021 15:44


This is the news article that describes the offer: EXTERNAL LINK


Markus (mfro)

Posts 99
24 Feb 2021 16:31


Thierry Atheist wrote:

  This is the news article that describes the offer: EXTERNAL LINK 

 
  Far from an ASIC expert, but I strongly assume it will be plain impossible to fit the Vampire design into a 3 something by 3 something mm² chip area at 130nm. Not even remotely.
 
  (a Cyclone IV is 60nm with a much larger die)
 
  Anyway, I wouldn't put much hope in that.


Vojin Vidanovic
(Needs Verification)
Posts 1896/ 1
24 Feb 2021 18:15


Thierry Atheist wrote:

This is the news article that describes the offer: EXTERNAL LINK 

Ist really nice general news, but if Apollo team was able to use it, or find it in accordance with their plans, I suppose they would.

So far, so good, FPGA path works. I dont drool for real ASIC board much, as long as FPGA path progresses. Its upgradable, low power and not that much expensive. Just could be limit for big clock rates, but that is not 080 aim. Revival of software scene, would be more important. And FPGA market could enable that.


Thierry Atheist

Posts 640
27 Feb 2021 14:32


Markus (mfro) wrote:
Far from an ASIC expert, but I strongly assume it will be plain impossible to fit the Vampire design into a 3 something by 3 something mm² chip area at 130nm. Not even remotely.

(a Cyclone IV is 60nm with a much larger die)


1. I'm talking about portions of the overall Vampire. Okay, the bulk of it, only leaving out the 68080 itself.

2. Me too, "far from an ASIC expert", but I recall (I think) that the gate count used in a FPGA is higher than in an ASIC when imitating another computer because of needing to pad out timing of command completion, as you're trying to match an already existing CPU.

The nanometer size is bigger in the offered ASIC, but the gate count smaller(?), otherwise, leave out a few other components when asking for a batch.

Also, lots of gates are used for the instruction and data caches (for the 68080 to REALLY SHINE (Vampires don't like that???)), something that would/could be smaller in the ASIC.


Thierry Atheist

Posts 640
27 Feb 2021 14:34


Vojin Vidanovic wrote:
So far, so good, FPGA path works. I dont drool for real ASIC board much, as long as FPGA path progresses.

I was kind of hoping for less than ~7 years sitting at the same level of computing power.

I DO LOVE the VAMPIRE, nonetheless!!!!


Chastanier Cclecle

Posts 19
27 Feb 2021 18:25


I'm not sure putting SAGA in ASIC will make real differences.
  The current power is enough for 2D and if you need more... well, you all know that there are pieces of hardware especially designed for that purpose: GPU cards ! So better make a PCIe slot (and finally make V2 1200 Mediator compatible). Everybody will be happy and it will open more doors. Making the chipset ASIC ready will be a huge work, not only for the chipset but also to re-route the board(s) to connect FPGA to chipset. Cost will certainly raise hard... Maintaining the 68080 make sense because there is no other alternative, but building a GPU, soundcard etc in an ASIC sounds... pointless.
 
  From my pov the only part that would be great in ASIC is... CPU :-/
 
  As a matter of fact, That's part of the reasons why Commodore falls, it was too hard to maintain all the custom chipset, where in PC word there were company for CPU, other for motherboard, GPU etc...
 
  For the same reason I'm not sure if I'm really happy to read Apollo team is making a 3D core. Its great to have that for sure, but I would have been much much more happier to see that effort pushed into a Vampire V5 with pcie ! And again, a fixed core for V2 1200 to support mediator, even if its slow, it's an alive product which open possibilities: GPU, soundcards, TV, PPC..
 
  Please guys, open your mind (and your market) !
 

posts 20