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Discussing the Open Source FPGA Amiga Project
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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Posts: 7
I appreciate the effort that went into it and I think you totally missunderstood my comment.

By the way, I never cited the Minimig as a price or performance reference.

That said, now you bring it up, I thought the project started off as exactly what I described. A hardware solution to near enough what MAME is for PCs (within reason). Hence the name FPGA Arcade. I didn't realise it was geared more toward replicating computers now. I obviously know MAME needs a computer to run also.

I only asked if a JAMMA, non computer orientated version was ever going to be a possibility. It seems you didn't read my post properly though.


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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:45 am 
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Basically the FPGA Arcade (or any other FPGA board) could become a "hardware MAME" device.
In this case some sort of bootloader with a core selection of all known (and possible) re-implemented Arcade hardware boards is necessary. Also a ROM file base to download the image into specific memory area will be necessary.
Sure a pre-compiled FPGA core including all ROMs for one selected game will do the same (see Pacman/AlienInvasion core).

MAME provide a broad spectrum of different Aracde machine, therefor it is quite huge and every single machine need to be re-programed. Its a bit more complex to do this for a variable FPGA design.

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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 6:11 pm 
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Oh for sure, I'd not expect it to happen overnight nor would I expect close to the number of games MAME supports but then MAME itself has had about 15 years to get to this point.

I guess the bonus with this hardware is the expansion, so systems with more complex CPUs than the rest of the system could still have cores written for them.

Maybe it'll happen if/when more arcade system cores come about.

I don't claim to really understand much about FPGAs but if you write a core for one system doesn't that then mean you have common components that can be transferred to other cores much like MAME?


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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 6:43 pm 
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RetroRepair wrote:
I don't claim to really understand much about FPGAs but if you write a core for one system doesn't that then mean you have common components that can be transferred to other cores much like MAME?


Actually, like in Minimig core, it is possible to use parts of the code for other projects.
The TG68k CPU core is one example and a more or less standard scandoubler can be used for several core, too.
Still every core need to be designed for its benefit. Most system need own memory or ROM addressing, so it will be one core for one system.

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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:47 am 
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I am sorry to be a little confused over the FPGA Arcade board. I guess you could find all information out there, but when googling I mostly find outdated information.

Is there an Amiga core with AGA support for FPGA Arcade? It seems you can buy the boards already. Can you run an Amiga 1200 in one of those today?


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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:26 am 
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Location: France / Luxembourg / Belgique
Hi Johey,

You can have a look at FPGA Arcade wbsite here : http://www.fpgaarcade.com

Also, I can give you some informations :
- It emulates 68000/68010/68020/68020RC processors up to 99MHz,
- It emulates AGA chipset,
- It can manage from 1.3 to 3.1 kickstart and 3.1 workbench, even with new icon installed,
- it can manage up to 4 floppy disk drives with 2 differents read speed,
- It can manage ADF and HDF files,
- It integrates up to 2MB chipram and up to 9,5MB fastram,
- You can plug in 2 real Amiga Joystick, one ps/2 keyboard and one ps/2 mouse,
- There is a DVI and a SVHS ouput,
- There is a jack stereo ouput,
- It can manages sd memory card, even SDHC,
- and finally, there is an expansion slot for the upcoming 060/ethernet/usb daughter board.

Also, there is some useful accessories like :
- ATX power adapter : for integrating the FPGA Arcade board in any ATX compatible case,
- I/O Backpanel : also integrating the FPGA Arcade board in any ATX compatible case.

You can have a look at my FPGA Arcade boards and accessories prices list HERE.

Thanks, Laurent aka Faranheit

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Tel : (+33) 7 71 10 72 22
Fax : (+33) 3 87 57 07 21


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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:51 am 
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Beside the 020+ CPU softcore, AGA chipset festure, more RAM and DVI, this board provide same feature as the MinimigV1 board.

I saw the Replay board in action in 2010, it was working well.
Additional you have the option of 48MB chipmem or fastmem via addmem in CLI.

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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:42 pm
Posts: 29
Thank you for the response! It is indeed a very cool board then. A couple of follow-ups:

1) You mention I can add memory with addmem. How comes? Is there RAM available on the board which can not be enabled via autoconfig?

2) This 060 expansion board, will that have additional RAM or RAM slots as well?

3) What will be an approximate price for the 060 expansion board with or without CPU?

4) The board available for EUR 309, is that the Replay board, or are there different FPGA Arcade boards (un)available?

5) Are the core and all software available under a free and open source license, just like the Minimig?


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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Posts: 197
Let me clarify some things:

Quote:
1) You mention I can add memory with addmem. How comes? Is there RAM available on the board which can not be enabled via autoconfig?

There is 64MB of DDR memory on the board. It is used as:
0.5/1/2 MB of CHIP RAM
0/2/4/8 of ZORRO II FAST RAM
0/0.5/1/1.5 of SLOW RAM
0.5/1/2 for ROM
remaining 48MB can be used as extra FAST RAM or it can be configured as extra CHIP RAM

Configuration of the memory is done through OSD menu. You do not have to run any Amiga OS command (it was done that way in early stage of development, now everything is done by special ROM code which is invisible for a normal user).

Quote:
2) This 060 expansion board, will that have additional RAM or RAM slots as well?

It has 128MB of SDRAM (non-upgradable) directly connected to the CPU which guarantees low latency and high throughput.
The daughter board is also equipped with:
- 3-port USB 2.0 high-speed host controller
- Ethernet 100 Mbps controller
- microSD card port (for hard disk emulation)
- battery backed-up RTC
- optical (TOSLINK) digital audio output connector.

Quote:
3) What will be an approximate price for the 060 expansion board with or without CPU?

It's not known right now but with a 060 CPU it shouldn't cost more than 200 Euros.

Quote:
4) The board available for EUR 309, is that the Replay board, or are there different FPGA Arcade boards (un)available?

It's the same board.

Quote:
5) Are the core and all software available under a free and open source license, just like the Minimig?

The final firmware is not ready yet. Everything (except board layout files) will be available under GPL3 licence. It means that if you use any part of it all your work must be available for everyone as opensource under the same GPL3 licence.

Are you interested in helping with development? What are your skills and experience?


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 Post subject: Re: FPGA ARCADE
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:42 pm
Posts: 29
Thank you! This sounds too good to be true. :)

Beside some C64 assembler I am not much of a low-level programmer. I know C and C++ quite well but at my work I program on quite much higher level. It would be very nice getting my hands dirty with some real code. I love free software and GPLv3 is my first choice all days. Not only because I want to see the code, but mainly because that is a guarantee for the project to live as long as there are some ambitions left.

I will most likely order some hardware as soon as possible.


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