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[News] New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systemsANN.lu
Posted on 28-Mar-2001 22:44 GMT by Christian Kemp38 comments
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Grzegorz Juraszek wrote: "Prometheus" is the most advanced PCI bridge adapter available for Amiga computers equipped with Zorro III expansion slots.
Warsaw, March 29, 2001

We are pleased to introduce you to our latest product - "Prometheus" card for Amiga.

It is the most advanced PCI bridge adapter available for Amiga computers equipped with Zorro III expansion slots. With "Prometheus", a world of cheap, standard PCI cards opens before you! Some features of the product:

- Works with any Zorro III equipped Amiga, regardless of the turbo/processor card installed in the system,
- Four 32-bit PCI slots clocked with 33 MHz,
- Fits any tower case, also works with desktop A3000/4000s when open,
- Works with other Zorro III cards, supports AutoConfig (TM),
- Real transfer rates between Amiga and PCI cards - up to 12 MB/s,
- Real transfer rates between PCI cards - up to 120 MB/s,
- Additional on-board connector for the power supply,
- Professionally designed four-layer printed-circuitboard with gold-galvanized contacts - complies the PCI standard specifications.

Together with the "Prometheus" card we bundle a CD-ROM with:

- Drivers for the Voodoo3 graphics card, developed in close co-operation with Hyperion and the authors of Picasso96. 2D drivers work under the P96 system, 3D functions are available through Warp3D,
- Drivers for a sound card and a network card,
- A completely FREE software development kit for programmers. There is no need to sign NDA and no additional fees - we want to make "Prometheus" the most open PCI bridge solution as far as the drivers development goes,
- Demo versions of the games that use the 3D functions of Voodoo3: Heretic 2, Shogo.
The "Prometheus" package also contains multi-lingual reference manual (also in English), holders for the bridge and PCI cards and the extension cord for a graphics card.

Prometheus - no promises, just solutions.

Our webpage: Matay For information about Prometheus in English, contact Grzegorz Juraszek: e-mail: mailto:fei@matay.pl or cel. phone: +48 609 394778 (from 10 am to 6 pm).
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 1 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Darrin on 27-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
It's amazing that no-one could produce a PCI solution for the Amiga years ago until Elbox wheeled one out and now every man and his dog is crawling out of the woodwork to capture a slice of the market. Well, if there is no Mediator-3000 soon then I guess one of these things is going to find it's way into my A3000. I wonder if a Shark could work with it too?
I hope this isn't another "IWin" type stunt. Anyone ever heard of this company?
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 2 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Rafo on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
If the card they show in the Photo on their website is made for A4K, it can fit in an A4KT. In an A4KD, this would make the cards vertical, which is not an option. No description with about the way it fits into the A4KD or A3KD, no release date. This really looks like a fake. Some new card that uses ZIII, which is a real pain in the ass work on, get here just like that, nobody expecting it. Sorry, but I don't buy this one. I need one to get conviced it really works.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 3 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Darrin on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Rafo):
They did say that it would fit in the A3/4k desktops with the case open. Perhaps their solution is to saw the back off the desktop case and leave the PCI cards hanging in air, only supported by the actual card slot itself. A truly original idea!!! I wonder if it comes with duct-tape, double sided sticky tape, paper clips and cardboard as part of the "installation kit"? :)
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 4 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Francois Prowse on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
So - how many days until April 1st :)
....FP
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 5 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Teemu Kärkkäinen on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
I got the impression that the PCI cards are hanging in the air and they've been kind enough to provide an extension cord for the Voodoo3 monitorplug. The cord then goes to the backplane. No need of sawing :)
Wonder how that affects the picture quality though...
But let's see after the April 1. what happends... :)
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 6 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Amifan on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
They dare to mention Hyperion. They can comment on this, unless they're behind this early april 1st joke :))
If not then, uhm... get your chainsaw and start DIY :o)
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 7 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Amifan on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
But at least they advertise wit real sustained transfer speeds and not some theoretic MAX transfer speed.....
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 8 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Ben Yoris/Hyperion on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
This is no fake.
This product exists and has been tested.
Hyperion is in relation with Matay for a while.
As for the fitting in an A4000D or A3000D, please read the Matay website where it is explained.
The release date will be announced soon. Please consider that the product really exists and has been succesfully tested with P96.
Regards,
Ben Yoris/Hyperion
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 9 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Francois Prowse on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Ben Yoris/Hyperion):
OK - This sounds promising....They really should learn not to post/announce such things immediatly before April 1st ;)
Cheers
Francois
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 10 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by peter Heginbotham on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
OK What's the Price ?
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 11 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Ziggy on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
This looks f***kin brilliant. I just wish they did this years ago.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 12 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Steffen Haeuser on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Francois Prowse):
Hi!
I like the part of the open SDK also... maybe after they do release this,
DCE and Elbox will also release their SDK on their WWW page ? The SDK
for all PCI Boards being free for every Driver author would be a good thing IMHO :)
Steffen
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 13 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Amifan on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Ben Yoris/Hyperion):
Cool, just another comment to start speculation on again :)
So Hyperion is in close contact with P96 team. (looks like there are totally 2 camps right now. :o) don't flame me on this one....just joking.....)
P96 team is busy writing a Mediator Voodoo3 driver (probably a virge driver too).
They didn't buy their Mediator, but got it from someone, or at least that's what one of the authors said on the Mediator mailing list.....(who or which compagny could that be?)
Hyperion and P96 mean WarpOS support (Yeah yeah, Hyperion != WarpOS, but it can result in huge speedups by reducing context switches).... This is a really nice one.... I'd love to see WarpOS support in Picasso96.
Anyway....maybe it's nice to complete the St. louis party by the deliverance of Warp3D 4 beta with a beta voodoo3 driver....full speed or not...
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 14 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Amifan on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Steffen Haeuser):
And what do they have to loose by releasing a free SDK to anyone? Elbox uncovered their hardware protection....G-REX is nothing more then a couple of standard parts....
Time to jump to Phase 2 and enable anyone write their own drivers.
What about a unified PCI driver system? A high level driver system.
Something like a driver system which let you choose your PCI board (library) and busboard independant hardware driver.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 15 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Dave on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (Teemu Kärkkäinen):
I had to do that with my DIY tower and Voodoo3, picture quality still looks OK.
As for the comment two before the one I'm replying to (confusing eh :), that's also what my Mediator and cards are like :)
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 16 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz "Krashan" Kraszewski on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Darrin):
PCI cards will not just "hang on their slots". There will be a bracket includer
to screw them on it.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 17 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by KSK on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
I wonder if it requires buster rev11 or is rev9 ok?
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 18 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz "Krashan" Kraszewski on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (Amifan):
Prometheus can be much faster than this, but is limited by Buster design.
For example on A3200 card (EC030/25) it achieves about 7100 kB/s.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 19 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz Juraszek on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 1 (Darrin):
Matay's been selling Amiga software in Poland for a year. This is NO fake or joke, the boards are very real and will sell in May. Look at the photo, does it look like a piece of render? ;)
You say everybody does a PCI solution now. So why so many people are not satisfied yet? The project started LONG BEFORE Elbox annouced their PCI board. It's no piece of cake to design and make such board. We did not spoof until the cards became real. No promises, no yet-to-be-released surprises. Isn't it the better way?
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 20 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz Juraszek on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Darrin):
It ALSO fits the desktop case without the lit. And no card is swinging in the air, there are holders to, echm... hold ;) them. And the extension cords to attach them to rear panels. Everything is explained at our site in plain (I hope so ;) English. We will soon photo it inside an Amiga with the holders for those that prefer seeing as believing.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 21 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz Juraszek on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Francois Prowse):
Would you like us to wait "for another nine months" like Petro T. said at Amiga Show'98? ;-) In business, there's no joking, at April 1st or any other day.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 22 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz Juraszek on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 10 (peter Heginbotham):
Too early to speculate on that. Prometheus will hit the shops in May, so currency rates we strictly depend on can change. About 550 DM for now, but do not take it as a promise. We don't like promises, we've had too many of them.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 23 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by peter Heginbotham on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 22 (Grzegorz Juraszek):
Who will be the Uk supplier, or are you selling directly to the Public and cut out the middle man?
Peter
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 24 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
How many promotheus card can I put in my Z3 slots ?
As I have 7 slots and a gog tower 2 should be possible.
Will my Amiga handle 8 PCI slots ???
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 25 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Christophe Decanini):
I mean a big (Mikronic) tower: the gog tower is not yet invented ;)
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 26 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Graham on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Christophe Decanini):
Interesting idea! I don't see why not, however the two busses would have to share the Zorro III bandwidth (isn't it slow - 12MB/s - I was sure that Zorro III was faster than that).
The website is very slow as well - the guys need to sort out some proper hosting for the website! :-)
The two chips on the board - I assume one is a standard PCI controller, and that the other is a Zorro III -> PCI bridge of some sort?
Next step - add a mounted PCI ethernet chip to the card to give it Ethernet without the need for an external card. Then a fast IDE controller. As the VIA686B southbridge is a PCI device, you could put on of those on a PCI card and get a whole tonne of expansion options - ATA100, 2xserial, proper parallel, IR, 4xUSB, etc. That would be fun.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 27 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Carlos on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 26 (Graham):
The hosting *is* proper. The coutry ain't. Try to traceroute anything in .pl and you find out why...
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 28 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Mart on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
What I don't like about the Mediator, Grex and now this board is that they only have four pci slots !!!
That to less for me !
I need one for GFX, one for sound, one for networking, one for SCSI and one for TV card/digitiser.
Thats five slots, (or four PCI and 1 AGP)
I think there must be more people out there with the same idea as me.....
Still glad to see this new hardware anyway !
Mart
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 29 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Graham on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 28 (Mart):
That is why I suggested that they could put the network port on the PCI expansion card itself. That would save a slot, without taking up too much room.
However, you have to remember that most PC motherboards with 5 or 6 PCI slots themselves actually have two PCI busses, with a PCI-PCI bus in the middle. If you look at the amount of PCI devices on a fully populated system ,it can be up to 14:
1 Northbridge
2 Southbridge
3 6 PCI devices
9 IDE RAID Controller
10 PCI-PCI Bridge
11 USB ports
12 Serial
13 Parallel
14 Normal IDE
Some of these are built into the southbridge, but are still full PCI devices. The southbridge usually has a full PCI bus implementation internally, I think.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 30 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz "Krashan" Kraszewski on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Christophe Decanini):
You can use two Prometheus boards in A4000T without problems. Software is prepared
for this. Theoretically it can be up to 6 x 4 PCI slots, but of course such a configuration does not fit in any existing Amiga.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 31 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Chris Roccati on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 30 (Grzegorz "Krashan" Kraszewski):
Just a question:
Could the card be relayouted to be used IN PLACE of the existing ZIII
daughter board on the A4000D?
This would allow the use of PCI expansions in a closed A4000 case...
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 32 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Marcel on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 31 (Chris Roccati):
That's a design I would prefer also. I have no Zorro cards in my A3000, other than a Picasso II. It would be a lot cleaner if they made a daughter board to replace the one in my Amiga.
Problems with that is they'd need two different models for A4000D and A3000D. The board would not work with A3000T (probably A4000T also) since there is no daughterboard in the A3000T.
I think the best design would have 4 pci slots, 1 agp slot, and a cpu slot. That way the video card goes in the agp, the G4 or G3 goes in the cpu slot on it's own card with own memory, leaving all 4 pci slots free for whatever.
That would make the design more expensive, since you'd need more bridge logic in there because of the AGP bus. Don't know how you'd get such a beast to work.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 33 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cook on 28-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 32 (Marcel):
The difference between the 3000 and 4000 daughter cards is only a couple terminators, afair. Easily handled with a jumper in the board. PCI and ZII slots could be placed inline like the current ISA slots. This would be a great option for alot of desktop owners, much better than leaving the top off. I like the idea of a southbridge with all its I/O options on the board as well. That reduces the number of cards needed in the limited slot count desktops.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 34 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Grzegorz Juraszek on 29-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 23 (peter Heginbotham):
Any Amiga distributor who wants to sell Prometheus will be taken into consideration. So email them and ask about it, encourage them to contact us. Some companies have already done it. I'm sure you understand why I can't tell which of them did. Prometheus will hit the shops in May, the price for Poland is 998 zl. 1 Euro is 3,6265 zl for today. Naturally, the prices in your country will somehow depend on local distributors, yet you can roughly estimate them in your local currency. Right now, we do not plan direct sale outside Poland.
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 35 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Ralph on 29-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
I don't recall exactly, but i read somewhere that the daughterboard connector in an A3/4000
is basically nothing more than a Zorroslot itself, which is then replicated with some logic
to adjust to the riser card, with the logic mainly dealing with the autoconfig and termination
issues on the daughterboard. I am not sure but i have in mind that someone even posted a
message some time ago about being successful in running a Picasso-II plugged directly into
the motherboard connector instead of a Zorroslot on the riser board. So there might be a chance
of Prometheus replacing the daughterboard (though ISA and Zorro get totally lost that way!).
Perhaps some hardware expert (Grzegorz?) could confirm (or neglect) this? Would be a good
selling point for Matay, wouldn't it?! :)
Further on, _IF_ the daughterboard connector was a Zorroslot by itself, how would the Prometheus
card deal with this situation, as it has to maintain 4 PCI slots?!
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 36 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Ralph on 29-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 31 (Chris Roccati):
If the pictures are true, the G-REX 4000 replaces the original Daughterboard completely.
Have a look at: http://www.aug99.com/grex4000d.html
Looks really good to me :-D Unfortunately i am lucky user of a CSPPC (and therefore am
quite sad i cannot yet make use of this boards as my Amiga is in Germany while i am in Japan
until the end of the year - hence "unfortunately" :-\
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 37 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Amifan on 29-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 36 (Ralph):
And there seems to be a G4 exspansion planned for the G-REX 4000. (vgr.com)
Take a look at the Elbox article in the unmoderated section, why it's unlikely that it won't work in a G-REX 1200.....
New PCI bridge solution for Zorro III Amiga systems : Comment 38 of 38ANN.lu
Posted by Marcel on 29-Mar-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 37 (Amifan):
I wonder if the BoXeR will ever see the light of day. :/
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