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[News] Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processorsANN.lu
Posted on 21-Jan-2004 19:44 GMT by Senex68 comments
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In the forum of Amiga.org, Stephen Smith of Austex Software ("Uropa2") presented his Amiga-inspired project Nueron/NuOS, a Coldfire computer with its own operating system. (A german translation can be found at amiga-news.de.)
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 51 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Nate Downes on 22-Jan-2004 21:19 GMT
In reply to Comment 45 (koan):
So we're at an impass of opinion, nothing wrong with that.

There's also the MPGA's on the market, as a halfway step between the two technologies.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 52 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 22-Jan-2004 21:19 GMT
In reply to Comment 43 (Amigamad):
I have nothing against AW.NET.
AW.NET owners are free to do what they want with their site.
I just had a problem with a couple of AW.NET moderators that would badmouth ANN and then link AW.NET threads on ANN and actively participate to flamewars here.
Lately the situation has improved.

If you would pay attention you would notice that I set to abuse all posts that are provocating, profane, etc whatever "side" the person is.
Your post look like it should get moderated but I let it here so people can understand how good people that serve you every day are treated.
I hope that in real life you don't speak to people like that, at least you wouldn't do it for a very long time in front of me.
One day, I may just been fed up with all the little punks like you and drop anything I do for the Amiga. Unfortunately I would not be the first one for these reasons and I won't be the last one.
Amigans sounds more and more like whiners that flame each other and do nothing productive while the few that do something get flamed.
It is very sad but if the community is vanishing people like you really deserve it.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 53 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 22-Jan-2004 21:28 GMT
In reply to Comment 50 (Amigamad):
"No, i am just fed up of people attacking Amigaworld for the exact samething they do. "

Do what ? Moderating people attacking each other, flaming, insulting ?
It is my role as a moderator.
As for a FEW Amigaworld moderators I criticized them for playing the clean site vs dirty ANN while coming here to do the flaming.

Did I ever posted on AW.NET to do the same thing ?

As things are getting better PLEASE do not start another ANN.LU vs AW.NET war to whine later that ANN people criticize AW.NET.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 54 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Matt Parsons on 22-Jan-2004 21:42 GMT
In reply to Comment 47 (Amigamad):
I think the only problem that anyone has with the moderatos is when they come to other sites and do things that they ban on their site...
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 55 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Big Red Troll on 22-Jan-2004 23:43 GMT
In reply to Comment 53 (Christophe Decanini):
>>As for a FEW Amigaworld moderators I criticized them for playing the clean site vs dirty ANN while coming here to do the flaming.

IMO that is a fair comment, certain moderators were getting out of hand. IMO the problem came when people branded ALL amigaworld.net visitors under a certain description.

As Christophe has said, Amigaworld.net is not linked by ANN, and the only mention of Amigaworld.net is by users who post links to threads on that site. It's a shame IMO, but really there shouldn't be many problems anymore.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 56 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Darth_X on 23-Jan-2004 00:26 GMT
http://www.austexsoftware.com/gfx/nueron1200a/nu1200pci.jpg

'Kylie' chip? ;)
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 57 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by tech on 23-Jan-2004 01:15 GMT
In reply to Comment 45 (koan):
Even if that is the case the development cycle is much more expensive than with FPGAs: if you make a mistake, you've wasted a device. With an FPGA, if you make a mistake you just reconfigure with a new bitfile.

We all know how mistakes found later in the development cycle cost more to correct than mistakes found early on. Mistakes will always be found at very late stages but then it is a case of "is it worth correcting or can we live with it ?"

Therefore, I still don't believe ASICs would be more cost effective than FPGAs.
Also I still don't agree with your original statement that implied that a properly configured ASIC would be more reliable than a properly configured FPGA.

koan
cut

I think your right. It would take a team of people, equipement, the masks, testing etc. Have to have a very large sales base for it.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 58 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by koan on 23-Jan-2004 02:19 GMT
In reply to Comment 57 (tech):
Programming an FPGA for a complex task (like emulating ECS or AGA for
example) is no piece of cake either!

Most FPGA developers will use a simulator in order to use debugging tools etc.

Suffice to conclude, it wouldn't be a trivial task.

koan
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 59 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Matt Parsons on 23-Jan-2004 09:04 GMT
In reply to Comment 56 (Darth_X):
Hehehe, I noticed that. Notice also that that chip has had it's "numbers" removed :-D
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 60 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by [JC] on 23-Jan-2004 11:06 GMT
Wow, I cant belive me mentioning FPGA implementations of Amiga chips caused such an argument!

Anyway, the reason for FPGA would not be to try and sell it, it would be for fun, and also using FPGA would allow others to build it. As for having exact knowlege of the custom chips, I think UAE proves how much one can do without having exact details about every little thing. I wouldn't bother trying to sell it, as i'd make little money, and anyway it'd probably be illegal to do so.

The goal wouldn't be to make an exact copy of Amiga chips, it'd be to make an Amiga-workalike solution which would hopefully run the original ROM (and maybe some games) with little or no modification. Now that someone mentions the Coldfire chips, I think it'd be very interesting to use one of these together with FPGA's to simulate an Amiga like platform.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 61 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Matt Parsons on 23-Jan-2004 11:30 GMT
In reply to Comment 60 ([JC]):
Well FPGA's and Coldfires all sound very nice... but it might be cheaper and simpler to build a dual processor Arm based platform, with a simple VGA and 16bit Audio DACs. Run a cutdown linux kernel on it and then run UAE on that.

I think it would provied a "better" solution if you just want to make an Amgia Compatible machine, ie no better than a real Amiga.

What do you think?
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 62 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by nueron on 23-Jan-2004 12:56 GMT
In reply to Comment 59 (Matt Parsons):
Well, it looks like I did, but it's just the camera angle... :)

Actually, if you look at the LCD interface picture (bottom middle on web page), you can make out the Xilinx logo. Anyway, it's an XCR3064XL chip programmed for local and PCI bus arbitration (amongst other things).

Regards,
Stephen.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 63 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Nate Downes on 23-Jan-2004 13:34 GMT
In reply to Comment 60 ([JC]):
Well, if you'd settle for "close enough" then I'd feel that an FPGA would do.

As koan pointed out, programming an FPGA is not a trivial task. I've found that even in the same chip family, timing can vary by a few kilohertz. In most cases, this varience would be ignored, but in the Amiga's chipset case, where timing is accurate to within 100hz, a few kilohertz can eliminate the compatiblity on the chip-level. Makes it unable to use chipset-dependent circuits like the Video Toaster.

Now, if you put a lot of work into it, you *can* make an FPGA accurate even through this varience. Using larger FPGA's, using higher-quality FPGA's, all of which raise the cost of the design, and you can get everything perfect. However, if you're just caring about software-compatibility, then shoot, even some pile of silicon sludge FPGA would do. It wouldn't be easy, but it would be much easier than trying to get things perfectly accurate.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 64 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Megol on 24-Jan-2004 03:37 GMT
In reply to Comment 63 (Nate Downes):
So you are suggesting one should do asyncronous logic in an FPGA?!?
I don't know where/how you learned about FPGAs but async. logic is extremly difficult in ASICs and almost impossible to do in FPGAs.
If one design synchronous logic as intended there is no timing difference between chips.
The suggestion that it would be any problem to syncronize/generate signals to within 100Hz is absolutely unbelivable, there is no problem either generating or reacting to signals from 0.0000001-133MHz with a relatively inexpensive FPGA (ex. Xilinx SpartanIIE) and by using DLL/PLLs one can get as exact timings as one can realistically need.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 65 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Peter Gordon on 24-Jan-2004 09:30 GMT
In reply to Comment 44 (xeron):
Xeron is the nick I use elsewhere. This post is not from me.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 66 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by koan on 24-Jan-2004 10:07 GMT
In reply to Comment 63 (Nate Downes):
> As koan pointed out, programming an FPGA is not a trivial task.

I meant programming either an FPGA or *ASIC* for this kind of task
is not trivial.

I wish (other) people would stop suggesting on ANN that it would be
easy to knock together a new version of the custom chips using ASICs
or FPGAs, simply because the passage of time has made that technology
look very old.

> I've found that even in the same chip family, timing can vary by a few
> kilohertz.

I won't argue that you didn't experience it but I would suggest there are
other reasons. I don't think anyone would use FPGAs if they were as inaccurate
as you claim.

> in the Amiga's chipset case, where timing is accurate to within 100hz,

This is a joke, right ?

I find it very hard to believe that even the OCS used such massive tolerances.

koan
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 67 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by [JC] on 26-Jan-2004 09:55 GMT
To be honest I'd only be doing the system for fun and to learn about FPGA stuff. I'm already planning to hook up a 68000 chip and ram from a dead A500 just to be able to play about with the 68000 chip.

The C-One just gave me an interesting idea that if it's possible to implement a C64 workalike and others in FPGA, it may be possible to implement an Amiga workalike also. Obviously some things (such as Paula sound) would be better done with more modern hardware but the key things like copper/blitter would be an interesting challenge.
Nueron/NuOS: Amiga-inspired computer project based on Coldfire processors : Comment 68 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Nate Downes on 26-Jan-2004 16:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 66 (koan):
> I find it very hard to believe that even the OCS used such massive tolerances.

Then you haven't delt with analog television have you?

The Amiga was designed to allow interactive use of analog television signals (NTSC/PAL) in real-time. We're talking playback, genlocking, cookie-cutter effects, overlay, and blending, all in real time. Analog television is such that small changes in the synch of these various elements renders the whole system unusable. You end up with such things as screen artifacts, staircased or torn graphics, etc. The amiga chipsets as they were did not include such things as pipelines, which are how modern systems compensate by having only 1 element that has to be so accurate as opposed to the whole system.

AAA was a step away from this, using a pipeline to reduce the need for such accuracy throughout the whole system. But this increased the cost of the design dramatically, needing the buffers for the video output as well as increasing the overall complexity.

PC's don't need this accuracy simply because VGA allows variable-synch, and is much more tolerent simply because it is not intended for broadcast. You know what happens to broadcast signals that vary in timing? they bleed into other bands of the spectrum. This is unacceptable for broadcast work, which is what NTSC/PAL was intended for.

Make sence?
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