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      /  The Dragon is stirring - at last!
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Donar 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 16-Nov-2006 20:19:29
#161 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 12-Nov-2006
Posts: 117
From: Germany

@elatour

I don' t think it has something to do with you being dense.

The CF68kLib from MicroAPL has two "modes". I'm only partly through the discription and only understand half of it. But here in short the 2 Modes:

1: For running whole 68k OS.
CF68Lib will set up a 68k virtual machine that emulates a whole 68k LC something (no MMU no FPU.
Programs can run unpatched, but can not use FPU or MMU functions.

2: For running patched 68k code on top of a Coldfire OS.
CF68kLib will trap out at opcodes that are not implemented in Coldfire and will handle/"emulate" them "somehow". There are Opcodes which are not missing but their implementation is different on 68k and Coldfire - so the CF68kLib can not trap there, these opcodes have to be replaced/patched out of the code.

For the latter option (Patched code on Coldfire OS) BigGuns option b) would fit - but i dont know how it's done. -> The Opcodes that do not the same on 68k and Coldfire have to be replaced by other code.

Edit:
I don't think BigGun is from Elbox, but i think he wrote "Shoot em up construction kit" for MorphOS and also helped porting "Robin Hood" to MorphOS.

Bye

Last edited by Donar on 16-Nov-2006 at 08:22 PM.

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elatour 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 16-Nov-2006 21:38:28
#162 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 18-Jan-2005
Posts: 936
From: Toronto, Canada

@Donar

Thanks for explaining this to me, to the best of your knowledge anyway.

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DJS 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 17-Nov-2006 18:49:24
#163 ]
New Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 8
From: Unknown

Hello,

First of all, thank you everyone for posting here your opinions on our presentation of Dragon.

I would like to share some comments I have after reading these posts.

First, a brief intro:

The Dragon's presentation was pretty unexpected, not only for you, but also for us. One of organisers of the AMizaduszki meeting accidentally met Mr. Binek in the Freescale seminar, which was held three days earlier in Krakow. He invited us to participate in Amizaduszki and to show Dragon. The purpose of this presentation was not to present software performance, but to show how the Dragon's hardware functions. This was said in the beginning of the presentation.

The presentation was to show that AGP and PCI cards installed in Dragon's slots work problem-free. With the previous versions of the MCF5475 processor there was some problems with PCI operation (Dragon employs PCI support provided in this chip.)

The system was a Dragon board connected to A1200 motherboard, with PCI slots fitted with a FastEthernet 100Mbit/s card, a Spider Hi-Speed USB 2.0 card, a TV tuner card, plus a Voodoo3 card in the AGP slot. The DVD player was connected to the TV card, and Internet was connected through the network card.

The system was not optimised in any way for speed, this was a pure OS3.9 with default settings. We did not use any patches to speed up Workbench. The booting disk worked in FFS. Our starting BIOS did not have any optimised settings, either. We just wanted to show you hardware in action.

Some comments follow:

------------
@mailman
> Everything need to be compiled under Coldfire.

Not really. Someone here better expressed it, saying that ColdFire shows its full potential on software compiled directly for it. The same was with software for 68060.

------------
@AMiGR
> A 400MHz PPC can't play a DVD without a vector
> unit, let alone a 266MHz ColdFire.

There is a method other than vector unit to obtain smooth DVD playback with slower processors. Most of ATI Radeon graphic cards have MPEG-2 hardware decoders, which incorporates run-level decode, de-zigzag and IDCT into an IDCT engine to complement the motion compensation engine. These offload the most computationally intensive part of the MPEG-2 decoding process from the CPU. For numbers see chart in page 10 of this document: http://ati.amd.com/developer/atirdv.pdf

------------
@AMiGR
> What's the real advantage in using a ColdFire if
> emulation is slower than the real thing?

In case of the ColdFire processor, general emulation cannot be referred to, as it happens with PPC processors. For ColdFire, only some commands must be emulated, and speed of software running depends on whether and how many such instructions are included in the given software. Some 68k programs have quite a lot such instructions, which must be emulated, in others they are scarce. Therefore, one cannot generalise that software written for 68k will run slower or faster than with 68060/50. Some will run slower, but others will run much faster.

------------
@NutsAboutAmiga
> The videos show way doing presentation on a CRT
> monitor is a bad idea

The presentation was on a 19" LCD screen. Workbench ran in native resolution of the screen (1280x1024 / 24-bit).

The CRT screen was connected to the AGA output. We wanted to show that a system with the MCF5475 processor can run with AGA chips too. Re-programming Dragon's FLASH was also presented with software run on the 68020 processor.

------------
@AMiGR
> According to people there, it was either a big
> faster than a 040 or a bit slower, depending on
> who you believe.

I personally didn't hear this, and I think that voicing such conclusions purely based on the speed that some icons show up on non-optimised Workbench may be misleading. As I wrote earlier, we were not there to show speed of software running with ColdFire.

------------
@hatschi
> Maybe they just didn't have IconBeFast installed
> on their OS 3.9 installation. Makes a huge difference!

As I wrote, the system did not have any patches like that.

------------
@Rob
> I've sent them an email regarding the concerns about
> speed and a couple of other points.

We have not received them. Please send them to dragon@elbox.com

------------
@AMiGR
> They will probably give you the usual PR answers
> that contain next to no useful information.

You do a nice moderator work here. Thanks.

------------
@hatschi
> we see an USB-stick on the videos and when opening
> the drawers the Elbox guy is mentioning flash

The USB 2.0 memory stick was used to show speed of USB 2.0 in Dragon. The speed showed by the test program was 7.5 MBytes/s. This particular USB memory stick is not faster on PC computers.

------------
@AMiGR
> I guess it will run faster than the crappy machine
> shown in the video, but it won't run 68060 programs
> faster than my CSPPC.

We will see... I am really very happy that some of you progressed so much and do not say any more that Dragon will never be working...

------------
@Crumb
> The speed showing the Dragon picture in AWeb is
> also too slow.

In the presentation, the Dragon's photo was opened from http://www.elbox.com/products/extra_prod/dragon_219-1536.html website .

It was shown on screen opened in 1280x1024/24-bit resolution. In the video, you can see that opening this photo took about 7 - 8 seconds. This time speaks more about speed of the LAN connection, to which Dragon was connected (through the FastEthernet card) than about Dragon's speed. Redrawing the photo from cache takes much less than one second in Dragon.

@all
If you want to check how fast your computer opens this photo, clear your browser caches and open this website.

------------
Thank you very much for your interest, comments, and support.

Best regards,

Darek Smietana
ELBOX COMPUTER

Last edited by DJS on 17-Nov-2006 at 07:01 PM.
Last edited by DJS on 17-Nov-2006 at 06:53 PM.

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Donar 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 17-Nov-2006 19:58:14
#164 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 12-Nov-2006
Posts: 117
From: Germany

@DJS

Hello,

could you give me a short answer about how you let run OS 3.9? It was stated (last page i think) that Elbox was not statisfied with the tools/emulation library privided by Freescale/(MicroAPL?).

Did you write your own Virtual Machine for the Coldfire, or was the library from Freescale updated? I also like to know if 68k MMU and 68kFPU "emulation" are working, as this is not possible with the "Freescale Lib" and i think this cripples the whole processor.

What is the final goal? Having a Coldfire emulate an 68k really fast, or do you plan to at least release a AOS binary compatible Coldfire only core OS that maybe takes missing parts from OS 3.x? before finished.

But nice that you showed that it is at least up & running. Unfortunately it will not fit into my A1200 trap door slot, so a Blizzard like Accelerator would be appreaciated by me. Maybe for some further use with an FPGA'ed mainboard.

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PulsatingQuasar 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 17-Nov-2006 20:19:51
#165 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 550
From: The Netherlands, Europe

@DJS

Hi Darek,

I'm glad to see the Dragon finally ready and is going to ship very soon. I'm looking very much forward to a review and if it is able to generally run faster then a 68060/50 Mhz I am willing to buy it.

You say that the Dragon was mostly unoptimized. That sounds really promising then for a 1.0 release to us classic users.

I'm glad you have managed this so far. I like your products and so far you seem to be the only one company able to produce new Amiga hardware.

Good luck to you

_________________
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A4000 PPC
A1200 PPC

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Colin_Camper 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 6-Oct-2007 23:01:38
#166 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Jul-2003
Posts: 1188
From: Unknown

@PulsatingQuasar

So then what happened!

Did anything else come of this?

Maybe Elbox would be better off manufacturing minimigs!

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Cool_amigaN 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 6-Oct-2007 23:54:19
#167 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Oct-2006
Posts: 1180
From: Athens/Greece

I wish Dragon was allready available so I could buy one....

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Colin_Camper 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 7-Oct-2007 11:07:27
#168 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Jul-2003
Posts: 1188
From: Unknown

@Cool_amigaN

No, really!

Did anything happen with this?

Especially since Elbox came on this thread and took snipes at people who dared insinuate this was vapourware.

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Donar 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 7-Oct-2007 12:18:43
#169 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 12-Nov-2006
Posts: 117
From: Germany

Am i really nearly one year older since my last post here?
I think it's vapour, they showed a "Mediator II" with a non working Coldfire CPU card. That should explain the "slow icons".

Last edited by Donar on 07-Oct-2007 at 12:19 PM.

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Bobsonsirjonny 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 7-Oct-2007 12:42:30
#170 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 28-Jul-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Unknown

/* speculation on */

I've not read this entire thread - been too busy moving into my new place (complicated) - and also I notice this thread is over a year old.

Anyhow.... this is my speculation:

Standalone OS 4 for classics is going to be released soon - at least I have that on good authority independently from three people (I cant name them).

So - Dragon Coldfire gets released, with some kind of PPC daughterboard.. It's technically a classic - its just a really modern one. Also its marketed at the classic users - not the OS 4 users.. a vague grey area to get OS 4 out on modern hardware perhaps?

In the EU I doubt Amiga couldn't stop this.

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Rob 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 7-Oct-2007 13:06:39
#171 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5768
From: S.Wales

@Donar

Quote:
Am i really nearly one year older since my last post here?
I think it's vapour, they showed a "Mediator II" with a non working Coldfire CPU card. That should explain the "slow icons".


The Dragon doesn't have a pass through slot, so you're either using an 68020 at 14Mhz with no fast ram or you're using the Coldfire. I think it was performing a bit too fast for 020 with chip ram only.

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Donar 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 7-Oct-2007 13:17:37
#172 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 12-Nov-2006
Posts: 117
From: Germany

@Rob
Quote:
The Dragon doesn't have a pass through slot,

I do not understand what you mean with "pass through slot". Why shouldn't it have Fast Ram, and what CPU driven task was too fast for a 68020?

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Rob 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 7-Oct-2007 13:43:06
#173 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5768
From: S.Wales

@Donar

A pass through slot allows you to plug in an accelerator card, like you can with the Mediator. The Dragon doesn't appear to have one.

I don't think the 020 would have access to the ram on CPU card of the Dragon, so therefore it would be limited to the chip ram on the A1200 motherboard.

The image of the Dragon decoded much faster than you could hope for on an 020.

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Donar 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 7-Oct-2007 13:54:56
#174 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 12-Nov-2006
Posts: 117
From: Germany

Quote:
The image of the Dragon decoded much faster than you could hope for on an 020

Hmm don't know, even with a gfx card to help out?

My problem is that I wrote an e-mail to elbox in the beginning of 2007 and got a reply on 29.01.07
Quote:

> i would like to know when the Dragon Busboard/CPU Card Combo will be
> available,
Quote:

We are just working on its production.


I wrote a second one a month ago and got no reply, i wonder what they were doing tha last nine months, printing the manual, giving contract work to ACK?

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Zardoz 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 2-Dec-2007 13:28:48
#175 ]
Team Member
Joined: 13-Mar-2003
Posts: 4261
From: Unknown

@DJS

So, a year later and the Dragon is not out yet. What do you have to say this time? That it's coming out with the MPEG2 decoder card drivers?

Also, I did not reply to this last time:

Quote:
You do a nice moderator work here. Thanks.


My job here is not to please you, it is to keep this site civil.

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Fransexy 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 2-Dec-2007 16:50:04
#176 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Jun-2004
Posts: 2328
From: Elche (Alicante), spain

@DJS



Quote:
n the presentation, the Dragon's photo was opened from http://www.elbox.com/products/extra_prod/dragon_219-1536.html website .

It was shown on screen opened in 1280x1024/24-bit resolution. In the video, you can see that opening this photo took about 7 - 8 seconds. This time speaks more about speed of the LAN connection, to which Dragon was connected (through the FastEthernet card) than about Dragon's speed. Redrawing the photo from cache takes much less than one second in Dragon.

@all
If you want to check how fast your computer opens this photo, clear your browser caches and open this website.


I open the site with a centrino dual core with 1 GB ram and 1 megabit ADSL internet connection, and it is not much more faster than the colfire in the video.So it´s true that Cpu speed has nothing to do with the speed of loading this page

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eniacfoa 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 2-Dec-2007 18:20:58
#177 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 4-Sep-2007
Posts: 355
From: Melbourne

i want the new dual core amiga...any jedi's out there willing to perform a mind trick on bill mcewen?

Last edited by eniacfoa on 02-Dec-2007 at 06:21 PM.

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Manu 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 2-Dec-2007 19:04:46
#178 ]
Super Member
Joined: 4-Feb-2004
Posts: 1561
From: Unknown

@eniacfoa

Quote:

eniacfoa wrote:
i want the new dual core amiga...any jedi's out there willing to perform a mind trick on bill mcewen?


The only dual core Amiga you will get to see is a x86 PC running AROS.

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hardware-intensive solutions. And they'd go faster.-- D.Haynie

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Rudei 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 4-Dec-2007 13:46:30
#179 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Nov-2002
Posts: 3576
From: Dallas, Texas

@Zardoz

Quote:
My job here is not to please you, it is to keep this site civil.


You really don't take compliments well do you!?
Rude!

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Yssing 
Re: The Dragon is stirring - at last!
Posted on 4-Dec-2007 13:54:27
#180 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 24-Apr-2003
Posts: 983
From: Unknown

It would be nice to see the Dragon, but alas, I think it will never happen.

Though Elbox have made a lot of great HW

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