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      /  Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
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bhabbott 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 19-Mar-2024 5:50:34
#341 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 332
From: Aotearoa

@cdimauro

Quote:

cdimauro wrote:
it's in YOUR interest documenting YOUR product on YOUR site (for example, the ApolloShield command: there are just TWO lines with a very short description of what it's supposed to do with NO details at all of how it works and, hence, how the MMU works).

I don't care about how the MMU works, but Apollo-Shield is not well documented and even getting it is very difficult. We are told that it is 'on the ApolloOS distro', but this appears to be a 5.3GB cf image. I don't want to use up 10% of my month's bandwidth downloading this, and couldn't use the image file anyway.

Why can't Apollo-shield be made available as a separate download? Does it work in AmigaOS 3.1 or only Apollo OS? Can you configure which memory ranges to protect? Will it work with the Vampire 600-V2 and if so with which core? It is said to be 'like the Enforcer'. Does it monitor low memory and will it work in conjunction with a debugger? I could ask these questions on their forum but I shouldn't have to.

I already have an 030 with MMU on my A1200 so I can't bothered investigating Apollo-Shield further. I guess my Vampired A600 will just sit these doing nothing while I continue to use my good old A1200 for development work!

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Gunnar 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 19-Mar-2024 16:09:29
#342 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 477
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Quote:
I don't care about how the MMU works,
but Apollo-Shield is not well documented and even getting it is very difficult.


The download should be simple:
Apollo-Computer -> Software -> ApolloTools

Quote:
Why can't Apollo-shield be made available as a separate download?

Actually it is available as separate download.

[quote]Does it work in AmigaOS 3.1 or only Apollo OS?[/quite]
It works with both.


But the tool is V4 only.
You will for sure understand that the V2 with the much smaller (50% size) FPGA
compared to the V4 - can not provide all the options and features that the V4 includes.
I think this is very logical.


If you want to develop software then you first address
is to join is the developer channel in our Apollo-Discord server.
In the developer channel you will find plenty of coders, including the developer of excellent tools like for example a very good debugger. And you can get their help and advice from very experienced Amiga and Atari developers.

Last edited by Gunnar on 19-Mar-2024 at 05:36 PM.
Last edited by Gunnar on 19-Mar-2024 at 05:24 PM.

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bhabbott 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 20-Mar-2024 0:29:16
#343 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 332
From: Aotearoa

@Gunnar

Quote:

Gunnar wrote:
The download should be simple:
Apollo-Computer -> Software -> ApolloTools

Thanks for that. I couldn't find it because I was on the wrong website (apollo-core.com).

Quote:
But the tool is V4 only.

And know I know why.

Quote:
You will for sure understand that the V2 with the much smaller (50% size) FPGA
compared to the V4 - can not provide all the options and features that the V4 includes.
I think this is very logical.

Logical, but disappointing. They couldn't squeeze a minimalist MMU in there? I guess they have lost interest in the V2.

All I want is trapping low memory reads (to detect null pointers) and invalid RAM space. But I can't justify spending NZ$1000 to get it.

Quote:
If you want to develop software then you first address
is to join is the developer channel in our Apollo-Discord server.

Discord, another social media site to spam me? I'll think about it.

To be honest I'm going off the high end. I will probably only use the Vampire for compiling C code, once I get a hard drive into the A600 that (hopefully) writes faster than my pathetically slow CF card (I would use the micro SD adapter but can't get it to work).

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kolla 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 20-Mar-2024 3:46:20
#344 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Trondheim, Norway

@bhabbott

A PiStorm600 is about 60 euros - around a tenth (!!!) the price of V4 Manticore for A600 - and you can chose yourself how much you want to spend on a raspberry pi, minimum Pi zero 2 starts at around 20 euros it seems.

With a PiStorm you can chose...

* Linux+Musashi, the Amiga can have both FPU and MMU
* Emu68, the Amiga has CPU+FPU way faster than any Vampire, but no MMU (yet)

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Gunnar 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 20-Mar-2024 6:11:26
#345 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 477
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Quote:
Logical, but disappointing. They couldn't squeeze a minimalist MMU in there?


Why do you address me using "they"?
As you know the V2 FPGA is really full, there is no space for MMU.

Quote:
I guess they have lost interest in the V2.

The V2 cards get regular updates and support all the years.
Even though new V4 is on the market.


Quote:
once I get a hard drive into the A600 that (hopefully) writes faster


If you use the Amiga 600 IDE then Amiga mainboard controller will always be a bottleneck.
The Amiga mainboard supports max 3.5 MB/sec
Cards with FASTIDE controller will allow you to get a lot more speed.
V4 Standalone reaches up to 20 MB/sec and the build OS diskcache gives a major boost for compiling.

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bhabbott 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 21-Mar-2024 1:36:41
#346 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 332
From: Aotearoa

@Gunnar

Quote:

Gunnar wrote:

If you use the Amiga 600 IDE then Amiga mainboard controller will always be a bottleneck.
The Amiga mainboard supports max 3.5 MB/sec

But my card is much slower than that, about 50kB/s.

Quote:
Why do you address me using "they"?
As you know the V2 FPGA is really full, there is no space for MMU.

Sorry about that. Though I have had a Vampire for several years I haven't been following the scene and didn't know you were directly involved in programming it. If you say there's no space then that's it. Which is fine, and I can understand why you are concentrating on the V4 with its larger FPGA. My V2 is effectively now retro, like the Amiga that's hosting it!

@kolla

Quote:

kolla wrote:
@bhabbott

A PiStorm600 is about 60 euros - around a tenth (!!!) the price of V4 Manticore for A600 - and you can chose yourself how much you want to spend on a raspberry pi, minimum Pi zero 2 starts at around 20 euros it seems.

With a PiStorm you can chose...

* Linux+Musashi, the Amiga can have both FPU and MMU
* Emu68, the Amiga has CPU+FPU way faster than any Vampire, but no MMU (yet)

A bit more than 1/10th once you get everything you need (172,80 € + freight for PiStorm 1200 Lite with Pi 3A+ and SD card). I've thought about getting one but can't justify it right now. When it gets an MMU I might take the plunge.

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Gunnar 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 21-Mar-2024 5:47:33
#347 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 477
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Quote:
If you use the Amiga 600 IDE then Amiga mainboard controller will always be a bottleneck. The Amiga mainboard supports max 3.5 MB/sec




Quote:
But my card is much slower than that, about 50kB/s.


This sounds not correct.
I would expect 3.5 MB/sec for read and a bit less for write.

Is this for read and write?
When you use SYSINFO drive speed test what result do you get there?


Which C compiler do you use?
On the V4 - I have ~ 20 MB/sec read speed with FASTIDE enabled, and the build in Filesystem cache boost this to ~180MB/sec for cache hits. This makes compiling using GCC work nicely for me.

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Gunnar 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 21-Mar-2024 6:13:18
#348 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 477
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Quote:
I haven't been following the scene and didn't know you were directly involved in programming it.



Yes I'm the lead architect of the project.

With the help of my friends I have designed the Apollo 68080 CPU, invented the AMMX instruction set,
and developed the Super-AGA chipset, as well as the Maggie 3D texture mapping hardware acceleration unit.

Feel free to ask me any questions.

Last edited by Gunnar on 21-Mar-2024 at 07:22 AM.

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kolla 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 21-Mar-2024 6:25:17
#349 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Trondheim, Norway

@kolla

Quote:
Why do you address me using "they"?


Maybe because you address yourself as "we" and "us"?!

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kolla 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 21-Mar-2024 6:36:32
#350 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Trondheim, Norway

@bhabbott

Quote:

@kolla

Quote:

kolla wrote:
@bhabbott

A PiStorm600 is about 60 euros - around a tenth (!!!) the price of V4 Manticore for A600 - and you can chose yourself how much you want to spend on a raspberry pi, minimum Pi zero 2 starts at around 20 euros it seems.

With a PiStorm you can chose...

* Linux+Musashi, the Amiga can have both FPU and MMU
* Emu68, the Amiga has CPU+FPU way faster than any Vampire, but no MMU (yet)

A bit more than 1/10th once you get everything you need (172,80 € + freight for PiStorm 1200 Lite with Pi 3A+ and SD card).


Well, a PiStorm1200 Lite WILL NOT FIT IN YOUR A600!!

Quote:
When it gets an MMU I might take the plunge


As I wrote, it's already there if you care about it.

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kolla 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 21-Mar-2024 6:42:36
#351 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Trondheim, Norway

@Gunnar

Quote:

With the help of my friends I have designed the Apollo 68060 CPU


Uh-huh?

Quote:
Feel free to ask me any questions.


Can you verify your authenticity by posting the above quote about having designed the "Apollo 68060" on apollo-core.com?

Btw, I find it funny how the V2 FPGAs got apparently fuller and fuller just by idling.

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Gunnar 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 21-Mar-2024 7:47:33
#352 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 477
From: Unknown

@kolla

Quote:
I find it funny how the V2 FPGAs got apparently fuller



The V2 Accelerator FPGA is basically full since the year 2017.


Maybe it help to take a quick look at the history of the project?

The APOLLO 68080 Core development started in the year 2008 for the NATAMI - Native Amiga project.
The NATAMI team were all Amiga fans which wanted to revive the Amiga.
Goal of the NATAMI project was exactly to do this.
Building a brandnew new 68K Amiga so that Amiga stays alive.

Of the NATAMI only a small number of system were produced.
The NATAMI team found the system price of ~800E at that time as to high.
And we had the impression people would not spend this amount on a new Amiga.

The plan was to "slim" down the NATAMI to create a little bit less expensive version.
Today our V4 Standalone reaches our goal.
The V4 Standalone is a complete new Amiga, with Amiga chipset and new 68K CPU.
It allows to play old games and can also used for new game developments
With 500 MB fast memory, fastIDE and ethernet build and 170 Mips CPU is a very nice to use AMIGA.
But its also very popular amoung ATARI developer as you can not only run Amiga OS but also ATARI OS on it.


Our APOLLO 68080 CPU was designed for the NATAMI.
The NATAMI FPGA had a size 55000 LE
In addition to the NATAMI, I used for testing also a STRATIX 3 and a STRATIX 4 FPGA card.
The FPGAs on these cards were pretty big with 200.000 and 500.000 LE size.
This means the APOLLO CPU was developed for/using pretty big FPGAs.


The Vampire Accelerator cards designed for classic AMIGAs like A600, A500, A1000,A2000,A1200 ...
And they are using the APOLLO 68080 CPU.


The Vampire V2-V600 Card uses an FPGA of somewhat smaller of size =40000 LE.
Because of this smaller FPGA,
the Vampire cards for a long time did not include the FPU of the APOLLO 68080.
The APOLLO 68080 FPU was originally designed as 80bit FPU and used really a lot FPGA space.
And the original plan of the V2 cards was to Not include the FPU.

We then decided to try to shrink the FPU to make it fit in the V2 cards.
I took me about 1 year development time to restructure the FPU and reduce it in size - a reduction in width to make it fit in the V2 cards needed to be done.

The GOLD Core 2.18 of the V2 cards provides today
a 64BIT precision FPU with hardware support for SINGLE/DOUBLE/ and extended FPU instructions.

Maybe worth to mention is that the FPU instruction set of the V2 Apollo FPU implementation "is more complete" than for example the Motorola 68060 FPU instructions set.
This means many instructions like FADD.X #imm,Fp0, or Fdbra or FScc
which the Motorola 68060 all misses are included in the Apollo 68080 FPU.


With its GFX core, the IDE controller, the APOLLO CPU and after adding the APOLLO FPU the V2 cards are ~100% full.


In 2017 we started development of the new V4 card generation.
The V4 cards provide a better and bigger FPGA of size 80.000 LE.

The extra space (double size FPGA) of the V4 cards allow us to include more features.
Like MMU, but also exiting features as AGA /Super-AGA chipset.
The V4 accelerator cards allow you to upgrade your Amiga 600 or Amiga 500 to AGA chipset and enable you to play the AGA games on any Amiga model!


The V4 cards come with a number of extra features like, FASTIDE-controller,
a 100 MBit network chip with DMA, a flickerfixer, 16 Amiga audio channel with 16bit sample support,
the 3D texture mapper unit "MAGGIE", 64bIt Blitter, 32bit Copper and a lot more nice features.


As explained the V2 FPGA reached its space limit in 2017.
But nevertheless we continiously provide regular updates also for the V2 cards.




Last edited by Gunnar on 21-Mar-2024 at 08:45 AM.

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bhabbott 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 27-Mar-2024 21:18:41
#353 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 332
From: Aotearoa

@kolla

Quote:

kolla wrote:
@bhabbott

Well, a PiStorm1200 Lite WILL NOT FIT IN YOUR A600!!

I already have a Vampire in my A600. If I get a PiStorm it will go onto my spare A1200 motherboard, which I intend to make a custom case for.

Quote:
As I wrote, it's already there if you care about it.

...with Linux and Musashi, you say - but I don't want that. The package from AMIGAstore.eu comes with emu68.

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kamelito 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 30-Mar-2024 10:02:50
#354 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 26-Jul-2004
Posts: 815
From: Unknown

Donkey Kong country games are not that impressive, lowres, 20 to 30s to play a sub level due to memory constraints I guess. 5 mediums sprites at max in a screen without counting the small bananas. I think that it’s doable on un Amiga 1200 using dual playfield. I played the game and it is not that great. I played super Turrican too and the Amiga version is better.

Last edited by kamelito on 30-Mar-2024 at 10:03 AM.

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OneTimer1 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 31-Mar-2024 22:39:28
#355 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 972
From: Unknown

@Gunnar

To be honest:

The most people are using those accelerators for games.

On games you will need high integer performance and a lot of compatibility.

RTG + AGA with Flicker Fixers are nice especially if you want to use some older productivity software.

---

And now FPU, yes if makes may program faster and if the results are compatible, MMU maybe if I want to run some standard utilities using it or Linux/BSD.

So if V4 doesn't support a standard MMU. most people will never miss it. Just go on and admit a minor loss in compatibility, only a minority is buying a V4 for Linux.

---

Have you ever thought about Mass Storage support for the USB port on Vampire V4? I believe this would make more users happy than Linux compatibility.

EOT

Last edited by OneTimer1 on 31-Mar-2024 at 10:40 PM.

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kolla 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 1-Apr-2024 1:09:57
#356 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Trondheim, Norway

@OneTimer1

Quote:
only a minority is buying a V4 for Linux.


A minority that doesn’t exist. There was a window of opportunity years ago, as the AC68080 caught quite a bit of interest with the right people, but this interest faded quickly.

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Gunnar 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 1-Apr-2024 6:45:56
#357 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 477
From: Unknown

@OneTimer1

Quote:
RTG + AGA with Flicker Fixers are nice especially if you want to use some older productivity software.


Yes, and this is why have have all those.


Quote:
So if V4 doesn't support a standard MMU. most people will never miss it.

Yes, absolutely true.

Linux is open source - so we could easily add support for the Apollo MMU to it in a few hours coding - if we wanted. But frankly - all in our team are real Amiga fans and no one in our team has any interest in running Linux. So we rather spend out time on Amiga topic - or I would throw a few footballs with my kids, than spend time coding for Linux.


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kolla 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 2-Apr-2024 23:10:53
#358 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Trondheim, Norway

@Gunnar

Quote:
Linux is open source - so we could easily add support for the Apollo MMU to it in a few hours coding - if we wanted.


Suuure. And NetBSD too, right? The problem is that any such work would "expose" the "MMU" and you’d have a few camels to eat.

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Hammer 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 4-Apr-2024 2:42:13
#359 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5272
From: Australia

@OneTimer1

Quote:

OneTimer1 wrote:
@Gunnar


Introducing the A600 as a cost reduced version of the A500 with features like HD and a PCMCIA sounds as a good idea for someone who is looking to the Amiga market from the perspective of an outsider.

But for Amiga users it meant:

- A500 expansions doesn't work any more.
- ECS games using number keys doesn't work any more
- AOS 2.0x isn't so compatible with AOS1.3 any more
- PCMCIA expansions where expensive and not very useful (this changed much later)
- For A500 users it should have been something more than just another A500

I don't know if C= could attract some new users with this machine, it had some small advantage over the A500 but nothing that made A500 owners buying it.

Wikipedia:
The managing director of Commodore UK, David Pleasance, described the A600 as a "complete and utter screw-up"
Dave Haynie, who worked as a senior engineer for Commodore, described the new features the A600 provided as bloat and noted its compatibility issues with A500 peripherals and lack of numeric keypad.
Ars Technica considers it to be the worst of Commodore's Amiga models, citing its higher price and fewer features compared to the Amiga 500, while also noting that markets were overstocked with A600 units at the same time that the more popular A500 and A1200 models were under-manufactured.

in Germany, it became the second best selling Amiga model, with 193,000 units sold but less than 1.081.000 units of A500 but still more than 79.500 units of A500+

Numbers from here:
https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/Amiga


1989 era A500 Rev6A is half ECS due to ECS Agnus 8372A and reserve 2 MB Chip RAM jumper settings for Agnus 8372B or 8372AB.

A500 Rev6A's PCB design supports the 2 MB Chip RAM configuration.

The A300 project was supposed to replace the Commodore 64C's price segment and Commodore Germany caused scope creep on this project which led to the A500's cancellation. Higher price segment A500 rev 9 could be designed with IDE, PCMCIA, Zorro 1 expansion edge connector, and surface-mounted chips.

David Pleasance labeled A600 as a sales flop and it has a large-scale negative revenue impact.

Cancelling A500 (with Zorro 1 expansion bus) has a large impact on 3rd party addon vendors like GVP.

GVP went bust in 1995 and A1200's small install base wasn't enough to Amiga's sustain a strong 3rd party addon market.

Fast 32-bit CPU-equipped Amiga ECS is still a dead-end platform since it couldn't join the 256-color gaming. Amiga's game console nature wouldn't work on desktop computers when a 32-bit CPU-equipped desktop PC can join 256-color gaming with an SVGA card upgrade.

Modern PCs lower cost segments like AMD's A520/A620 or B550/B650 have a single PCIe 16X slot for modular video card upgrades. Higher price segment X570/X670E has dual PCIe 16X slots wired for dual 8X lanes. The workstation price segment has more than two PCIe 16X slots.

Like today's low-end desktop PCs' single PCIe 16X slot, the A500 had a single Zorro 1 edge connector, but the A500 wasn't designed in a low-cost box.

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Amiga 1200 (Rev 1D1, KS 3.2, PiStorm32lite/RPi 4B 4GB/Emu68)
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Hammer 
Re: Could lack of parallel bitplane writes crippled the Amiga?
Posted on 4-Apr-2024 2:55:16
#360 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5272
From: Australia

@Gunnar

Quote:

Gunnar wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:
We know that 68020 has CALLM/RTM instructions which you have NOT implemented.


The 68080 does not support them. But the 68080 is code compatible to 68020 software.

Motorola states :

The MC68030 is upward object code compatible with previous CPUs like 68020.
The MC68030 does not support CALLM/RTM.
Neither do the 68040 nor the 68060.

By Motorola own definition
A CPU labelled fully code compatible
does not need to have these "removed" instruction.

If you want to argue about this : talk to Motorola


AC68080 wouldn't run NextSTEP 68K, Linux 68K, Commodore AMIX (Amiga Unix 68K), and Apple's A/UX (Apple Unix 68K) since these OS need 68030 or 68040 with Motrola's paged memory management unit (PMMU).

Apple's A/UX has Unix with System 7's graphical interface and application compatibility. A/UX (EoL 1995) was replaced by NextSTEP (1996, Apple buys NextSTEP) which evolved into MacOS X.

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