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paolone 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 11:26:54
#101 ]
Super Member
Joined: 24-Sep-2007
Posts: 1121
From: Unknown

@matthey

Quote:


paolone Quote:

Except for a little detail you don't seem to take under consideration: adoption.

TheC64's ARM SoCs may sell for $7 each because there are hundreds of different devices that use it, other than TheC64s. You will find the same SoC on TV boxes, other mini consoles, android boxes and so on. In a nutshell: they sell MILLIONS of items, with Retrogames Limited being only a little 'customer' for them.

Now, let's imagine you are producing these wonderful 1 GHz 68090 processors without even a GPU since "it's useless". Except you, who would you think will be interested into such a utterly, completely pointless and anachronistic piece of hardware? Do you REALLY think that your 1000-to-5000 expected-to-sell "enhanced Amigas" will allow you to pay LESS than $7 each CPU?


Do you think THEC64 and THEA500 are selling only 1000 to 5000 units? Do you think there would be THEC64 Maxi if the THEC64 mini had sold so few units? Do you think THEA500 would sell better if it actually had Amiga branding? Do you think THEA500 would sell better if it had a 1GHz 68k CPU instead of ARM with emulation? Do you think Amiga accelerator developers would buy less than 5000 1GHz 68k CPUs if they were available for say $7?



Nope, you didn't understand properly. I told you two completely different and grammatically unrelated things.

The first: Retrogames Limited is a small customer for the company producing their SoCs.

The second: you can expect 1000-to-5000 units sold for YOUR foolish 1Ghz 680x0 based system.

Believable sources told me RGL sold at least 250,000 "TheC64" units worldwide, last year. This helped keeping unit prices quite low (and yes, while some people thinks they are overpriced, I can assure them that producing a customized keyboard itself is a damn high cost, not counting molding, production, distribution and taxes). In the meanwhile, they kept updating the firmware and paid their workers (aren't you hearing a ringing bell, here?) for the job.

When you talk about mass production, you don't keep how big this 'mass' must be to reach a so-low price tag for the product, really.

You even compare your dream project with the ARM SoCs powering the Raspberry Pico. Have you any idea of how many of these chips were produced, before lowring their price to $1? MILLIONS. And they are almost everywhere, in any sort of controlled device.

Now turn back to your 1GHz 68K processor. You have to design it (engineers to pay), to produce samples, to test them accurately for issues, to fix them, to get the fixed logig produced and SOLD. All this will cost you HUNDREDS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS if you're lucky. And this is the processor only.

Now it is the turn of the PCB and other components. Ok, you can use FPGAs to replace custom chips, but FPGAs cost much. For a mass production you'd better go with ASICs, so you have at least to develop and produce them. Wow, other thousands of dollars that are flowing away from you pockets.

And now let's figure how many "MatthIGAs" you're going to sell

C64 users were approximately 4:1 the Amiga ones, at least from old selling figures. So let's start optimistically dividing TheC64 data by 4: you have a potential of 62.500 units to sell. But remember: these numbers might not be faithful, in any case you need to keep the price tag under the €120 line. Let's assume a 20% VAT, this lowers your expectation to € 96 per unit.

In the best optimistic and unrealistic scenario, you'll earn 6,000,000 euros. With this sum, you have to pay everything you used, everyone involved, create a customer support service and pay taxes. A realistic scenario would keep in consideration the fact that NG systems sold less and less and less units than TheC64 ones. And used off-the-shelves components, without developing anything in house.

Good luck.

Last edited by paolone on 29-Dec-2021 at 11:30 AM.

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 11:53:32
#102 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2051
From: Trondheim, Norway

@BigD

iOS supports smb, so you can just drop whatever files you wish to a smb share on your windows box, or NAS box or whatever. In addition, through the plugin system, you can save files via whatever protocol you have app installed for, for example I can drop files over sftp/ssh via Termius. And if you *really* wish to send files over bluetooth, old school OBEX style, there are apps for that.

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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 11:54:15
#103 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1821
From: Cheshire, England

kind of went over this in this thread on the whole ARM vs Custom / Risc-V

https://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=44315&forum=17&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=0

I think just due to the fact of over production of ARM chips the lower powered ones like the Pi uses no one wants any more so can be had for so cheap, I dont think a custom designed one could save you hardly any money after designs costs and a smaller production run.

I updated my site with the latest info
https://amigang.com/amigamini-thea500/

Interesting interview with Retro Games LTD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlEJDZsM3GY&ab_channel=SceneWorldMagazine
in it they do say you will be able to emulate up to 68040 speeds with Fast Ram

Plus on the C64 forum
https://thec64community.online/thread/905/mini-maxi-emulate-amiga-etc
they do say an Amiga emulator kind of works, just some out of memory issue, so I dont expect much higher spec machine inside the A500 mini to the one C64 featured. (All Winner A20 ARM 1Ghz chip)

Last edited by amigang on 29-Dec-2021 at 12:01 PM.

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nickey-g 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 14:43:52
#104 ]
New Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2012
Posts: 2
From: Unknown

@amigang

It would be nice to have a version with 9-pin D-Sub gamepad for our classic amiga...

Last edited by nickey-g on 29-Dec-2021 at 02:45 PM.

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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 14:53:53
#105 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1821
From: Cheshire, England

@nickey-g
just get your self one of these
https://monsterjoysticks.com/9-pin-joystick-to-usb-adapter

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Lou 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 17:34:57
#106 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 2-Nov-2004
Posts: 4135
From: Rhode Island

Since it does CD32/AGA emulation...they should have just called it THECD32...

Might have appealed more to 'console' collectors...lower price, no keyboard and offer USB keyboard support...

Last edited by Lou on 29-Dec-2021 at 05:37 PM.

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Rose 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 18:17:08
#107 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 982
From: Unknown

@matthey

Quote:
I said the production cost of an Amiga SoC could be less than $1 with mass production and using an older chip fab process. The Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040 SoC can be found for $1 but you don't think an Amiga SoC could cost that much?


That's like saying that you can make a $100 car because those guys are making $100 bicycles.

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AmigaMac 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 20:00:48
#108 ]
Super Member
Joined: 26-Oct-2002
Posts: 1071
From: 3rd Rock from the Sun!

@AmigaOldskooler

I'd rather have the A500 Maxi

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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 21:28:22
#109 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1821
From: Cheshire, England

@Lou
I think the A500 is the most memorable of the Amiga, which is likely why they went this route.

Again in the interview they didn’t say it but did kinda of suggested more projects around anniversaries, Cd32 was released in 1993, 2023 will be its 30th anniversaries and they already have the darker gamepad lined up, I wouldn’t be shocked if they did a mini cd32, specially if the A500 mini sell well, it likely be cheaper to produce than the a500 mini and all the work basically would of been done apart from just getting some cd32 based titles licensed for it.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 23:21:07
#110 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1467
From: Kansas

paolone Quote:

Nope, you didn't understand properly. I told you two completely different and grammatically unrelated things.

The first: Retrogames Limited is a small customer for the company producing their SoCs.

The second: you can expect 1000-to-5000 units sold for YOUR foolish 1Ghz 680x0 based system.

Believable sources told me RGL sold at least 250,000 "TheC64" units worldwide, last year. This helped keeping unit prices quite low (and yes, while some people thinks they are overpriced, I can assure them that producing a customized keyboard itself is a damn high cost, not counting molding, production, distribution and taxes). In the meanwhile, they kept updating the firmware and paid their workers (aren't you hearing a ringing bell, here?) for the job.


Reducing the hardware cost from say $40 with emulation to say $15 with an ASIC will reduce sales from 250,000 to 1000-5000? When the price goes down, sales go up (economics 101: supply and demand). Retrogames Limited is not trying to create a sustainable market and maximize sales. They are trying to make as much profit as possible with the least risk. It's like the food vendors at a sports game. They charge as much as possible and often ridiculous prices but they could charge less and invest in cheaper production. You may say nobody is doing this but I believe the Raspberry Pi Foundation is doing this and it is resulting in many happy customers, a good reputation and increased market share. This is delivering value to the customer which CBM lacked with the Amiga in failing to become the PC for the masses.

paolone Quote:

When you talk about mass production, you don't keep how big this 'mass' must be to reach a so-low price tag for the product, really.

You even compare your dream project with the ARM SoCs powering the Raspberry Pico. Have you any idea of how many of these chips were produced, before lowring their price to $1? MILLIONS. And they are almost everywhere, in any sort of controlled device.

Now turn back to your 1GHz 68K processor. You have to design it (engineers to pay), to produce samples, to test them accurately for issues, to fix them, to get the fixed logig produced and SOLD. All this will cost you HUNDREDS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS if you're lucky. And this is the processor only.

Now it is the turn of the PCB and other components. Ok, you can use FPGAs to replace custom chips, but FPGAs cost much. For a mass production you'd better go with ASICs, so you have at least to develop and produce them. Wow, other thousands of dollars that are flowing away from you pockets.


Yet this is exactly what the Raspberry Pi Foundation did with the RP2040 and it doesn't even have video output, USB 2.0, ethernet, WiFi or Bluetooth. I expect you would have predicted they would have been unsuccessful too but they have customers lined up like Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni, Seeedstudio, etc. and shipped 600,000 units in roughly 4 months.

paolone Quote:

And now let's figure how many "MatthIGAs" you're going to sell

C64 users were approximately 4:1 the Amiga ones, at least from old selling figures. So let's start optimistically dividing TheC64 data by 4: you have a potential of 62.500 units to sell. But remember: these numbers might not be faithful, in any case you need to keep the price tag under the €120 line. Let's assume a 20% VAT, this lowers your expectation to € 96 per unit.

In the best optimistic and unrealistic scenario, you'll earn 6,000,000 euros. With this sum, you have to pay everything you used, everyone involved, create a customer support service and pay taxes. A realistic scenario would keep in consideration the fact that NG systems sold less and less and less units than TheC64 ones. And used off-the-shelves components, without developing anything in house.


The Amiga should be more popular than the C64 because it is more usable and the performance can be increased while maintaining compatibility. The 68k popularity and software base could be targeted which includes the Amiga, Atari ST, 68k Mac, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, NeoGeo and x68000.

It would be difficult to be profitable with a first hardware product which would not be unusual. The hardware could be enhanced and reused sharing development costs. Fabless semiconductor startups have often obtained lucrative values like P.A. Semi (Apple acquired for $278 million in 2008) and SiFive (an Amiga user considered them a failure yet there is a rumor that Intel tried to acquire them for $2 billion in 2021). Hardware customization and improved hardware integration are competitive advantages which are gaining popularity again now that Moore's Law is ending.

amigang Quote:

I think just due to the fact of over production of ARM chips the lower powered ones like the Pi uses no one wants any more so can be had for so cheap, I dont think a custom designed one could save you hardly any money after designs costs and a smaller production run.


I don't think overproduction markdowns explains the Raspberry Pi Foundation success. They may have taken advantage of a marked down mobile phone ARM based BCM2835 SoC to bring out the first Raspberry Pi but this proved to be successful enough that any over supply would have dried up with the millions of this SoC used (still used in RPi Zero). I wouldn't be surprised if Broadcom had to do more production runs and I expect their have discussions about which SoC to use in future products to insure adequate supply. The RP2040 also has had success in a short amount of time and it is a new creation of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

amigang Quote:

Interesting interview with Retro Games LTD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlEJDZsM3GY&ab_channel=SceneWorldMagazine
in it they do say you will be able to emulate up to 68040 speeds with Fast Ram

Plus on the C64 forum
https://thec64community.online/thread/905/mini-maxi-emulate-amiga-etc
they do say an Amiga emulator kind of works, just some out of memory issue, so I dont expect much higher spec machine inside the A500 mini to the one C64 featured. (All Winner A20 ARM 1Ghz chip)


Emulation quality is reduced when pushed to the limits. I would hope C64 emulation would be good enough with this 1GHz ARM chip but Amiga emulation is much more demanding.

Quote:

Rose wrote:
That's like saying that you can make a $100 car because those guys are making $100 bicycles.


The complexity of the original 68000 and Amiga custom chips are not much more than that of the RP2040 which is dual core and has 264kiB of SRAM. The RP2040 uses a TSMC 40nm process while an older process would likely be cheaper. Comparing the 68000+OCS with a RP2040 is a comparison of bicycles and both could likely be produced for $1 with mass production. Most Amiga users want better hardware than this though. A $10 FPGA can do better (68020+AGA) and is adequately affordable but has performance limitations. As an ASIC, this may be $2. Most Amiga users want more performance, enhancements and compatibility than the last CBM Amigas. A 68070+AGA+ may require a $40 FPGA and the resulting ASIC may be $3. A higher end Amiga SoC ASIC offers more value, especially for Amiga users, but may lose competitiveness outside of the Amiga market due to deficiencies of the AmigaOS in a more traditional multicore desktop environment. Eventually, an ASIC with 3D support, HSA and raytracing support would be nice to add for the Amiga but SMP support needs to be solved before it would be competitive although custom hardware may be able to help. Setting an initial low complexity target certainly reduces development costs which reduces risks.

Last edited by matthey on 29-Dec-2021 at 11:26 PM.
Last edited by matthey on 29-Dec-2021 at 11:24 PM.

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 13:16:49
#111 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2051
From: Trondheim, Norway

@matthey

Quote:

The Amiga should be more popular than the C64 because it is more usable


You'd think, huh? Yet, the C64 runs software supported by big names in the industry, while Amiga has fallen between chairs. For example, C64 has a native IPv6 (Contiki, uIPv6), sponsored by Cisco and Atmel if I recall correctly, while Amiga has a one-man-project and a port of BSD4.2/3-ish IP-stack, not even Kame.

The success of Raspberry Pi is because of the ecosystem they built around it, and ... Linux.

Last edited by kolla on 30-Dec-2021 at 01:18 PM.

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ppcamiga1 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 16:28:03
#112 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 434
From: Unknown

@paolone

arm is boring. In 2021 it is new pc. It can not be a hobby.

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ppcamiga1 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 16:30:52
#113 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 434
From: Unknown

@matthey

68k with performance about first pentium,
good old ECS for old games, simple 3d for new,
something to protect first memory page, net.
it will be enough. it will be hit.

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Rose 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 16:44:57
#114 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 982
From: Unknown

@ppcamiga1

AmigaOne's great for hobby since they have EoL CPU's?

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 17:22:50
#115 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2051
From: Trondheim, Norway

@ppcamiga1

ARM isn’t the new PC, it is a heck lot older than PowerPC (which ironically was supposed be to the new PC - hence its name). I’ve had ARM as hobby for almost as long as I’ve had 68k as hobby, doesn’t that work anymore because ARM has become mainstream and high end? Such BS.

Btw, PowerPC is also a hobby of mine, but I’m for most part NOT running anything Amiga on those (which ironically is also the situation for many «AmigaOne» owners from what I understand.)

Last edited by kolla on 30-Dec-2021 at 05:32 PM.

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ppcamiga1 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 18:13:02
#116 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 434
From: Unknown

arm is boring commodity hardware.
It can not be a hobby.

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Rose 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 18:19:20
#117 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 982
From: Unknown

@ppcamiga1

ARM not Deadendian so cannot be hobby?

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BigD 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 18:23:47
#118 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6207
From: UK

@kolla

Quote:
So what is SMB? SMB stands for “Server Message Block.” It's a file sharing protocol that was invented by IBM


Fair enough but yeah Bluetooth would be easier for ad hoc transfers! What apps do you suggest for that on iOS? I thought Apple was all about getting that stuff to work out of the box!

Anyway, I'm back on an Android phone now that DOES work transferring things other than pictures out of the box!

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 20:33:27
#119 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1467
From: Kansas

kolla Quote:

You'd think, huh? Yet, the C64 runs software supported by big names in the industry, while Amiga has fallen between chairs. For example, C64 has a native IPv6 (Contiki, uIPv6), sponsored by Cisco and Atmel if I recall correctly, while Amiga has a one-man-project and a port of BSD4.2/3-ish IP-stack, not even Kame.


As low spec as the C64 is, it has remained a standard platform with full compatibility. The Amiga was enhanced in different directions and chipset compatibility was dropped in the case of PPC hardware. Arrogance, division and complexity have thwarted Amiga progress.

kolla Quote:

The success of Raspberry Pi is because of the ecosystem they built around it, and ... Linux.


Linux offers some big advantages like a free OS they don't have to develop but the different flavors and distributions are also division where there is no standard, or a weaker standard, OS. There are multiple binaries for the same hardware which is inconvenient at best and reduces the advantage of standard hardware.

kolla Quote:

ARM isn’t the new PC, it is a heck lot older than PowerPC (which ironically was supposed be to the new PC - hence its name). I’ve had ARM as hobby for almost as long as I’ve had 68k as hobby, doesn’t that work anymore because ARM has become mainstream and high end? Such BS.


1985 ARM1
1986 ARM2
1987 Acorn Archimedes A300 and A400 first computers with ARM (ARM2) primary CPUs
1989 Acorn Archimedes A3000 using ARM2
1991 POWER1
1992 ARM6
1993 PPC 601

ARM was several years earlier than POWER/PPC but adoption was slow. I don't believe the Acorn Archimedes A300 and A400 models were as popular as the A3000 model. ARM started to become popular outside of Acorn computers with the release of ARM6 in 1992.

There are several different ARM architectures including the original ARM32/AArch32/A32, T32 (Thumb 1 & 2) and AArch64/A64. The Raspberry Pi Foundation RP2040 SoC uses dual Cortex-M0+ cores (subset of Thumb1 and Thumb2) with a 2 stage pipeline (more advanced than 68000). Of course Hitachi copied off the 68000 they had licensed from Motorola to create the SuperH architecture which they licensed for the creation of the Thumb instruction sets. The technology to create small footprint computers is still in demand today (600,000 RP2040 SoCs shipped in ~4 months) even as the Amiga moved on to the fat PPC architecture (1000-5000 PPC Amigas sold total?).

Last edited by matthey on 30-Dec-2021 at 09:32 PM.

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utri007 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 30-Dec-2021 20:46:14
#120 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Aug-2003
Posts: 1041
From: United States of Europe

what we actually know about this device? Where is said that it is ARM, not a FPGA? Anything else? What kind of boot media it uses? What would be required to make this "full" Amiga, with OS and HD?

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