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hotrod 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 2-Sep-2021 23:35:29
#81 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 2986
From: Stockholm, Sweden

@fishy_fis

You sir shall stop getting triggered about things that doesn't matter. Can you do that?

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 4-Sep-2021 2:35:43
#82 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1465
From: Kansas

Hammer Quote:

ARM spreads its expenses across embedded and mobile phone markets. Apple's M1 R&D has iTunes/App Store (walled garden) subsidies and multi-million units run.


ARM and Apple have built markets. It would be difficult for a startup company to match their success right away but there is plenty of room in the huge embedded market.

Hammer Quote:

So, your biz proposal is dependant on Apollo's AC68080 IP?


I was originally trying to help the Apollo team which I was a part of. Even with the Apollo core, I would assume that the work is only half way done to create a quality ASIC. My preference was to reduce the work needed to create an ASIC while Gunnar's preference was to hyper-optimize the core for an FPGA and ignore any preparation for an ASIC. The proposal does not have to use the Apollo core but it would be more work without an advanced 68k core to start with.

Hammer Quote:

There's baseline TG68 FPGA or do a licensing deal with NXP/Freescale's 68060 or ColdFire 5102 (includes 68EC040 compatibility) IP. AC68080 should be renamed into AC68EC080 since it's missing MMU, hence no embedded Linux 68K.


The TG68 core is not the best candidate to turn into an ASIC even though it may outperform the Apollo core in FPGA due to allowing significantly higher clock speeds and could likely be produced for minimal cost due to the small area. Transistors are cheap though and I believe it would be better to increase the performance/MHz to be more competitive. Obtaining the rights to use the 68060 design is an option and the professional design would draw interest. I wanted to bring in a professional and well known architect who could provide valuable experience and give credibility to the project.

Quote:

Raspberry Pi 4's low cost is based on Broadcom's BCM2711 SoC which is not limited to just Raspberry Pi 4.

Raspberry foundation has some UK government subsidies.


ARM and Broadcom are middle men (businesses) making money off the SoCs in the RPis. These middle men can be cut out even though the up front development costs are higher. The RPi may be subsidized but prices of competitive hardware with enough mass production should be able to get close. At the very least, a custom designed SoC allows more flexibility for different features than the RPI, even if the price was somewhat higher and/or value somewhat lower. A 68k SoC could support different software and have more retro appeal than ARM. I believe it could be appealing for embedded use too.

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Hammer 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 6-Sep-2021 6:50:12
#83 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4273
From: Australia

@matthey

Quote:

ARM and Apple have built markets. It would be difficult for a startup company to match their success right away but there is plenty of room in the huge embedded market.

ARM created its own market niche in the handheld market while Apple created iPod/iPhone to be a digital era "Walkman" which envious styling and ease-of-use UI. Apple's iPod displaced Sony's Walkman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U
Ballmer Laughs at iPhone.

The lesson: Ballmer's PowerPoint bullet points don't win market space wars. When compared to iPhone's iOS, the Windows Mobile 5.x phone's clunky UI was inferior despite PowerPoint bullet point features.

The focus point for Valve's Steam Deck is the ease-of-use UI and solving gaming PC's mouse control requirement for a handheld device. Valve's Steam Deck is selling into the millions.

For solving gaming PC's mouse control requirement for a handheld device, Valve has beaten the R&D efforts from the likes of Tencent, Dell, and Microsoft Research.

Last edited by Hammer on 06-Sep-2021 at 06:54 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Sep-2021 at 06:51 AM.

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BigD 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 6-Sep-2021 12:45:30
#84 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6199
From: UK

@Hammer

iOS walled garden limitations suck compared to Android:

1) Why not allow PC and Macs to see all files on an iPhone by default rather than ONLY photos?

2) Why is Bluetooth functionality limited to ‘audio devices’ and not file transfer too as per Android?

A lot of these phones are used for business! These are basic features! I had to WhattsApp a pdf to a friend to email back to me because of these needless restrictions! I can only guess that Apple succeed anyway because style over substance reigns supreme these days?

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Hammer 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Sep-2021 3:51:52
#85 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4273
From: Australia

@BigD

Google Android has its own semi-walled garden e.g. Epic vs Google. LG has shown an Android contract restriction which is against bundling non-Google app stores.

_________________
Ryzen 7 5800X, DDR4-3600 64 GB RAM, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Ryzen 9 3900X, DDR4-3200 32 GB RAM, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Amiga 1200 (rev 1D1, KS 3.2, TF1260, 68060 @ 63 Mhz, 128 MB)
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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 2-Oct-2021 18:32:43
#86 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11395
From: In the village

@thread

Production begins:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9p8t_yFmZY&ab_channel=DVDfeverGames

#6

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This posting, in its entirety, represents solely the perspective of the author.
*Secrecy has served us so well*

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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 26-Oct-2021 6:39:38
#87 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1821
From: Cheshire, England

@number6

Went into Game in the uk, (god it been a while) any way saw a little pre-order case and it looks like if you pre-order from game you get yourself a free t shirt,
https://www.game.co.uk/en/the-a500-mini-a500-t-shirt-2868015

Nice to see Amiga in shops, I likely will get one because I’m an Amiga nutter but still think the Pi400 is so much better value and better computer, then again I do understand the costs of making custom case, mouse & joypad, legal licenses for the software etc, and the retail cut so I guess when you factor these thing in it’s not too bad.

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agami 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Nov-2021 3:17:48
#88 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 880
From: Melbourne, Australia

Pre-ordered.
From JB Hi-Fi

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All the way, with 68k

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AmigaNoob 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 27-Dec-2021 15:16:02
#89 ]
Member
Joined: 14-Oct-2021
Posts: 10
From: Unknown

@matthey

Quote:

matthey wrote:

The price of electronics have dropped significantly since 1987. THEC64 uses an ARM SoC chip which is available in low volume for $7. The majority of the chip logic is for a 3D GPU which isn't even used. A custom 68k Amiga SoC which is much more powerful than any 68k Amiga should require less logic than this ARM chip and could be produced cheaper if mass produced. As I have stated before, the opportunity is available to create a quality low priced mass produced Amiga which competes with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino and gets the Amiga back into hardware production. I believe the Amiga has a better chance of competing in the low cost computer hardware manufacturing market than as a software only AmigaOS producer competing with free operating systems. Why use a 1 GHz ARM SoC chip to emulate a 7 MHz Amiga when a 1 GHz 68k Amiga SoC chip can be produced for the same price?


What do you think is the process node and die area needed to achieve this 1 GHz 68k Amiga SoC while only needing low power for embedded? I saw that Google offers free fabrication for 180-130nm process and 10mm^2 die area. Would that be enough?

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Rob 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 27-Dec-2021 22:03:06
#90 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6150
From: S.Wales

@agami

Shame they didn't find an alternative to the middle kingdom when it came to manufacturing. I'm not really interested in the console but would have probably bought a joypad. Sadly I'll have to give that a miss as well.

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fishy_fis 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 28-Dec-2021 16:41:49
#91 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Mar-2004
Posts: 2004
From: Australia

@hotrod

To stop something a person must 1st start it.

Not sure how I can be clearer in the fact Im mostly just here to mock the circus that is the Amiga and most of its community.
Ive been doing it for a few years now. How is this not obvious to anyone whose IQ approaches their shoe size?
I couldnt care less about anything Amiga related other than being entertained by the lunatics that follow it.

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duga 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 28-Dec-2021 16:50:14
#92 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 1-May-2012
Posts: 215
From: Unknown

@BigD

File transfer via Bluetooth is so 2007.

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paolone 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 28-Dec-2021 17:42:51
#93 ]
Super Member
Joined: 24-Sep-2007
Posts: 1121
From: Unknown

@matthey

Quote:
The price of electronics have dropped significantly since 1987. THEC64 uses an ARM SoC chip which is available in low volume for $7. The majority of the chip logic is for a 3D GPU which isn't even used. A custom 68k Amiga SoC which is much more powerful than any 68k Amiga should require less logic than this ARM chip and could be produced cheaper if mass produced. As I have stated before, the opportunity is available to create a quality low priced mass produced Amiga which competes with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino and gets the Amiga back into hardware production. I believe the Amiga has a better chance of competing in the low cost computer hardware manufacturing market than as a software only AmigaOS producer competing with free operating systems. Why use a 1 GHz ARM SoC chip to emulate a 7 MHz Amiga when a 1 GHz 68k Amiga SoC chip can be produced for the same price?


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?

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Rose 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 28-Dec-2021 19:05:17
#94 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 982
From: Unknown

@paolone

He has also said that he can get it done for $1. Which is kinda amazing since expenses without counting in the silicon in realworld exceed that.

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hotrod 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 28-Dec-2021 22:52:18
#95 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 2986
From: Stockholm, Sweden

@fishy_fis

Your behaviour is that of a person who isn't well.

Also I really don't care about insults, I know who I am, you don't.

I suggest that you look into your problems and do something about them.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 2:38:08
#96 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1465
From: Kansas

AmigaNoob Quote:

What do you think is the process node and die area needed to achieve this 1 GHz 68k Amiga SoC while only needing low power for embedded? I saw that Google offers free fabrication for 180-130nm process and 10mm^2 die area. Would that be enough?


This is the range of chip fab processes where many professionally developed CPU designs started to reach 1GHz.

1998 180nm process https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/180_nm_lithography_process
2000 150nm https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/150_nm_lithography_process
2001 130nm https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/130_nm_lithography_process

I'm not sure what would be enough area. The Apollo core developers are aware of the offer but do not appear to be overly excited due to requirements and conditions.

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?

Rose Quote:

He has also said that he can get it done for $1. Which is kinda amazing since expenses without counting in the silicon in realworld exceed that.


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?

https://www.zdnet.com/article/pick-up-a-raspberry-pi-rp2040-chip-for-a-dollar/

https://www.adafruit.com/product/5041?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI35-Er_uH9QIVkcmUCR0JSAIAEAQYAiABEgKKmPD_BwE

That's $1 in quantities of 1 too!

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 3:36:20
#97 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2047
From: Trondheim, Norway

@matthey

I totally expect the TheA500 mini to be pretty much the exact same hardware as the The64 mini - variants of UAE already runs rather satisfactory on the TheC64 mini - so why not. Just a new case.

Last edited by kolla on 29-Dec-2021 at 03:36 AM.

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BigD 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 4:36:37
#98 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6199
From: UK

@duga

Quote:

duga wrote:
@BigD

File transfer via Bluetooth is so 2007.


It's good to have the option in case you've forgotten your USB cable! Why not backup up your photos to a computer rather than the Cloud? Why do we all have to do it Apple's way or not all all?

_________________
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AmigaNoob 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 5:38:39
#99 ]
Member
Joined: 14-Oct-2021
Posts: 10
From: Unknown

@matthey

Quote:

matthey wrote:

This is the range of chip fab processes where many professionally developed CPU designs started to reach 1GHz.

1998 180nm process https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/180_nm_lithography_process
2000 150nm https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/150_nm_lithography_process
2001 130nm https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/130_nm_lithography_process

I'm not sure what would be enough area. The Apollo core developers are aware of the offer but do not appear to be overly excited due to requirements and conditions.


The chips that I saw reaching 1GHz seems to have power consumption not suitable for embedded.

180 nm seems to be the sweet spot of having cheap mass produced hardware from what I read but it looks like 1GHz SoC might be too high of an expectation?

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 29-Dec-2021 5:55:52
#100 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1465
From: Kansas

kolla Quote:

I totally expect the TheA500 mini to be pretty much the exact same hardware as the The64 mini - variants of UAE already runs rather satisfactory on the TheC64 mini - so why not. Just a new case.


Maybe THEC64 hardware with emulation will be adequate for a one and done THEA500. An Amiga SoC could reduce production costs and a minimalist SoC should be marketable though. The RP2040 SoC had over 600,000 chips shipped as of June 1, 2021 (about 4 months after announcement) and is perhaps over a million by now but doesn't even support video output (HDMI), USB 2.0, ethernet, WiFi or Bluetooth. A SoC Amiga could be targeted between the RPi Pico and Zero (supporting more I/O like the RPi Zero but usable with less memory). The AmigaOS should blow away RISC OS Pico for the RPi Pico. The Raspberry Pi Foundation doesn't have a good OS with as small of a footprint as the 68k AmigaOS.

AmigaNoob Quote:

The chips that I saw reaching 1GHz seems to have power consumption not suitable for embedded.

180 nm seems to be the sweet spot of having cheap mass produced hardware from what I read but it looks like 1GHz SoC might be too high of an expectation?


Most embedded chips are trying to get good performance without pushing the clock frequencies up. Fortunately, the 68k innately has good performance/MHz so the clock doesn't need to be pushed as high (reduces power). The Pentium III is an example of a CPU reaching 1GHz in the range Google specified and the core has good performance/MHz and good performance/W for an x86 core. Intel ended up going back to this core for the Pentium M and modern Core designs. The Pentium 4 was able to increase the core clock speeds by increasing the pipeline lengths but this made it more of a media processor than a general purpose CPU and the increased pipeline length uses more transistors (area). A Pentium III like 68k design would be a good design target but may not reach 1GHz at 180nm.

Last edited by matthey on 29-Dec-2021 at 06:15 AM.

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