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PosterThread
Oli_hd 
ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 13:05:39
#1 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Mar-2004
Posts: 129
From: Unknown

ColdFusion Accelerator - The Coldfusion Accelerator is a CPU upgrade that uses the Motorola (Now Freescale) Coldfire CPU, which is a cut down version of the 68K CPU.
I am using the V4 Coldfire (MCF5407) which includes an SD-Ram interface and two UART's.
This is a part time project I have been working on in my spare time.
The prototype card is designed for the A4000 however versions for all 68K based Amiga's are planned.

Availability
Not Available, No release date will be published until I have a working prototype.

Latest version: 3rd Prototype (shown at the Big Bash 4)
Basic Coldfire card using a 220Mhz MCF5407, TTL logic chips and two CPLD's. Includes PC133 SD-Ram interface. "Back to basics" design
Status: Awaiting more tests. Debug Module failed to start, checking why.

Past
2nd prototype: (Shown at the Benelux Amiga & Peg Show)
A very over designed prototype, four layer with firewire, usb, AC97 audio, IRDA & PC133 SD-Ram slot. Faults: Fastslot wired incorectly, some routing errors and probably a lot more. prototype did not work.
Status: Scrap, sat on the scrap pile at the shop.
1st prototype: (Pictures uploaded to news group but never shown publicly)
A nice simple design, 12th track and gap. SD-Ram & Fast slot wired wrong, buffers wrong side of SD-Ram (Would have blown the SD-Ram module)
Status: Finished, stripped and stored.

Future
A full CPLD based design, 4 layer assembled by manufacturer.
Status: Done a few example designs but nothing final yet.

Compatibility
The final card would require either a Coldfire native recompile of the kickstart or the loading of [href=http://www.microapl.co.uk/Porting/ColdFire/index.html]CF68KLib[/url], as supplied by Freescale.
The CF68KLib software can replace 68K instructions that are not found on the Coldfire with the Coldfire alternative, however if the instruction is supported but does not return a responce this software can not patch that, it can however make a virtual 68K where all instructions are emulated. This combination should give good compatability, at the expense of loosing some speed, Elbox report the software they are using is equal to a 68040, I would assume this is in full emulation mode. (on the V4e CPU)
Long term, as the 68K OS is no longer being updated and OS4 wont see a 68K release the Aros way (Or similar rewrite of the Amiga's OS files) would be my prefered way.
Even though a performance hit would occur when in full emulation mode as more and more Coldfire programs are wrote this card would come into its own, the first obvious one would be Coldfire native datatypes.

Price
Compared to the 68K CPU, the Coldfire was designed as a cheap chip, with single quantities of the V4 topping out at only 23 for the industrial 220Mhz version.
I believe my finished card (Without extras like USB etc) would cost 150 maximum, and prices below 100 a real possibility.
So for the price of a 68030 second hand from Ebay you could get a 220Mhz Coldfire with upto 512 Meg of SD-Ram.

Reason for thread: - Just FYI

News Group: Yahoo Group
Website: Currently Offline, normally www.cdtv.org.uk/coldfire/

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Crumb 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 14:25:19
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 2209
From: Zaragoza (Aragonian State)

@Oli_hd

go Oli!

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ikir 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 14:52:44
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5647
From: Italy

@Oli_hd

Thanks for this summary

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yak 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 15:00:07
#4 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 15-Mar-2006
Posts: 322
From: Bochum, Germany

@Oli_hd

If you acomplish the same speed as Elbox (between 040 and 060) for price of an used 030 then that makes sense (speaking of full emulation mode here). Some CF-recompiled programs would make it even more attractive. Go, go, go Oli!

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AmiDog 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 15:53:12
#5 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-Jun-2004
Posts: 917
From: Kumla, Sweden

Just an idea, but wouldn't the best starting point for the ColdFire projects be to take the UAE sources, modify the 68000 instructions which behave differently (but doesn't generate a trap) on ColdFire to behave as they would on ColdFire and see what breaks (if anything).

After all, if many software wont work this way, then one will need full emulation, which would be slow. Which would make a ColdFire accelerator rather pointless.

On the other hand, if just about no software is affected, one could proceed to get that coldfire.library thing going, and then remove all the ColdFire missing 68000 opcodes from the UAE 68000 emulation.

This would make it possible to test the emulation library in a somewhat easy to debug environment (you could even implement the emulation one opcode at a time).

This would leave one with the supervisor problem, as if I remember correctly, there are some differences here. But I guess most software never visit supervisor land anyway...

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Jorge 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 16:07:15
#6 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2003
Posts: 657
From: Scottsdale, AZ

@Oli_hd

Quote:
Long term, as the 68K OS is no longer being updated and OS4 wont see a 68K release the Aros way (Or similar rewrite of the Amiga's OS files) would be my prefered way.


This is the question I'm asking myself. Why ? If it's so much effort to get an OS3.x running, and there is no hope for a future version (and AROS is, well, sure possible, but even that would be 2-3 years away - and won't be compatible at all).

Say, how much effort - just from an electronical point of view - would it be, to use a different CPU (say a ppc ?). Is the coldfire easier to integrate into the 68K cpu bus interconnect ? If you use some cf-68k glue logic, how much work would that be to use a ppc (I guess, even cf and ppc can e.g. use PowerQuick or how Freescale calls that now). The benefit would certainly be, you get a bugfixed version of 3.x which is already available...

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Oli_hd 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 16:39:04
#7 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Mar-2004
Posts: 129
From: Unknown

@Jorge

Quote:
Say, how much effort - just from an electronical point of view - would it be, to use a different CPU (say a ppc ?).

I doubt there is much difference at all, I mean if you change the kickstart for a PPC version it would load just the same.
Interface wise the signals are basically the same although with PPC your running at a higher bus frequency.

Did I say I had real bad luck and killed four Cyberstorm PPC's.. hence the project?
(Actually the project was ment to be a CDTV/A500 only thing to begin with)

Quote:
This is the question I'm asking myself. Why If it's so much effort to get an OS3.x running, and there is no hope for a future version.

Well I like the chip, I guess you could say thats why Im doing it.

It has the heart of a 68K, The upgrade is very much for classic Amiga's, its not the re-
birth of Amiga or anything like that, its a cheap no frills chip thats 68K like in what it does.

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yak 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 16:59:45
#8 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 15-Mar-2006
Posts: 322
From: Bochum, Germany

@AmiDog

Quote:
After all, if many software wont work this way, then one will need full emulation, which would be slow. Which would make a ColdFire accelerator rather pointless.

Elbox said the emulation reaches speeds between 040 and 060. If the accelerator would cost less than 040 accelerator then I wouldn't call it pointless.

Anyway, this UAE modification is a good idea.

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Comi 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 17:48:57
#9 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-Jul-2003
Posts: 659
From: Zlatibor, Serbia

What is compatibility diference between
V4 Coldfire (MCF5407 and PCF5475/266 and 68 k?

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yak 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 19:42:06
#10 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 15-Mar-2006
Posts: 322
From: Bochum, Germany

@Comi

http://www.microapl.co.uk/Porting/ColdFire/cf_68k_diffs.html

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Jorge 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 11-Dec-2006 20:34:19
#11 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2003
Posts: 657
From: Scottsdale, AZ

@Oli_hd

Quote:
Well I like the chip, I guess you could say thats why Im doing it.


Fair enough. I mean, its you personal choice and time.. I'm not to much into the cpu (and ISA) any more, I care less these days (except I hate this eax, etc. stuff). I just think a ppc could be more usefull for a lot more people, and if there's really not that much more technical trouble (sure - booting needs a separate BIOS, however, I would guess the CF will need one, too).

But that's just my opinion, not that I try to convince you to do anything

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G3SE/600/Voodoo3/Sil680/RTL8139/SBLive! (noiseless!)
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Angelo 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 12-Dec-2006 1:22:16
#12 ]
New Member
Joined: 11-Dec-2006
Posts: 1
From: Unknown

@yak

Quote:
Elbox said the emulation reaches speeds between 040 and 060.

Here is what they said about it on Amigaworld:

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.

http://tinyurl.com/y68n99

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Brian 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 12-Dec-2006 10:37:02
#13 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-Apr-2003
Posts: 238
From: Sweden

@Oli_hd

Not here to start a flame, just simple question since Elbox's speed have been mentioned in the original post I'd like to get some information stright. Elbox precented their Coldfire solusion witch is a MCF5475@266Mhz, you state that would give speeds equal to a 040 at an unknown mhz value. Your Coldfire solusion is a MCF5407@220Mhz, would that not meen yours is slower, perhaps not even on par with 040 speeds in full emulation mode?

I have a few A4000 and one in particular is set aside for a coldfire board just to see what it can do when these are available... been waiting a long time for this... set that project in motion the day I heard your solusion would be made available also for the A4000. I might not know too much about the coldfire CPU but isn't MCF54xx CPU's direct compatible with eachother and would it then not make more sence to go for the fastest one available then (thinking Amiga users have been paying big bucks for secondhand hardware for years now the extra price on a better performing CPU would probably be accepted without any fuzz)? Also as there are other coldfire CPU's available at much higher rates what's preventing those from being used. Why I'm asking is simply cause with my other machines all running on 060/50 I know personaly I'd have a hard time paying for a card that can't at least come to par speedwise with it.

One last thing... Prototype 2 with all it's extras sure is more impressive than "just another" CPU/Mem card. Now if we can only get you back in that direction and have you add a NIC to it. *saliva-dribble*

Ps. Please... no flames...

Last edited by Brian on 12-Dec-2006 at 10:38 AM.

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Deniil715 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 16-Jan-2007 9:34:29
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 4233
From: Sweden

@Angelo

It would seem that if one chooses 68000 executables instead of 020+ on a CF it would run quite a bit faster due to less emulated instructions. But I didn't think it would be that different and restricted from a 68k. but I suppose this is the reason why it can run at several hunder MHz while the 68k can't even do 100MHz unless it too is crippled.

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DJBase 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 4-Feb-2007 17:34:41
#15 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jan-2004
Posts: 285
From: Germany

Hm, seems the ColdFusion page is gone?

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Donar 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 2-Mar-2007 18:13:26
#16 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 12-Nov-2006
Posts: 117
From: Germany

@DJBase

Oli has taken down the ColdFusion website for different reasons, but "promised" to not stop on the Coldfusion card itself. I would really love to have a working CF card here...

bye

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Framiga 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 2-Mar-2007 22:43:24
#17 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 5-Jul-2003
Posts: 2213
From: Unknown

i want to beleive to this project ... once again.

Keep it up Oliver!


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utri007 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 2-Mar-2007 22:52:41
#18 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Aug-2003
Posts: 1070
From: United States of Europe

@Framiga

It just seems there is not a lots of hope without emulator.

I doesn't make me smile if programs compiled to coldfire works with 060 but not otherway

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Framiga 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 2-Mar-2007 23:04:32
#19 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 5-Jul-2003
Posts: 2213
From: Unknown

@utri007

actually we don't know. Only time will tell... we will see.

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DJBase 
Re: ColdFusion Accelerator
Posted on 2-Mar-2007 23:26:04
#20 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jan-2004
Posts: 285
From: Germany

@utri007

Its a well known fact that you need an emulation to get Amiga-Software compiled for 68k to work. The only question is how good and fast can it be done. If you can give a minimum speed of 68060 for any emulation than it could be a success. Only new software can be compiled to work with both CPUs.

Last edited by DJBase on 02-Mar-2007 at 11:27 PM.

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