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/  Forum Index
   /  Amiga OS4 Hardware
      /  ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
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fishy_fis 
ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 9:28:23
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 29-Mar-2004
Posts: 1835
From: Australia

Hopefully I've not got my details muddled, but Sam boards have some sort of custom socket for accepting fpga chips dont they ? If so then would it be technically feasible to add support for custom chips ? Even ECS would be nice, but ideally AGA. With that in tandem with the 68k cpu emulation of OS4.x would it be possible to run old software that requires custom chipsets? Invisably would be nice, but even if it required some sort of additional software I'd still be happy.

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Crumb 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 11:11:26
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 2208
From: Zaragoza (Aragonian State)

@fishy_fis

I don't think it would be easy. I think there would be some ways to make it work partially, you could dedicate one part of the FPGA to emulate Copper, Blitter (and perhaps some kind of CIA functionality) and other part of the FPGA would copy the gfx output and convert it to RGB.
You could reserve a pair of megabytes of main ram as chip memory

My main concern would be if it would be possible to keep everything in sync

Anyway... I don't think anyone does the job. It's too complex and wouldn't offer full compatibility.

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olegil 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 11:26:04
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@Crumb

Nah, a much smarter approach is to put a PCI device into one of the existing amiga-on-a-chip implementations. Then you just map the first 16MB of memory as PCI memory and Robert is your mothers brother.

_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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utri007 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 11:40:25
#4 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Aug-2003
Posts: 967
From: United States of Europe

@olegil

So Sam's FPGA is complitely useless????

PCI card might be smarter, but using exsiting hardawre would be nice.

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BigBentheAussie 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 12:03:15
#5 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

Woah!!!

So you are telling me that some clever chap isn't going to implement minimig, which is open source, on the fpga?
I would have thought that 68k emulation on PPC, and custom chips on the fpga, would have been a no-brainer.
The FPGA might just be what sets this hardware apart!!!
By the way, is the FPGA standard, or an extra part you have to buy?

Gosh, why can't it be possible to put even Natami on the fpga.
For a price of course.
They probably could do the dev on this instead of their custom boards.

Can the FPGA be used as some sort of video codec perhaps?
Surely some crazy and clever Amigan will put this to good use.
This is practically the ultimate hardware banger.

_________________
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Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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olegil 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 12:05:03
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@BigBentheAussie

Any design requires a minimum amount of pins and logic. How many spare pins and how much spare logic do you have in the FPGA, and how much would it take to make a minimig? Without those two numbers it's pointless to discuss it at all...

_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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Bit7 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 12:39:45
#7 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2007
Posts: 170
From: Australia

@olegil

The minimig code fits in a fairly small (by today's standards) FPGA, so I would image it should fit. Assuming that you use a softcore 68k there should be more than enough free pins. Remembering you wouldn't need pins for SD card, PIC, serial, PS2 ports etc as it could be feed by the PPC. That leaves only the video, sound and maybe static RAM that would need to be put on a board that plugs into the FPGA connector. Depending on the FPGA connection to the SAM resources it may be possible to map these into SAM system resources as well.

Does anyone know were to get technical docs for the SAM440, most importantly showing precisely how the FPGA is connected?

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m3x 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 13:29:06
#8 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 15-May-2003
Posts: 309
From: Bologna, Italy

@Bit7

Quote:
Does anyone know were to get technical docs for the SAM440, most importantly showing precisely how the FPGA is connected?


The LatticeXP FPGA is connected to the 440ep SoC via the External Bus Controller EBC (16 bit, 22 address lines)

On the external expansion connector there are 80 I/O pin from the FPGA, +3.3V, +5V, 4 JTAG pins, and 4 FPGA programming pins.

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QuBe 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 13:34:10
#9 ]
Super Member
Joined: 3-Dec-2006
Posts: 1063
From: Dunes of Uridia

@m3x

Could the Sam FPGA be looked at as an Amiga "custome chip"... soft and programmable :)

What about a DSP soft core or something for sound and video! Hmmm, or something dedicated for Video Toaster?

Q!

"all RoAds LeAd ToO hOMe"

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Krischan76 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 14:17:31
#10 ]
Member
Joined: 25-Dec-2007
Posts: 47
From: outside the looney bin

Let there be NatAmi!

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olegil 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 14:30:15
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@m3x

But how much spare logic does it have?

_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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Bit7 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 14:36:39
#12 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2007
Posts: 170
From: Australia

@QuBe

Assuming that the 16bit bus that m3x has told us about is of reasonable speed then hardware assisted emulation of of amiga custom chips is possible.

As is hardware assisted Audio/Video codecs.

Now if only a future OS4.2 would include something that exploited the FPGA (such as an FPGA assisted MP3 decoder/player). Then we would have something that might get people excited about the Amiga again.

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madmalkav 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 15:39:42
#13 ]
Member
Joined: 19-May-2006
Posts: 88
From: Unknown

If we start to get apps that will make use of FPGA, how will OS decide which application will have preference for use the FPGA of two of the said applications are being executed simultanously?

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AmigaBlitter 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 16:03:23
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 26-Sep-2005
Posts: 3403
From: Unknown

@olegil

http://www.latticesemi.com/products/fpga/xp/index.cfm?source=topnav

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AmigaBlitter 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 16:06:53
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 26-Sep-2005
Posts: 3403
From: Unknown

@AmigaBlitter

If i well recall, but i'm not sure, the fpga could be used as a jpeg decoder, or as a PCI express endpoint. Look into the lattice website, to find other many solutions.

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Bit7 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 16:11:57
#16 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2007
Posts: 170
From: Australia

@madmalkav

Quote:

madmalkav wrote:
If we start to get apps that will make use of FPGA, how will OS decide which application will have preference for use the FPGA of two of the said applications are being executed simultanously?


Its a vaild point.
But multitasking OSs have always had to deal with resources of finite simultaneous use.

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Deniil715 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 19-Sep-2008 16:43:57
#17 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 4178
From: Sweden

I would like to learn some FPGA programming. I have two or three FPGA guys behind my back at work, but do only C/C++ programming myself, Linux/UNIX, etc. drivers for custom telecom hardware and the software just above it.

But the biggest question for me is: Will I ever be able to do VHDL/VeriLog/whatever programming in AmigaOS if I buy a SAM, or would I need to get a second Windoze machine or install Linux or the SAM to be able to make code for the FPGA?

_________________
- Don't get fooled by my avatar, I'm not like that (anymore, mostly... maybe only sometimes)
> Amiga Classic and OS4 developer for OnyxSoft.

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m3x 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 20-Sep-2008 16:31:29
#18 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 15-May-2003
Posts: 309
From: Bologna, Italy

@olegil

Quote:
But how much spare logic does it have?

Don't have the exact figure with me right now, but on the end user version board it should be max 10% used, therefore around 90% is still free.

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Massimiliano Tretene, ACube Systems, Soft3

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AmigaPhil 
Re: ECS/AGA with Sam FPGA ?
Posted on 20-Sep-2008 17:05:14
#19 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2005
Posts: 563
From: Earth (Belgium)

@Krischan76

Quote:
Let there be NatAmi!


The short answer is no, the Natami's SuperAGA won't fit in SAM's FPGA. (See also this thread.)

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