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      /  Prometheus PCI goes opensource
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Liluh 
Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 12:40:12
#1 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Mar-2005
Posts: 11
From: Unknown

Hi,

It's nearly 12 years since a group of hardcore amigans lead to a little commotion in the Amiga market, releasing to the world their own creation - Prometheus PCI card :)

It was a great challenge for each one of us, perhaps on the verge of madness. Yet, we strongly believed in what we were doing and gave it our best. For various reasons our plans didn't come up as expected, but this is how the life goes. We have no doubt, that it was a very valuable experience for us (at least for those sincerely signed below).

Once again, we would like to stirr things up a little bit. We have decided to give you, the world, a complete documentation, plans, firmware and all the files necessary to create your own Zorro3 PCI bridge. You can freely modify, copy or use them for a basis of your own construction and even build an exact copy of Prometheus. There is just one rule. It has to be free. Whatever you create, either by using our work as a whole or just a part of it, must be free.


Check it out:

http://krashan.ppa.pl/articles/prometheus/

Sounds like fun? We hope so, because we have more suprises. But next one will come from the good guys of E3b.


Best regards,

Filip Dąb-Mirowski
Grzegorz Kraszewski




Work on Prometheus hardware didn`t stop. For a new Prometheus based hardware, DaVinci, the whole CPLD design was revised and written from scratch by E3B. To track down the DMA issue quite some investigations were made, and after identifying the root of problem the Prometheus CPLD design was equipped with a new PCI arbiter, including features like round robbin
fair arbitration, high priority Zorro access, enhanced PCI config mechanisms with support for PCI bridges and some other enhancements which may be discussed later on.
Unfortunately the DaVinci project was stopped after fully working prototype card was running. The software part was rewritten and is being maintained by Tobias Seiler, who contributes the software also as gift for the community. The library supports both old and new firmware Prometheus transparently.

The compiled binaries are being made public for free, so you can simply upgrade your own Prometheus - use it, as you like, as long as no profit is being made from it. We provide some small manual on how you can flash the CPLDs of your Prometheus card, and on request assist you on specific questions. If you feel like giving us some feedback, dont hesitate to contact us - I`m sure we will find some small gift ideas :)
Please understand that the source codes of the new CPLD design are notbeing disclosed. There's load of work involved, and quite some experience which we dont feel to give away for free.

So please enjoy your new Prometheus CPLD upgrade - hope you like it as
much we enjoyed the development work!
------

Web page link will be http://www.e3b.de/prometheus/

Michael Boehmer

Last edited by Liluh on 07-Dec-2012 at 06:08 PM.

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wawa 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 12:53:41
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2008
Posts: 6157
From: Unknown

@Liluh, Krashan

wow! thats a great move. exactly the spirit i am really impressedd by! thank you guys!!!

one question, what do you consider by "it has to be free"? considering software its clear, but what about the hardware. its impossible to produce hardware for free. i think what you have meant is "it has to be open"?

@michael

Quote:
The compiled binaries are being made public for free
ah, ok, so the binaries may be free but not the source as i understand.

are you planning for a new pci extention? if so id propose it being physically elbox and grex format. a daughterboard instead of zorro card, its a little more complex, but the latter doesnt fit well in a desktop case.

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CosmosUnivers 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 13:21:36
#3 ]
Member
Joined: 20-Sep-2007
Posts: 84
From: Unknown


Filip Dąb-Mirowski & Grzegorz Kraszewski for Presidents !!



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Liluh 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 13:36:37
#4 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Mar-2005
Posts: 11
From: Unknown

@wawa

actually, when you`ll visit the 1st page, you will notice a little disclaimer about license under which this release is made. Creative Commons - the *noncommercial* type. So, of course hardware parts cost, but what we meant is that you can't sell your newly built card for profit.

And nope, there are no plans for releasing a new design :)

Cheers,

Last edited by Liluh on 07-Dec-2012 at 01:37 PM.

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Spirantho 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 13:37:14
#5 ]
Super Member
Joined: 4-Jun-2004
Posts: 1044
From: Aberystwyth, Wales

@wawa

The Prometheus' daughter-card format is the main reason I bought it - I have a towered A4000, so I don't use a standard backplane. For a desktop, yes - it's a better idea, but for us people with specific towers (mine's an Eagle) it'd destroy the usefulness of the card.

Great news though! I wonder if this will allow DMA on AmigaOS 4.1 for Classic? That'd be nice! And enable PCI sound cards and the like.... nice!

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g_kraszewski 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 13:38:01
#6 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 3-Sep-2010
Posts: 340
From: Unknown

@wawa

one question, what do you consider by "it has to be free"?

As the webpage says, the design files are licensed on the Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike - NonCommercial license. It contains the precise definition.

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Ratte 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 14:19:14
#7 ]
Member
Joined: 1-Jul-2011
Posts: 29
From: Unknown

early testrun (2011) prometheus with radeon (openpci)
http://www.a1k.org/forum/showpost.php?p=441792&postcount=269
(3.3v modded prometheus)

free hw / free sw / free fun

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Franko 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 14:24:14
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Jun-2010
Posts: 2809
From: Unknown

@Liluh

That quite simply has to be the best thing anyone has said in the Amiga community for a very, very long time...

While it's not something that I would use let alone even attempt to build myself, hopefully someone out there will take advantage of your very generous give-away and produce their own boards or help others to produce theirs... nice one...

PS:Just wish you had invented a complete new Amiga or even a superfast 060 board, now that I would have gladly have brushed up on my soldering skills to build...

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wawa 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 14:46:33
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2008
Posts: 6157
From: Unknown

@Liluh

Quote:
but what we meant is that you can't sell your newly built card for profit.


mmm.. this likely kills any interest to develop such a card. some sort of profit must be made when producing a hardware, it can hardly be made at home. but well, its a best thing you could have done.

on the other hand we have contradicting statement by michael, so likely you are open to separate deals with interested parties, which again is best thing to do.

Last edited by wawa on 07-Dec-2012 at 02:59 PM.

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ChaosLord 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 14:47:12
#10 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 4-Apr-2005
Posts: 782
From: Houston, Texas USA

@Liluh

Quote:

So, of course hardware parts cost, but what we meant is that you can't sell your newly built card for profit.


If nobody in the universe can sell me their card for profit then nobody in the universe will sell me their card.

This means I will never be able to buy a card and its hardly "open".

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Franko 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 15:03:01
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Jun-2010
Posts: 2809
From: Unknown

@ChaosLord

Quote:

ChaosLord wrote:

If nobody in the universe can sell me their card for profit then nobody in the universe will sell me their card.

This means I will never be able to buy a card and its hardly "open".


All you have to do then is if like me you don't have the skills. abilities or even resources to build your own is...

Wait for someone whom does to post that they have built one, contact them and see if they will build you one if you pay for all the parts and cover the postage & packaging to send it to you...

Thme you could if you like send them a nice wee monetary gift just to show your appreciation, just like you'd tip a Taxi driver or a waiter (or not ,if you happen to be a skinflint)...

Who's gonna know after all...

Last edited by Franko on 07-Dec-2012 at 03:04 PM.

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Liluh 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 15:04:47
#12 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Mar-2005
Posts: 11
From: Unknown

@ChaosLord

@wawa


I see what you`re both hinting at, but it's not really limiting the use. Let's say, a single unit run. Basically you can go to your local PCB and assemble plant with what is published on Krashan's site and tell them to produce you a board (theoretically). You just have to provide them with all the parts. They`ll do it for you for a fee and you don't have to know a single thing about pcb layers.

Then you will take home your newly assembled Zorro board and flash it with a programer. *bing!* You have a working board (oh right, you`ll need to fix a power cord aswell).

So what's limiting you here?

If you intend to take those plans, and let's say, release a full production run of 100 pcs of i.e. "Prometheus Redux" for 100 euro each, selling them to Joe and Frank here and there on ebay, earning 50 euro each, then I`m sorry - but that would require separate license agreement.

If you want to make money on it, you`ve got to share ;-P

Same with E3B software for Prometheus. You can`t repack it and sell, let's say, on a DVD earning money.

Free means free. You`re not allowed to release those boards commercially.

Please refer to :

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode

Article 4.

I hope it's clear now.

Cheers,

Last edited by Liluh on 07-Dec-2012 at 03:11 PM.

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terminills 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 15:11:12
#13 ]
AROS Core Developer
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 1341
From: Unknown

@Liluh

Quote:
If you gather 1000 euro, from , let's say, 10 people, you will pay the assembly plant, they`ll put it all together, then one of you will program those cards for all of you - no problem.


That's great news. :D I was hoping that group buys would be allowed. IE group goes together to build say 25 boards to bring the cost down. :)

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Liluh 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 15:18:00
#14 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Mar-2005
Posts: 11
From: Unknown

@terminills

Yep - as long as there is no middle-man taking money.

Just the pure costs (parts, assembly, post). Then you can flash it at home and you have a board.

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wawa 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 16:38:34
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2008
Posts: 6157
From: Unknown

@Liluh

i understand it as if someound does build a board home he can, but if an enterprise, say amigakit would put together some batch of it they need to ask your license, correct? what if some users find together and one of them builds some boards and deliver to others?

edit: im asking theoretically, since ive got a mediator, but who knows..

Last edited by wawa on 07-Dec-2012 at 04:39 PM.

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Darrin 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 16:57:56
#16 ]
Team Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 1941
From: Lake Charles, USA

@Liluh

Quote:
see what you`re both hinting at, but it's not really limiting the use. Let's say, a single unit run. Basically you can go to your local PCB and assemble plant with what is published on Krashan's site and tell them to produce you a board (theoretically). You just have to provide them with all the parts. They`ll do it for you for a fee and you don't have to know a single thing about pcb layers.

Then you will take home your newly assembled Zorro board and flash it with a programer. *bing!* You have a working board (oh right, you`ll need to fix a power cord aswell).

So what's limiting you here?

If you intend to take those plans, and let's say, release a full production run of 100 pcs of i.e. "Prometheus Redux" for 100 euro each, selling them to Joe and Frank here and there on ebay, earning 50 euro each, then I`m sorry - but that would require separate license agreement.

If you want to make money on it, you`ve got to share ;-P


The limiting problem is that most people don't have the time or inclination to track down the parts, find a company to make the board and assemble it, flash it and then trouble shoot it if it doesn't work. Most of us just want to send some money to Amigakit, recieve the board, plug it in and have someone to complain to if it doesn't work. :)

As long as there is a separate license available for those who want to take the risk of doing large production runs and supporting the card afterwards then this shouldn't be a problem. What was worrying was the original wording that looked like only a couple of people would ever have the skill set (or time and energy) to comply with your requirements.

This is great news though. Having owned a Mediator for many years I couldn't imagine an Amiga without PCI slots for anything other than games.

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terminills 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 17:28:07
#17 ]
AROS Core Developer
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 1341
From: Unknown

@Darrin

Quote:
The limiting problem is that most people don't have the time or inclination to track down the parts, find a company to make the board and assemble it, flash it and then trouble shoot it if it doesn't work.


You don't need most people you just need one to organize a group buy. :)

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Liluh 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 17:35:43
#18 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Mar-2005
Posts: 11
From: Unknown

@wawa

Quote:
i understand it as if someound does build a board home he can, but if an enterprise, say amigakit would put together some batch of it they need to ask your license, correct? what if some users find together and one of them builds some boards and deliver to others? edit: im asking theoretically, since ive got a mediator, but who knows..


You are correct.

In theory if i.e. Amigakit finds they would like to play with this and sell in their shop, then they`d just have to contact me to obtain legal license rights to produce and sell fresh Prometheus boards, on what ever terms we'd agree. Heck, I think I still have those cardboard boxes and brackets somewhere ;P

Still, to answer the second part of your question - you can group up, raise a pile of money and buy parts which your engineering friend will put together. But your engineering friend can't sell those boards to you or any other person. Do you see the difference? You pay him for his skills and assembling (like you'd pay a factory). Not buying the card he produced. Again, check the license on site for a whole list of other things that should be included if/when the board is modified and then re-released.

In case someone would try to produce and sell Prometheus boards, under the cover that he's only "assembling" them for friends - that won't hold as a valid non-commercial usage under court of law :) For many reasons. But dear God, would anyone drop so low instead of simply contacting the legal owner if he is willing to license out? That wold be crazy and a suicide in a small Amiga world where all news spread quickly.


@Darrin

as above. No worries :)

Last edited by Liluh on 07-Dec-2012 at 05:42 PM.

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wawa 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 18:07:30
#19 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2008
Posts: 6157
From: Unknown

@Liluh

still pretty good move altogether i think

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Comi 
Re: Prometheus PCI goes opensource
Posted on 7-Dec-2012 19:36:09
#20 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-Jul-2003
Posts: 615
From: Zlatibor, Serbia

Only 250 boards!!!
I can't believe it, small number ( I expected 1000 or 1500- maybe thats the number of Mediators)

Those guys planned A1200 version and also PPC cards.
Any schematics?

This is good for all users of clasisics who didn't upgrade their machines to PCI.
Group together and make and make a batch of 50 or 100 boards!!
Mediators are to expensive.

Last edited by Comi on 07-Dec-2012 at 07:45 PM.

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