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/  Forum Index
   /  Classic Amiga Hardware
      /  C256 FOENIX GEN X
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ferrels 
C256 FOENIX GEN X
Posted on 3-Dec-2021 3:22:47
#1 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2005
Posts: 880
From: Arizona

For all you 68K retro junkies, here's a system that you'll find interesting.

C265 Foenix Gen X

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matthey 
Re: C256 FOENIX GEN X
Posted on 3-Dec-2021 4:42:26
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1463
From: Kansas

ferrels Quote:

For all you 68K retro junkies, here's a system that you'll find interesting.

C265 Foenix Gen X


The built in WDC65C816 looks more aimed at 8/16 bit 6502 architecture hardware like the C64, (S)NES, Apple II(GS), Atari 400/800, etc. No mention of the forgotten PET in the history with Apple II both introduced in 1977 (the Apple II came about 6 months earlier but the PET was ~39% cheaper). The internals have a VICKY III chip (like MOS VIC II chip in C64 or VIC III chip in C65?) and allow for dual SID chips so resembles a C64/C65. The 16 bit WDC65C816 CPU is more like the later C65, Apple IIGS and SNES. It looks like the C256 FOENIX is a retro hobbyist computer rather than any kind of recreation which is strange considering all the hardware support for similar retro hardware. Even stranger is the extra CPU card which doesn't have support for other retro hardware either. Emulation of the hardware chipsets would likely be required although CPU emulation should be more efficient with a similar CPU chip.

The A2560K Foenix and A2560X Foenix hardware look like new 68k architecture computers but I haven't found as much information on them. I doubt that they could be Amiga compatible easily although again it helps to have the same CPU.

Last edited by matthey on 03-Dec-2021 at 05:00 AM.
Last edited by matthey on 03-Dec-2021 at 04:44 AM.

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ferrels 
Re: C256 FOENIX GEN X
Posted on 3-Dec-2021 4:56:14
#3 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2005
Posts: 880
From: Arizona

@matthey

You must missed the 68K and i486 options:

MC68SEC000 @ 20Mhz
MC68EC030 @ 40Mhz
MC68EC040 @ 25/50Mhz
i486DX2 @ 50Mhz
i486DX2 @ 66Mhz

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matthey 
Re: C256 FOENIX GEN X
Posted on 3-Dec-2021 5:25:29
#4 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1463
From: Kansas

@ferrels
I see them but the whole thing looks like a weird retro hybrid that isn't compatible with any retro hardware. It would have been more interesting with a 68k CPU on the main board and a FPGA for 8 bit CPUs and chipsets like I have suggested before. What we really need are higher performance 68k CPUs which I have also suggested to design. A new 68k CPU could likely be sold in tens of thousands for retro hobbyists and accelerators (and more for embedded 68k and ColdFire replacements). The designer says she wanted the A2560K (wedge keyboard case and 68k) but the 68k CPUs were too expensive.



https://youtu.be/ZCwbUU11-T4?t=1020

She is using a 68040V which is the 3.3V version where a 3.3V 68060 is similar but there is no option. Why? The cost of 68060 CPUs have gone through the roof. We have a high demand for 68k CPUs and a low supply, especially for the higher performance ones. ARM CPUs are selling for a few dollars that have a similar performance to a 68060. A 68k CPU could be produced for a similar production cost albeit with a higher development cost. The big advantage is the 68k market is not saturated. Taking advantage of the situation requires a more professional and more competitive product than the Apollo Core in an FPGA.

Edit: It looks like the A2560K shown above uses an Amiga 600 keyboard.

Last edited by matthey on 03-Dec-2021 at 05:22 PM.
Last edited by matthey on 03-Dec-2021 at 05:29 AM.

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ferrels 
Re: C256 FOENIX GEN X
Posted on 3-Dec-2021 15:22:44
#5 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2005
Posts: 880
From: Arizona

@matthey

Why do you say "what we really need are higher performance 68k CPUs?" This is a retro system for folks who enjoy retro programming. It isn't competing with anything out there to be the next generation 68K Amiga, 68K Atari or even a C64, nor is it billed as a replacement for any of the aforementioned systems. The creator has stated as much in her wiki and elsewhere.

FX/OS and TinyCore operating systems are WIPs and some folks already have a patched version of Atari TOS/EmuTOS running on this this thing so I'd expect other operating systems to follow. The 65C816 is backward compatible with the 6502 so Atari 400/800 and C64 tinkerers would have fun with this as well.

This is a hardware hacker's toy much like the 8-bit Guy's Commander X16 but with a lot more hardware to bang around on. I can see assembly programmers having a blast with this. Take your Amiga glasses off and see that not everything out there should be viewed as a competitor with the Vampire or seen as a competitor to the Amiga.


Wiki

Last edited by ferrels on 03-Dec-2021 at 06:00 PM.
Last edited by ferrels on 03-Dec-2021 at 03:50 PM.
Last edited by ferrels on 03-Dec-2021 at 03:49 PM.
Last edited by ferrels on 03-Dec-2021 at 03:43 PM.
Last edited by ferrels on 03-Dec-2021 at 03:23 PM.

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matthey 
Re: C256 FOENIX GEN X
Posted on 3-Dec-2021 18:47:12
#6 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1463
From: Kansas

ferrels Quote:

Why do you say "what we really need are higher performance 68k CPUs?" This is a retro system for folks who enjoy retro programming. It isn't competing with anything out there to be the next generation 68K Amiga, 68K Atari or even a C64, nor is it billed as a replacement for any of the aforementioned systems. The creator has stated as much in her wiki and elsewhere.


Retro markets, the 68k and the Amiga have been gaining momentum but at least 68k retro markets are held back by high 68k prices for even half way modern designs (68030+). It's an interesting hobby project but it doesn't make sense to me to start a new platform using new hardware when there are existing platforms with existing software and OSs which are similar and much further ahead in support. The 68k Amiga market is half abandoned and it is stronger with more retro appeal. The Raspberry Pi is partially compatible with the Acorn Archimedes ARM hardware running RISC OS which has been successful even though it is not nearly as popular as the 68k Amiga.

ferrels Quote:

FX/OS and TinyCore operating systems are WIPs and some folks already have a patched version of Atari TOS/EmuTOS running on this this thing so I'd expect other operating systems to follow. The 65C816 is backward compatible with the 6502 so Atari 400/800 and C64 tinkerers would have fun with this as well.


Maybe if AROS was running on a 68040V it would be more interesting to Amiga owners but unlikely with lack of chipset support and with a $1000 price. I mentioned the X hardware may be more interesting for retro 8 bit enthusiasts but I don't really see that either as even cheap FPGA hardware can provide very good simulation of 8 bit hardware. The X hardware is close to a C65 but I expect most Commodore 8 bit retro fans would rather have a MEGA65.

https://shop.trenz-electronic.de/en/TE0765-03-S001-MEGA65-highly-advanced-C64-and-C65-compatible-8-bit-computer?c=564

The MEGA65 is compatible with the C64 but has graphics hardware borrowed from the Amiga chipset and even enhanced over OCS/ECS. Sadly, CBM upgraded the C65 chipset ahead of the Amiga chipset (256 colors in 320x200). Sadly, there are better recreations of CBM 8 bit hardware than Amiga hardware. For a wider variety of retro hardware simulation, MiSTer hardware is cheaper.

ferrels Quote:

This is a hardware hacker's toy much like the 8-bit Guy's Commander X16 but with a lot more hardware to bang around on. I can see assembly programmers having a blast with this. Take your Amiga glasses off and see that not everything out there should be viewed as a competitor with the Vampire or seen as a new Amiga.


Sure. I get it but it looks to me like a micromarket. I can make my own 68000 computer on a breadboard too as the 68000 is one of the last CPUs where that is possible. It may be fun to play around with but I wouldn't try to create my own platform. I see the retro goodness in recreating and enhancing existing designs and platforms. I understand her anti big tech corporation attitude and simpler hardware mentality too. Starting a new hobby platform is difficult, especially without direct retro roots (compatibility). Props for her motivation, creativity and hardware accomplishments but I suspect she doesn't understand the business side as well as the technical side.

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ferrels 
Re: C256 FOENIX GEN X
Posted on 3-Dec-2021 19:28:18
#7 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2005
Posts: 880
From: Arizona

@matthey

Quote:
Sure. I get it but it looks to me like a micromarket. I can make my own 68000 computer on a breadboard too as the 68000 is one of the last CPUs where that is possible. It may be fun to play around with but I wouldn't try to create my own platform. I see the retro goodness in recreating and enhancing existing designs and platforms. I understand her anti big tech corporation attitude and simpler hardware mentality too. Starting a new hobby platform is difficult, especially without direct retro roots (compatibility). Props for her motivation, creativity and hardware accomplishments but I suspect she doesn't understand the business side as well as the technical side.


Of course it's a micro market. Did I imply otherwise? Retro markets of any kind are inherently micro markets including the Amiga. And no one said this platform was targeting you specifically nor implied that you should buy it.

And of course it's difficult starting a new hobby platform. Just ask the 8-bit Guy how hard it's been to get his Commander X16 off the ground. He's no businessman either but he is doing well and it was never his intention to turn the X16 into a business venture. It's a hobby platform for retro hobbyists just like this project.

Commander X16 Update

As for Stef's understanding of business, I doubt that any retro hobbyist will care. Their main concern as a customer if they choose to buy this kit is her technical abilities, design and price. With price being an afterthought as seen in all the stupid prices Amiga retro-hobbyists pay for Vampires, Minimigs, etc....

Last edited by ferrels on 03-Dec-2021 at 07:29 PM.

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