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Poll : Would you love a classic 680x0 Multicore Amiga!
Yes, of Course!
No! Never!
I want a Quantum Computer!
I want Pancackes!
 
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agami 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 20-Jan-2022 3:54:45
#81 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 862
From: Melbourne, Australia

@matthey

I am still a very big fan of 68k. If you recall, I was interested in investing in the Vampire work the Apollo Team were doing, back when the A600 V2 was in production. They were not interested in investors back then.

I still would like to help with the 68k revival, especially in the scope of higher performance 68080+SAGA software.

I posted on the Apollo Team Forum to find out what someone would charge to port Open Lara to 080+SAGA. Plenty of views, but no responses. What does it say when you can't even pay people to work on software for 080+SAGA.

https://github.com/XProger/OpenLara

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OlafS25 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 20-Jan-2022 13:09:43
#82 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-May-2010
Posts: 6059
From: Unknown

@agami

Would it be realistic to try to port it at all?

the water effects and similar are certainly not easy to get without much or any 3D support on the hardware. And current SAGA has no 3D support as far as I know

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BigD 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 20-Jan-2022 13:55:07
#83 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6190
From: UK

@agami

Tomb Raider?! Aren't we a bit past that? We got a PS2 remake called Anniversary which was awesome and that itself is retro now! 3D games on the Amiga never got beyond Payback, Wipeout 2097 and Tales from Heaven (shudder). Why port bad early polygon rubbish?!

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kolla 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 20-Jan-2022 15:54:26
#84 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2044
From: Trondheim, Norway

I just want pico-8 on my stock a500 !11

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 20-Jan-2022 17:32:32
#85 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12102
From: Norway

@BigD

Quote:
Tomb Raider?! Aren't we a bit past that?


The enhanced version of that game, probably too advanced, they need to remove all the 3d acceleration they put in.

Quote:
Why port bad early polygon rubbish?!


because Vampire is made only for 2D games, 3D games most use software rendering, so it has to be early polygon rubbish.

Now that game might be ported to AmigaOS4/AmigaOne and MorphOS, or AROS x86.

But even more modern hardware running AmigaOS or simular operating system, can’t play the latest games, we don’t have unity, unreal, godot, so it has to be games made before this type game engines become popular.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 20-Jan-2022 at 10:04 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 20-Jan-2022 at 07:07 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 20-Jan-2022 at 05:38 PM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 20-Jan-2022 17:41:52
#86 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12102
From: Norway

@agami

A bit unrealistic maybe, the hardware does even support TCL, OpenCL or OpenGL, how do you expect anyone to port it to the Vampire.

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matthey 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 20-Jan-2022 21:54:56
#87 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1463
From: Kansas

agami Quote:

I am still a very big fan of 68k. If you recall, I was interested in investing in the Vampire work the Apollo Team were doing, back when the A600 V2 was in production. They were not interested in investors back then.


I suggested forming a business, looking for partners (which I did on my own and found), looking for professional processor design and ASIC design help and looking for investors and at funding options when I was part of the Apollo team. Gunnar ignored or rejected all and acted suspicious of such proposals. I know investors who could have funded an ASIC. I found 68k interest from an embedded company that creates ASICs who we could have partnered with to create an ASIC helping with ASIC expertise, resources and cost. I found 68k interest from another embedded company that does very high mass production which could reduce risk by pre-selling SoCs before production and lower prices as economies of scale are huge for an ASIC. Gunnar's superior technical knowledge, according to him, qualifies him to make all decisions though. He went right on optimizing for a FPGA instead of preparing for an ASIC. There isn't anything to invest in when someone so oblivious sabotages his own efforts. It's sad. Maybe the Amiga could go somewhere if Amigans worked together instead of beating a dead horse and fighting over its carcass.

agami Quote:

I still would like to help with the 68k revival, especially in the scope of higher performance 68080+SAGA software.

I posted on the Apollo Team Forum to find out what someone would charge to port Open Lara to 080+SAGA. Plenty of views, but no responses. What does it say when you can't even pay people to work on software for 080+SAGA.

https://github.com/XProger/OpenLara


As others have mentioned, it is likely the current lack of 3D support makes it difficult to port to the Vampire/Apollo hardware. Others, including trolls, have suggested porting 3D games which are obviously not possible so Gunnar is sensitive about this. With some 3D hardware support announced though, OpenLara looks like it would require low 3D specs and may be a reasonable porting candidate. If you weren't criticized or banned for asking then maybe someone will take up your offer once the 3D support is working well enough. It is possible the 3D support won't be enough though as I would expect it to have PS2 capabilities at most but that is in line with the roughly 100MHz Apollo core CPU capabilities. That is what you get with say a $40 FPGA instead of 10+ times the CPU and GPU performance from a $4 ASIC. A watch using an ASIC SoC can play OpenLara but the Amiga is a self limiting niche market in true AmigaNowhere fashion.

OpenLara - running on smartwatch (inWatch-Z)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpo5Wkl1Ino&list=PL7DiEQQWqCj79eodyi2R_vi87IdONIR-B&index=21

The original Tomb Raider may be playable on newer Vampire/Apollo hardware and very high end 68060 hardware using emulation. The following videos are using PCTask.

Amiga Tomb Raider (68060@80MHz)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzKC0Aafnw8

PCtask v4 Amiga Vampire2 Tomb raider, APB, Alone in the Dark
https://youtu.be/CHM2i_53kHE?t=1233

When I was testing DOSBox on my CSMK3 68060@75MHz, I recall a similar frame rate as in the video above. I was surprised it performed as well as it did. Too bad we couldn't get the DOSBox DynRec (jit) working for the 68k as it may have made it playable on the 68060. The DynRec C++ code was broken for an ABI which passes function args on the stack like the outdated 68k SysV ABI and newer official versions of GCC like NovaCoder was using to compile it don't support options to put args in registers. The default ABI for x86 hardware also passes args on the stack but there are plenty of compiler options to change the behavior and x86-64, which has the same number of integer registers as the 68k, switched to using register args. A more modern 68k ABI with a 68k64 mode like x86-64 would be a performance improvement while allowing better compatibility in the 32 bit mode but Gunnar introduced 64 bit for the normal 32 bit 68k while keeping the old inefficient SysV 68k ABI, perhaps to save gates to squeeze into an affordable FPGA.

https://m680x0.github.io/doc/abi.html

The 68k SysV ABI is simple but not very efficient with 16 general purpose registers for not only function arg passing but also the number of function callee/caller save registers and alignment of the stack for a 64 bit core. ColdFire didn't introduce a new ABI either but I found that almost all uses of the new MOV3Q instruction were for stack args. Aggressive function inlining nearly eliminates the performance inefficiency of function stack args but it also bloats code where code sharing is what has made the small footprint of the Amiga possible and improves instruction cache efficiency partially offsetting the ABI inefficiency overhead. Of course the Amiga passes function args in registers for libraries but the Amiga pseudo ABI has caused headaches and bugs for compiler support where a consistent ABI is expected instead of individual function defined behavior. A new 64 bit library definition would be needed if allowing libraries beyond the 32 bit memory limit and they could use a new 64 bit ABI simplifying compiler support. The Apollo core deals less with the issue of 64 bit addressing and more with 64 bit data operations. Improving 64 bit addressing would require cooperation with OS developers and maintaining compatibility in the 68k 32 bit mode limits what can be done.

Last edited by matthey on 20-Jan-2022 at 10:25 PM.

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agami 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 21-Jan-2022 4:08:39
#88 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 862
From: Melbourne, Australia

@OlafS25

Quote:
Would it be realistic to try to port it at all?

It has been ported to GBA. I think it's realistic enough.

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
because Vampire is made only for 2D games, 3D games must use software rendering, so it has to be early polygon rubbish.

Excellent point. That was kind of my thinking as well.

@Everyone
I too would prefer to see an exciting new game that takes advantage of the 080+SAGA combo. Starting with a port of an existing good game has value as well.

Porting apps/games can provide a good showcase for a platform. Furthermore it builds familiarity with the platform capabilities, and the shared knowledge often helps accelerate future projects.

If not Tomb Raider via Open Lara, I am open to hearing about alternatives. I am very keen to enable the delivery of software that takes advantage of 080+SAGA.

UPDATE: There have been responses to my post in the Apollo forum. Let's see if there is a path forward.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 22-Jan-2022 11:59:59
#89 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12102
From: Norway

@agami

Yes, it looks like if the GBA version was done for Vampire then the game be whery similar to Heretic II.

Heretic II worked fine if you had 3D graphic card in your Amiga4000, Cybervison3D, I don’t believe it was exclusive to WarpOS, but it at least needed 68060 to run.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 23-Jan-2022 at 12:13 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 22-Jan-2022 at 12:00 PM.

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OlafS25 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 22-Jan-2022 13:40:28
#90 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-May-2010
Posts: 6059
From: Unknown

@agami

Arti is very skilled. So he might be able to do it

BTW it would be good if it also runs on f.e. 68060+AHI+ RTG or AGA not needing SAGA as minimum requirement

That would make it easier to collect money for a bounty except you finance it from your own pocket

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agami 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 23-Jan-2022 0:56:37
#91 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 862
From: Melbourne, Australia

@OlafS25

Quote:
BTW it would be good if it also runs on f.e. 68060+AHI+ RTG or AGA not needing SAGA as minimum requirement

That would make it easier to collect money for a bounty except you finance it from your own pocket

Excellent suggestion.

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Zeus 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 23-Jan-2022 2:13:12
#92 ]
New Member
Joined: 4-Dec-2021
Posts: 8
From: Unknown

@QBit

In one sense Amiga has had multicore computing from the 90's by way of rendering farms for 3D software. There is an excellent series of articles on Blitterstudio (https://blitterstudio.com/amiberry-powered-lightwave-render-farm/) describing how to setup a rendering farm using Amiberry and Lightwave. Should be possible to setup a render farm using WINUAE instead.

Virginia Tech back in the 90's had required all of their software engineering students to use Amiga 3000UX and later when these Amiga's became obsolete a group of grad students setup a beowulf cluster of these Amiga 3000UX computers in what was then for a brief period the most powerful super computer in the world. Of course they were probably using Unix rather than Amiga OS.

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agami 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 24-Jan-2022 1:40:21
#93 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 862
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Zeus

Quote:
In one sense Amiga has had multicore computing from the 90's by way of rendering farms for 3D software.

That's not Amiga's doing.
Applications can have their own logic where they can thread tasks and distribute them across multiple processors, either on a local bus or via a networking (external) bus.

It would've been great if as part of Amiga OS's OO architecture there was a threading set of native libraries, handlers and devices. Then NewTek would not have had to develop their own, and many other applications may have leveraged the same native system.

Amiga HW + Amiga OS pulled off a lot of impressive tricks, but actual multicore processing is not one of them. If for instance, an accelerator card only added a CPU (core) and allowed the Amiga OS to use the onboard CPU (core) for some tasks in conjunction with the add-on CPU via some rudimentary scheduler in some form of big-little AMP, then we might not be in the bind we are in today, in moving from classic or NG OSs to SMP/AMP/multi-core hardware.

Imagine just how much more of a multi-tasking beast an A1200 would've been if it could've used both an 030/040 on the add-on card together with the onboard 020. That would've added another decade of being ahead of the competition.

Then also those A3000UX boxes could've had dual 030 or even dual 040 CPU cards. Take that NeXT.
If I ever get a chance to chat with Carl Sassenrath and/or Dave Haynie, I'd ask them if such a concept was ever considered, and if so, what stopped it from happening (other than management)?
Maybe at Amiga 40th celebration.

Last edited by agami on 24-Jan-2022 at 01:52 AM.

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pixie 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 24-Jan-2022 7:56:31
#94 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2688
From: Figueira da Foz - Portugal

@agami

Quote:
Imagine just how much more of a multi-tasking beast an A1200 would've been if it could've used both an 030/040 on the add-on card together with the onboard 020. That would've added another decade of being ahead of the competition


Indeed... that's food for thought, for sure.

Quote:
If I ever get a chance to chat with Carl Sassenrath and/or Dave Haynie, I'd ask them if such a concept was ever considered, and if so, what stopped it from happening (other than management)?
Maybe at Amiga 40th celebration.

That would be awesome!

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Turrican3 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 25-Jan-2022 14:33:40
#95 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2003
Posts: 362
From: Italy

@agami

Quote:
Then also those A3000UX boxes could've had dual 030 or even dual 040 CPU cards. Take that NeXT.
If I ever get a chance to chat with Carl Sassenrath and/or Dave Haynie, I'd ask them if such a concept was ever considered, and if so, what stopped it from happening (other than management)?


You mean something like this?

https://bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/product.aspx?id=224

I'm quite sure I've read an article by Dave about this, but I can't find it anymore. Perhaps it was on the AAA docs site? I have a copy somewhere, but the site has been offline for a long while unfortunately.

Last edited by Turrican3 on 25-Jan-2022 at 02:34 PM.

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OneTimer1 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 25-Jan-2022 19:16:31
#96 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 747
From: Unknown

@agami

Quote:

agami wrote:
...

If I ever get a chance to chat with Carl Sassenrath and/or Dave Haynie, I'd ask them if such a concept was ever considered, and if so, what stopped it from happening (other than management)?
Maybe at Amiga 40th celebration.


IMR there was a prototype card with two 68030 CPUs from Haynie that ran in an A2000 or A3000 but there was no software support for it.

It was only a proof of concept for the hardware.

But now we have multi core CPUs in AOS4, MOS and AROS systems but still no real OS support for them.

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Rose 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 25-Jan-2022 19:28:19
#97 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 982
From: Unknown

@OneTimer1

Quote:
IMR there was a prototype card with two 68030 CPUs from Haynie that ran in an A2000 or A3000 but there was no software support for it.


It was gemini which was 2 x stripped down A3000 on Z3 card.

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agami 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 26-Jan-2022 0:28:37
#98 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 862
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Turrican3

Quote:
You mean something like this?

Yep

@OneTimer1

Quote:
IMR there was a prototype card with two 68030 CPUs from Haynie that ran in an A2000 or A3000 but there was no software support for it.

Yep

@Rose

Quote:
It was gemini which was 2 x stripped down A3000 on Z3 card.

Yep

The prototype was a bit of a kludge, but it was an excellent insight into the flexibility of Amiga's system architecture, as the separate mini A3000s had access to each others RAM and all of the host system RAM. Very open to exploits by today's standards, but something that could've easily been mitigated over the years to make it secure.

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matthey 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 26-Jan-2022 0:52:14
#99 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1463
From: Kansas

Zeus Quote:

In one sense Amiga has had multicore computing from the 90's by way of rendering farms for 3D software. There is an excellent series of articles on Blitterstudio (https://blitterstudio.com/amiberry-powered-lightwave-render-farm/) describing how to setup a rendering farm using Amiberry and Lightwave. Should be possible to setup a render farm using WINUAE instead.


That is networked distributed computing and not multicore. The software algorithms are different between the two.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_computing#Parallel_and_distributed_computing

The Amiga has had multiprocessing from inception though as the copper and blitter are processors.

agami Quote:

Amiga HW + Amiga OS pulled off a lot of impressive tricks, but actual multicore processing is not one of them. If for instance, an accelerator card only added a CPU (core) and allowed the Amiga OS to use the onboard CPU (core) for some tasks in conjunction with the add-on CPU via some rudimentary scheduler in some form of big-little AMP, then we might not be in the bind we are in today, in moving from classic or NG OSs to SMP/AMP/multi-core hardware.


I'm not sure multicore CPUs existed before CBM went bankrupt and they certainly didn't exist for the PC market. There were multiCPU computers which often use similar algorithms and existed using 68k CPUs but there are also differences. Multicore AMP is not a problem for the AmigaOS. AMP can provide low latencies and efficient resource use but it doesn't use the available CPU performance efficiently for general purpose computing use.

agami Quote:

Imagine just how much more of a multi-tasking beast an A1200 would've been if it could've used both an 030/040 on the add-on card together with the onboard 020. That would've added another decade of being ahead of the competition.

Then also those A3000UX boxes could've had dual 030 or even dual 040 CPU cards. Take that NeXT.
If I ever get a chance to chat with Carl Sassenrath and/or Dave Haynie, I'd ask them if such a concept was ever considered, and if so, what stopped it from happening (other than management)?
Maybe at Amiga 40th celebration.


It was likely that more lines and logic would have been needed for parallel 68k processors. CBM was reducing address lines in the 1200 and all the timing came from one oscillator as well to reduce cost. Some later Amiga computers removed the CPU from the motherboard to reduce cost like the 4000CR.

It would have been desirable to make the newer more powerful CPU the primary CPU and the secondary CPU would have been a significantly weaker AMP slave. The blitter also became barely worth using once a high enough performance CPU was added. Memory bandwidths were low then which all the processors had to share.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-core_processor#Disadvantages Quote:

In a 2009 report, Dr Jun Ni showed that if a single core is close to being memory-bandwidth limited, then going to dual-core might give 30% to 70% improvement; if memory bandwidth is not a problem, then a 90% improvement can be expected; however, Amdahl's law makes this claim dubious. It would be possible for an application that used two CPUs to end up running faster on a single-core one if communication between the CPUs was the limiting factor, which would count as more than 100% improvement.


The best use may have been to assign the slave CPU some dedicated tasks like was planned for the DSP in the Amiga 3000+. CBM was too cheap to pay for a DSP too.

OneTimer1 Quote:

IMR there was a prototype card with two 68030 CPUs from Haynie that ran in an A2000 or A3000 but there was no software support for it.

It was only a proof of concept for the hardware.


The AmigaOS would have still run on the Amiga computer but the Gemini card CPUs would have been available in an AMP configuration. The link says that Exec and parts of the AmigaOS were running on the other CPU but I presume as separate instances of the AmigaOS. Sharing code would be possible but ADDQ.W #1,lib_cnt as an atomic RMW instruction to bump the library count may not be reliable in a multiCPU environment (or maybe it would if all RMW instructions were atomic memory accesses and went over the Zorro III bus which would act as an exclusive arbiter). Multicore could make RMW instructions atomic to all cores but it may incur an unacceptable performance hit. Suspending other cores during FORBID/DISABLE may also reduce performance but there are also some design decisions which may reduce the performance loss enough to be acceptable for backward compatibility when using SMP. It really should be researched. Adding cores in FPGA is just copy and paste but it only makes sense if planning for an ASIC where there is enough room.

OneTimer1 Quote:

But now we have multi core CPUs in AOS4, MOS and AROS systems but still no real OS support for them.


Two more weeks. Two more decades. What's the difference. It's the Amiga Neverland of lost time.

Last edited by matthey on 26-Jan-2022 at 01:06 AM.

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agami 
Re: Classic Amiga 680x0 Multicore!
Posted on 26-Jan-2022 2:24:29
#100 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 862
From: Melbourne, Australia

@matthey

Quote:
The AmigaOS would have still run on the Amiga computer but the Gemini card CPUs would have been available in an AMP configuration.

Of course, but that still could've been quite the win for Amiga in the early '90s. Not for the average user, but it could've had decent reception with pro's and universities.

Then as time progressed and the Zorro bus improved or was superseded, and the Amiga OS evolved, there could've been the explicitly multi-CPU computer akin to Gassée's BeBox. While Apple and Wintel, for all practical desktop computing purposes supported multi-CPU in late 99 and 2000, respectively.

So much wasted potential. I don't think I will ever get over it.

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