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Events   Events : Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
   posted by sg2 on 29-Sep-2004 11:32:54 (20364 reads)
Hello All!

The html pages which are available at http://s.guillard.free.fr/alc4/index.html are just an introduction slideshow that I presented as a starter, it does not relate what I shown and said afterwards. Please find below a couple of notes about my presentation at Alchimie show.



1 ? Show highlights
Here is a quick summary of the presentation I did :

- I booted with boot delays set to 1 second for UBoot and for SLB (second level booter), thus less than 20 seconds after power on, we were with a fully loaded Workbench with Amidock.

- I started with the small html slideshow, presented on IBrowse. You can find those pages at the URL above. IBrowse loaded in 2 seconds with its about : page fully displayed. Browsing through the pages of the slideshow was instantaneous.

- While we were at it, I browsed the OS4 install guide, also as fast as can be, must say I also find this responsiveness impressive myself :)

Then I demoed as many things as I had time to during the 2 hours I had. Everything worked, fast & stable, and was smooth and impressed. I showed mainly:
- All os4 system, tools, utilities, prefs & stuff
- MUI, IBrowse, Amitradecenter
- Yam, SimpleMail
- ClassAction (M. Elsner's file manager)
- MakeCD
- MooVid running a DivX
- DVPlayer running an mpeg2
- AudioEvolution 4 with the demo project, cursors auto moving smoothly, the playback was smooth also, with mostly no CPU usage.
- AmiPDF with the AE4 manual and another heavy PDF file, very fast
- USB. I plugged a Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical into my USB hub, and we had 2 mice to control the system
- Crisot's slach5 winning demo (got applauses which it deserved)
- chip's rayrace realtime raytracer demo. When the juggler appeared, audience was impressed, but really took measure of what they were watching when I moved the mouse. Wait for the Altivec version !
- FPSE, AmiDog's PS1 emulator, with an oldskool game which ran nicely ('Cotton')
- some other visual toys I had at hand

The demos only grimreaped twice, and I anticipated the grims before they popped up :
- One was native glsokoban / w3d, when I launch it does a base page access (a ?null pointer? bug in glsokoban). I didactically shown the disassembly which is available in the grimreaper window, was a store to r4, r4 was null etc. I clicked on continue, and it all went fine & fast.

- One was frying pan 0.3.1, I shown the app, and at one point I said 'now it should grim? and it did. It still loaded fine though. I quit the app, clicked on reboot and less than 4 secs after, wb was up with amidock. That was the only reboot of the show.

I forgot to show (because of short time):
- Petunia... Almos, sorry, I had prepared something for that (side by side windowed jit & nonjit runs of voxelspace), but i both forgot, and was asked to stop at this point by the party organizers cause it was already 5:30 pm while I was scheduled until 4pm.
- ArtEffect
- USB with MassStorage (ie USB key or digital camera)

At the end, I had many fair questions to which I answered; my feeling is that the audience really appreciated the effort behind what I shown, and was conscious that we are not far away from a releasable 4.0.

Then came the expected question, 'and why doesn?t DMA work ?'

I said 'All what you saw was DMA since the 1st boot'.
I copied a few 100 MB files in a snap, with zero CPU (thanks to Pete Gordon for the clock/CPU docky, helps a lot). Then I switched to PIO, they saw 4 x slower and 80% CPU.
The audience understood that it was indeed DMA, and that was fast, and that was part of the overall smoothness of what I shown.

Then I explained the things below (this is the reference for my statements, please don?t rephrase or extrapolate or invent or whatever):

- IDE UDMA works on VIA and Articia on AmigaOne SE / XE / µA1 MK2 (as I demoed) ...
- ... except when the Ethernet chip goes online and is used.
- the Ethernet chip only triggers the problem, but it is not at all related to it (a test using a PCI Ethernet shows the same behaviour)
- We have made a driver for a Silicon Image 680 PCI IDE UDMA133 controller chip, this does UDMA 133 nicely, including when Ethernet is used at full speed.
- The fact that a PCI IDE controller solution works, shows that the problem is *not* related to Articia, since PCI DMA is *also* handled by the Articia, and that works.
- The full Alchimie show demo was done using UDMA, both from the VIA and from the Si680, without problem (but with Ethernet off, would the Ethernet have been turned online, I would have had to revert the VIA into PIO before).
- Things are currently under more investigation
In the meantime there are 2 options for existing A1 board owners:
- Use the VIA IDE controller in PIO mode when using Ethernet, and UDMA at other times,
- Purchase a faster (UDMA133) Silicon Image 0680 IDE PCI card (from around $20). This is my personally recommended option as the delivered speed is noticeable faster than the on-board VIA controller in UDMA mode.

Kind regards,
--
Stéphane
    

STORYID: 1752
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PosterThread
ExiE 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 9:53:04
#81 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 18-May-2004
Posts: 450
From: Czech Amiga News

I really like the style of fixing A1

count with me
A1 motherboard + CPU 800 Euro

onboard AC97 isnt working
FIX: get the cheap SB Live for 10 Euro, its good to say "Sounds better anyway"

onboard IDE isnt working in UDMA mode with Ethernet on
FIX: get the cheap SI680 IDE card for 20 Euro, its goot to say "It is faster anyway"
(or turn off DMA mode or Ethernet, its just on you)

so everybody should be happy, its so easy

short question: what about remove all these nonworking parts of A1 and sell it cheaper?
maybe nothing would left onboard...

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falcon1 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 10:22:43
#82 ]
Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2004
Posts: 48
From: France

a brand new SBLive! 5.1 digital costs more than 30 euros here... (and near 40 from my local desler)

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ikir 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 11:13:59
#83 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5647
From: Italy

@falcon
I've paid 20 euro for a SbLive (new). Anyway a Sb128 cost... nothing.

@Exie
THE NEW BOARD DOESN'T HAVE THE PROBLEM! Earlybird offer was for developers and testers. Don't like ti, don't buy it.


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ExiE 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 12:51:56
#84 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 18-May-2004
Posts: 450
From: Czech Amiga News

Quote:
Don't like ti, don't buy it.


Of course I dont.

But do you think the non-Earlybird A1 XE will be different? (Except higher price due OS4 cost ????)

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Lanza 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 13:44:08
#85 ]
Member
Joined: 28-Jun-2004
Posts: 74
From: Lorient, Brittany, France

@Exie
Quote:
But do you think the non-Earlybird A1 XE will be different? (Except higher price due OS4 cost ????)

Yes.

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poweramiga2002 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 13:47:06
#86 ]
Super Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2003
Posts: 1389
From: Flinders NSW Australia

@ExiE

its only the earlybird and developer boards with this problem

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Crumb 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 13:47:34
#87 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 2209
From: Zaragoza (Aragonian State)

"VIA IDE DMA cannot run reliably as soon as ethernet is used. Fact""

It's true but... afaik there's a hardware patch for AmigaOne Rev1 boards...

BTW... someone has more information about this patch... and something more important... what will happen to microA1-C users?


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xeron 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 14:25:07
#88 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2003
Posts: 2440
From: Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England, UK, Europe, Earth, The Milky Way, The Universe

Quote:

what will happen to microA1-C users?


Nothing. Their boards won't have this problem.


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DrBombcrater 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 14:28:09
#89 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Feb-2004
Posts: 1382
From: UK

@thread

Here's an interesting bit of information posted to ANN by Stéphane Guillard :

Quote:
the µA1 'C' alias MK3 (and further machines) has proper snoop signaling implemented. Additionnally, this machine also solves the VIA / Ethernet interaction (and all other A1 oddities, like wrong implementation of the AC97 link between the VIA and the Sigmatel audio codec).


He goes on to say that this means Linux drivers will work on these machines without needing DMA patches (the 'snoop' he refers to is what others call hardware cache coherency). It's looking like new A1 purchasers won't have anything to worry about.

For the rest of us, Eyetech really need to make some kind of statement clarifying what's going to happen. It's a little worrying that only the XE has been mentioned in relation to a hardware patch, not the SE or MicroA1 MK2.


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xeron 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 14:35:04
#90 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2003
Posts: 2440
From: Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England, UK, Europe, Earth, The Milky Way, The Universe

I don't think they need to do anything about the MicroA1 Mk2, since it was only shipped in tiny quantities to a few dealers and developers, not end users.


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KimmoK 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 14:47:55
#91 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2003
Posts: 5206
From: Ylikiiminki, Finland

Any explanation of HOW the ethernet card on a PCI slot can affect VIA DMA on the motherboard ?
How it can "touch" the "wiring" (or whatever) problem of the motherboard?

Is the VIA chip connected incorrectly to the ArticiaS?


Also how was this "We have been able to patch XE rev 1 boards to get working VIA DMA" done?


Details under NDA?


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//
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Ivan 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 15:39:55
#92 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 7-Jul-2003
Posts: 302
From: Unknown

>it's only the earlybird and developer boards with this problem.

So how do people know which is which? And if the board is fixed or not. As i understood it, some boards have a line or two soldered in place to correct the fault (where?). Is that all it takes for both earlybird and dev boards? How will people know which they have and what their options are?

As it is, Eyetech sold a board with onboard DMA, with a driver on the way. There is no excuse for them not to fix the boards. If the dealers wire them up or Eyetech does dosen't matter. Telling the user to add a new card is not a fix. Sending a board back to be fixed is a reasonable compromise even if it costs you a few bucks for shipping.


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Anonymous 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 16:00:45
# ]



Wow only a few rabid posts, we are doing well.

 
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Ivan 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 16:20:30
#94 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 7-Jul-2003
Posts: 302
From: Unknown

Hope your not refering to my post. (i cant make heads or tails of the 'threaded' listing :) )


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Coder 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 16:44:31
#95 ]
Team Member
Joined: 15-May-2003
Posts: 4523
From: The Netherlands

@Ivan

Quote:
Sending a board back to be fixed is a reasonable compromise even if it costs you a few bucks for shipping.


A few bucks would not fit for me. Sending it to Eyetech and then back will surely get noticed by customs as they did the first time I shipped my board here. And they were pretty high with that. Could have bought me second one almost so to speak. And that was more then 1 1/2 years ago and I thought it was ok since soon I could start with OS4. Yeah LOL!

Anymoo, I am not really bothered with all this DMA stuff. Sure I like to have the best out of it. But for me, I just wanted an A1 and OS4 so that I could do some work. That's all. The thing that might bother me more is the long time it took to get (OS4) here. But now I have a machine to run and OS4 on it. That's what I wanted, that's what I am doing, and that's what makes me happy. Also it was in the beta/first batch program so there are bound to be some problems. There is not much that could upset me anymore I guess. I got what I went for.

Coder


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Rassilon 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 16:45:15
#96 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 540
From: Office desk, Wandsworth, London, UK

Here's hoping that this is not construed as a rabid post!!!

Now, not being a major hardware guru, my thoughts on the matter may not be correct. If not please explain

As far as I can tell the error on the mobo relates to the IDE UDMA side of things - This is shown when both the onboard ethernet and pci ethernet cause the same problem.

This is further supported by the fact that pci IDE UDMA doesn't suffer from this problem as it all happens across the DMA of the PCI bus, avoiding the onboard controller.

It would seem to suggest that any DMA action across the mobo interferes with the onboard IDE controller - Now wait for it!

this could explain why many of us get horrible glitches in our sound output - from our PCI soundcards doing DMA, when playing back MP3 from HD.

Any thoughts?

Lewis


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ssolie 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 16:50:56
#97 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2755
From: Alberta, Canada

@DaveP
Quote:
Wow only a few rabid posts, we are doing well.

Seems most people are waiting for Eyetech's statement on this issue before getting all excited and exploding. I'm sure things will pick up after Eyetech have posted something. The trolls can smell the meat but can't find it yet.

I strongly suspect Eyetech have been caught a little off guard and the announcement was premature because it has been stated the testing hasn't been finalized yet. Eyetech need to be 100% sure before anything can happen.


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shoe 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 17:10:45
#98 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Sep-2003
Posts: 1585
From: Gothenburg, Sweden

Poster: DaveP Date: 29-Sep-2004 16:27:26
Quote:
The fix is called April 3.


lol! Thanks Dave, you save me the post.. (but I'm posting this!? damn! )


/shoe

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tomazkid 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 17:16:49
#99 ]
Team Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11694
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

Or we have been hardened enough by now..

I'm not happy to hear about another hardware problem,
but since I do like my A1, and have bought it,
the only sane approach is to seek information about possible solutions, and try to be constructive och look for the possibilities


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Ivan 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 30-Sep-2004 17:31:26
#100 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 7-Jul-2003
Posts: 302
From: Unknown

@Coder

Ouch! I've been bit by customs charges too. But not quite as bad as that. Are you sure customs will put a charge on it? You wouldn't actually be buying anything this time, just mailing it around.

A pci card is a good option but it really dosen't fix the underlying problem of the board being layed out wrong. I hope Eyetech has a fix for it in short order though. Someone correct me if i'm wrong, it's just a line or two that's been layed down on the board the wrong way, right? A lot of people own soldering irons. For me, i'd just send the board to the dealer and let them do the work. And i own a soldering iron too. I'm not even sure if my board has the problem fixed or not. I picked an A1 up long after the Earlybird thing expired. Everything was supposed to be fixed then and the update would bring the drivers needed. Any one know what we should be looking for?


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