Click Here
home features news forums classifieds faqs links search
5630 members 
Amiga Q&A /  Free for All /  Emulation /  Gaming / (Latest Posts)
Login

Nickname

Password

Lost Password?

Don't have an account yet?
Register now!

Support Amigaworld.net
Your support is needed and is appreciated as Amigaworld.net is primarily dependent upon the support of its users.
Donate

Menu
Main sections
Home
Features
News
Forums
Classifieds
Links
Downloads
Extras
OS4 Zone
IRC Network
AmigaWorld Radio
Newsfeed
Top Members
Amiga Dealers
Information
About Us
FAQs
Advertise
Polls
Terms of Service
Search

IRC Channel

Who's Online
 36 guest(s) on-line.
 1 member(s) on-line.


 Trekiej

You are an anonymous user.
Register Now!
 Trekiej:  4 mins ago
 freak:  28 mins ago
 Rob:  36 mins ago
 Templario:  1 hr 13 mins ago
 Jasper:  1 hr 30 mins ago
 gregthecanuck:  1 hr 30 mins ago
 Ami603:  1 hr 45 mins ago
 Severin:  2 hrs 2 mins ago
 mr2:  2 hrs 3 mins ago
 amipal:  2 hrs 18 mins ago

Hardware News   Hardware News : DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
   posted by DJS on 13-Jan-2005 17:47:00 (5173 reads)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about DRAGON ColdFire are posted in the Elbox website.

FAQ can be found in the SUPPORT section.


Some hilights:

Q: Does power of the ColdFire processor in DRAGON allow smooth playing of Divxs?
A: Yes. Performance of the ColdFire MCF5475 processor combined with elements of hardware support for the decoding process of Radeon 9xxx cards allows smooth playing full-quality video from the compressed files (DivX, MPEG-2, DVD).

Q: Will using SharkPPC card be possible with DRAGON?
A: Yes. SharkPPC can be used in the PCI slot of the DRAGON board as well as in the PCI slot of the MEDIATOR board. What's more, due to the enhanced DRAGON's DMA capabilities, the SharkPPC card in the DRAGON PCI slot has direct access to all resources of the Amiga 1200 motherboard as well as to DRAGON's DDR memory and all cards in the DRAGON's AGP and PCI slots.
As we informed many times, SharkPPC production will not start before the final version of AmigaOS4.0 is released.
    

Related Links
· More about Hardware News
· News by DJS


Most read story about Hardware News
INDIVISION ECS SHIPPING NOW (AMIGAKIT.COM)

Last news about Hardware News
New Amiga 1200 keycaps review
Printer Friendly Page  Send this Story to a Friend

Goto page ( 1 | 2 )

PosterThread
smithy 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 13-Jan-2005 19:20:12
#1 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 28-Aug-2003
Posts: 364
From: Newcastle

Interesting, but the question I really want answered is are they going to make a standalone board?

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
cgutjahr 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 13-Jan-2005 19:26:23
#2 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 871
From: Unknown

No, but o'connel technologies will

SCNR

What would you want to do with a standalone 68k board without custom chips?

[Edit: typo]

Last edited by cgutjahr on 13-Jan-2005 at 07:37 PM.

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
Restore2003 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 13-Jan-2005 19:28:47
#3 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 18-Jan-2004
Posts: 438
From: Norway: The land of fjords and red trolls

Quote:
What would you want to do with a standalone 64k Board without custom chips?


A radeon card maybe?


_________________
If you need music for your productions, or graphics for your creations, feel free to contact me.
also check out my music at http://www.contrazt.no/records.html

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
GrumpyOldMan 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 13-Jan-2005 20:24:21
#4 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Nov-2003
Posts: 675
From: Haukipudas, Finland

For a Mediator user (like me) this board sounds very tempting - a very fast 68k and a PPC uppgrade path. There are two important questions not covered in the FAQ:

1) How compatible the card is (when compared to for example 68060 card)?
2) What kind of uppgrade offer Elbox offers to current Mediator owners?

Oh, and a picture of the Dragon board would be nice


_________________
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." (Groucho Marx)

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
smithy 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 13-Jan-2005 22:20:43
#5 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 28-Aug-2003
Posts: 364
From: Newcastle

@cgutjahr
Quote:
What would you want to do with a standalone 68k board without custom chips?


UAE manages quite nicely even without custom chip emulation The point is that it would be a very very fast board that could be used with the OS3.x and RTG without needing the custom chips. Ok, so it wouldn't be able to run old games without UAE, but that's ok.

It'd be a really nice platform for AROS too.

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
ikir 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 13-Jan-2005 22:32:25
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5646
From: Italy

Outstanding specs!!! I must buy one for my old 1200.


_________________
Amiga News.it
Sam460ex 1,15Ghz
2GB RAM, 120GB Crucial v4 SSD, 32GB SDHC
Radeon HD 6450 1GB

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
Amighista 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 13-Jan-2005 22:44:18
#7 ]
Member
Joined: 11-Oct-2003
Posts: 62
From: Unknown

@ikir
save your money for the ack PPC accelerator card. Do not waste money with a coldfire...the faq doesn't tell that CF doesn't support two of of the OS most used cpu instructions. Emulating these is likely slow down CF at the same speed of the 060.

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
stevieu 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 2:18:17
#8 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 23-Apr-2003
Posts: 647
From: England, UK

It'd be lovely to see this product materialise and I'd certainly buy one (if I had money to spare)

If the PPC upgrade path and OS4 support was more guaranteed, that'd be nice, also! I have many doubts about all this though. *ponders*

I'll plod along and wait for OS4 to become publically available for my PPC equipped A1200. That'll keep me busy for quite a while, I'm sure.

Steve


_________________
A1200T - OS4.0,OS3.9: 603e PPC 200mhz,060 50mhz, 256mb ram, FastATA MK-III, BVision, 160gb,20gb HDDs

A1200 - OS3.1: Blizzard IV 030, 64mb ram, 400mb HDD

OS4.x - Flying the AMIGA flag

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
evilrich 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 2:33:18
#9 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 19-Oct-2003
Posts: 534
From: Unknown

@ikir

Quote:
the faq doesn't tell that CF doesn't support two of of the OS most used cpu instructions

I'm curious as to which instructions you mean (but not sufficiently curious to bother looking it up).

For example, from a typical session with OS3.9 running on E-UAE the two most used instructions were (not unsurprisingly) BEQ.B and BNE.B. I suspect the Coldfire V4E does support those.

Cheers,
Rich

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
peggus 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 5:48:03
#10 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 7-Jul-2003
Posts: 159
From: Pasadena

@Evil

A quick search of the usermanual yields the following rather limited info.

Quote:

The ColdFire instruction set is a simplified version of the M68000 instruction set. The removed instructions include BCD, bit field, logical rotate, decrement and branch, and integer multiply with a 64-bit result.


I'd be most curious the hear any guestimates on what this might do to performance.


_________________

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
evilrich 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 7:46:53
#11 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 19-Oct-2003
Posts: 534
From: Unknown

@peggus

Quote:
BCD, bit field, logical rotate, decrement and branch, and integer multiply with a 64-bit result

That's interesting.

The lack of BCD instructions is no great loss. And one could argue that binning the bit field and integer multiply with a 64-bit result is not a problem either, since a great deal of Amiga software was written for the 68000 which didn't have them anyway.

I'm curious about the logical rotate and DBcc instructions, however. From stats gathered from using E-UAE, the DBcc instruction are highly used. Having to trap that and emulate it, would be a significant overhead.

It makes one wonder. I'm sure Motorola did not abolish those instructions on a whim. They must have had good reason for doing so.

If you want some numbers, modify UAE to barf on those instructions and implement a trap handler for AmigaOS to emulate them. Compare performance with a normal version of UAE.

Of course, new software can be compiled not to use the offending instructions and thus incur no appreciable performance hit. I don't see why Elbox couldn't commission a ColdFire build of P96, for instance, or any of the other drivers they ship.

But I still don't understand why they're doing this. A PPC accelerator has to make more economic sense.

Cheers,
Rich

Last edited by evilrich on 14-Jan-2005 at 08:55 AM.

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
Rogue 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 10:39:24
#12 ]
OS4 Core Developer
Joined: 14-Jul-2003
Posts: 3999
From: Unknown

Quote:
Of course, new software can be compiled not to use the offending instructions and thus incur no appreciable performance hit.


The same holds true for a PowerPC - if you actually have the source code to recompile, then building an OS 4 native PowerPC version is not much more difficult. The bottom line is (again) that building a ColdFire accelerator doesn't make much sense.

Quote:
But I still don't understand why they're doing this. A PPC accelerator has to make more economic sense.


Me neither. I find the thought of putting an accelerator (Shark) into your accelerator (dragon) mildly amusing

About the supposed better-than-AmigaOne/Pegasos 68k performance, that is something we'll have to see. I suppose you could find test cases to prove or disprove both.

Last edited by Rogue on 14-Jan-2005 at 10:46 AM.


_________________
Seriously, if you want to contact me do not bother sending me a PM here. Write me a mail

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
Rogue 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 10:42:38
#13 ]
OS4 Core Developer
Joined: 14-Jul-2003
Posts: 3999
From: Unknown

Quote:
As we informed many times, SharkPPC production will not start before the final version of AmigaOS4.0 is released.


I find this somewhat strange. At least some sort of prototype would be required to actually adapt OS 4 to the Shark (unless you buy into that "magic AmigaOne compatibility" story). Nothing of that sort materialized up to now.


_________________
Seriously, if you want to contact me do not bother sending me a PM here. Write me a mail

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
runetrek 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 10:43:50
#14 ]
Member
Joined: 24-Nov-2003
Posts: 65
From: Norway

Just speculating, but maybe they intend to release their own OS and later a complete computer?

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
ikir 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 10:47:25
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5646
From: Italy

@Rogue
I'm sure you will receive a Shark when the time arrives


_________________
Amiga News.it
Sam460ex 1,15Ghz
2GB RAM, 120GB Crucial v4 SSD, 32GB SDHC
Radeon HD 6450 1GB

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
Yabba 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 11:30:42
#16 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-Jan-2004
Posts: 134
From: Unknown

Quote:
I'm curious about the logical rotate and DBcc instructions, however. From stats gathered from using E-UAE, the DBcc instruction are highly used. Having to trap that and emulate it, would be a significant overhead.

It makes one wonder. I'm sure Motorola did not abolish those instructions on a whim. They must have had good reason for doing so.


Just because out of interest...
A DBcc instruction is very bad for a pipeline architecture since it relies on the result of the instruction (ie, what the decremented value is) before the instruction can complete. Doing the same thing with a sub #1,d0 bne xxx allows the CPU to schedule the instructions more efficiently in the pipeline.

So, bottom line, allowing the DBcc instructions would have made the pipeline more complicated and that would limit the clock frequency.

rgds,
Stefan

ps. I know that this is slightly off topic, but it is a rather interesting thing for us asic nerds

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
bennymee 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 11:48:29
#17 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 19-Aug-2003
Posts: 470
From: Netherlands

@Roque: The same holds true for a PowerPC - if you actually have the source code to recompile, then building an OS 4 native PowerPC version is not much more difficult. The bottom line is (again) that building a ColdFire accelerator doesn't make much sense.



Looking at the price of 349 ex vat. they charge it is a nice board with AGP, PCI, (optinal), ethernet, USB2, serial, etc. A nice replacement IMHO for the Mediator. Even if the Coldfire wouldn't be much faster then an 68060 you have a fast accelerator with all the goodies mentioned above for a nice price.

If you put the SharkPPC in the Dragon, it is not THAT different from a CyberStormPPC or BlizzardPPC where you also have 2 processor's.

Last edited by bennymee on 14-Jan-2005 at 11:49 AM.

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
Mr.Return 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 11:59:54
#18 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Apr-2004
Posts: 133
From: Detmold, Germany

But then you could also build a whole new MB or an accelerator based upon the MPC8545 or similar - there you have the DDR controller, Gigabit, PCI-Express s.o. integrated.


_________________
"Who do you think is this guy - god ?"
"No, god knows mercy !"

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
Mark 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 12:25:04
#19 ]
Team Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 1457
From: UK

they're more likely to try and do what they normally which is try and get it working themselves..

Mark


_________________
IceStar Media Ltd.

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  
herewegoagain 
Re: DRAGON ColdFire FAQ
Posted on 14-Jan-2005 19:16:39
#20 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Jan-2003
Posts: 3270
From: Charlotte, NC

Quote:
Poster: ikir Date: 14-Jan-2005 5:47:25

@Rogue
I'm sure you will receive a Shark when the time arrives


Um... I think the time has already come... unless they want to be seriously behind everyone else. You would think that something that could possibly sell so many more units would have higher priority.

 Status: Offline
Profile     Report this post  

Goto page ( 1 | 2 )

[ home ][ about us ][ privacy ] [ forums ][ classifieds ] [ links ][ news archive ] [ link to us ][ user account ]
Copyright (C) 2000 - 2019 Amigaworld.net.
Amigaworld.net was originally founded by David Doyle