Amy design update Part 2

Date 13-Sep-2006 23:03:07
Topic: Hardware News

Amy05 update part 2

This is the final update on the Amy05 design prior to BB4 this weekend. Please attend the show and meet with us.

Read more...(mod note)

One of the biggest changes to the Amy05 design from our first released specification is the addition of the .AMD Geode™CS5536 companion device. For Project Prometheus/Amy'05 this becomes Amy’s Southbridge. This is the low cost Southbridge device from AMD that been in many of the newspapers. It’s used in the $100 'One Laptop per child' system, and in many AMD Geode™ embedded designs. It’s a well proven design and AMD continues to refine all the little details to get the most out of the design. Its extremely well supported, and its great to have a working relationship with the AMD people, we take much pride in this.

What’s the Geode™ Southbridge mean to the Amiga community? Software wise the opening of many new doors, and features. For example, one feature built in is the “USB keyboard”, making USB keyboards easy to install and use.

Hardware wise this device provides the following features to Amy05:
AC97 Codec interface,
A single channel IDE port,
An additional 16C550 UART,
Real time Clock and CMOS RAM
Additional USB 2.0 ports,
PC 82XX legacy timers.

There are additional features to this device but we have only highlighted the features utilized by Amy05.

This is the other component of the Kryptos sound system. It is a low cost high performance solution that will in the future, allow for a lower cost design by fully utilizing the USB and ATA interfaces of this device. Also in future Troika designs, will be able to incorporate, many more hardware features not as yet implemented, into future Amy designs.

The CS5536 interfaces to the TSI107 via the 66 MHz PCI bus interface for maximum performance. The 66 MHz PCI bus connects to the 33 MHz PCI bus using a PLX technology PCI 6150 bridge device. The PCI 6150 makes it easier to connect riser cards to the system without violating PCI bus loading rules, an improvement over previous designs.

A side effect of increasing the system bus to 66 MHz was the need for some glue logic, normally quite boring but it did provide potential for a 'Geekport interface' to be easily added. Now referred to as the Amy Geekport.

The aim of this interface was to put some of the fun back into home computing. For too long now if you wanted to add a custom device to your computer, it was too complicated. By providing a simple 8 bit wide interface that connects directly to the PPC local bus it is once again possible to create homebrew devices and connect them to your computer, just like in the good old 8-bit days.

The interface is memory mapped, provides a basic I/O port, can generate interrupts and provides user defined I/O. Application notes and sample designs will be available at product launch.

As a final note, the planned board for display at the show will be a 'developer' prototype. She’s rough around the edges, and we have had “issues” with making our logos look great like we wished. This is the first release which will be made in a limited quantity for hardware testing/OS4 development. There will be bugs to iron out and some improvements will be made, when this process is complete, the necessary changes will be added into the consumer version, which will then be released.

This is the reason we ask for some feedback on the design, there are limited opportunities for changes to the final design. Rest-assured, we will not be making any drastic changes to the system.

*AMD Geode™ CS5536 is a registered trademark of AMD

This article comes from AmigaWorld - Amiga Community Portal

The URL for this story is: